It's Monday which means it's time again for another #ConfidentMeAandE. This series has already had some wonderful contributions from some amazing Guest Bloggers and this week is no different. This week Sarah from Beauty Addict brings us her tips on how she's able to find a Work, Life, Blog balance. It's a method we could also start doing today and I for one will definitely be trying to strike more of a balance this year.

Over to you Sarah...

I love Blogging – I really love it. I love sitting down at my computer writing posts, taking photos (although I really do need to work on this one), being on Twitter and other Social Media and engaging with other Bloggers, and most of all I love being part of the Blogging Community, and meeting and getting to know other Bloggers.

And in an ideal world, I would be doing all this every day.

However, the reality is I work full-time, and I am finding the constant struggle of Blogging, working full-time, doing all the necessary household chores etc. and still having a life quite a hard juggling act at the moment.

I recently took a step back from everything to sit down and think about how I could make it all work, and for me to keep Blogging, as it is something I love and enjoy. One of the things I decide was to only post twice a week, as I was trying to post 3 times a week, and I was just finding it too much of a struggle to maintain.

For me, planning is key. I like to think I am an organised person, so I sit down on a Sunday evening with my Diary/Planner. I work out for the following week what commitments I have in terms of work (busy days, having to stay late etc.), I then add in evenings where I can hopefully do some Blogging.

I try to only schedule things on weekdays as I like to have weekends for me and my man to do things or just relax at home.

I have started Slimming World recently, so I like to also schedule in my Planner exercise and gym classes, and I sometimes will schedule in some early morning Blogging – to try and grab 30 minutes of time in the morning before going to work to just hop on my computer.

I know it all may sound a bit boring planning everything out, but I like to feel in control of things, and this for me works perfectly. When I am not feeling in control, I start to lack confidence in myself and worry that my Blog posts are awful and no-one will read them.

Just a bit of control and organisation helps me to keep on top of everything, and keep myself motivated to continue Blogging and maintain a healthy Work Life balance.

It really is all about Balance, and planning has helped me find my balance.

For more articles from the #ConfidenceMeAandE series head check out the links below for thoughts on building confidence, self-esteem, and living life to the full with Mental Health struggles.

Confident Me A&E

If you like what you see don't forget to share with the hashtag #ConfidentMeAandE, on your social media and tell us in the comments your tips for striking the perfect work/blog balance!
Hey Guys!

Well we're now into week three of the Living Streets #Try20 challenge, and I'm proud to say I've somehow managed to stick at it everyday!

If definitely helps that I live so centrally that I never really need to take public transport (except for when I'm late - classic Thea!), but I'm still really enjoying the time outdoors, and with the sun coming out more and more now every day gets better.

If you've been reading my #Try20 updates you'll know by now that as well as getting outside to walk everyday I'm also taking on an extra mini challenge every week to spice things up and keep me motivated to keep going each week.

In my first week I chose to challenge myself to get up early and walk to work (although guilty confession - I failed a few times and ended up walking from work...but hey give a girl a break I still did it!), and in my second week I took my camera along with me to watch my city from a new perspective.

This week I chose to tak the #Try20 Challenge in my happy shoes! I have quite a few pair sof shoes that never see the light of day - mostly because London is normally blooming cold! But with the warmer weather around the corner I thought it was the perfect time to get those shoes out and strut my stuff for a change.

This weeks challenge was such an interesting one - I swear - it was really surprising. When you head out on the streets in public you can't help but look around you at the different styles and choices the people around you have made. I don't necessarily believe that following fashion is important in the grand scheme of things, but I am a strong believer in the power of presentation, and fashion is an incredible way to liberate yourself and represent the inner through through fabrics, colours, shapes and your own individual style.

Wearing my happy shoes really reminded me of how much I love choosing my clothes, and it really is a reflection of myself and my mood on that day. I truly believe the way you present yourself has a huge impact on how you perceive yourself, and this week had a wonderful impact on my mental health and emotional well being. This week I have felt so on point, my confidence it at such a high I'm really loving life (I'm sure the sun had something to do with it, but hey I'm owning it!)

This #Try20 challenge has inspired me on so many levels, and I couldn't be more happy to be doing it than I am today.

I'd really recommend it to anyone thinking of pledging. Head over to Living Streets and see just how much walking for 20 minutes a day can improve your physical and mental health.

Phew, well we're finally up to date guys! Onto the next article. Next time I'll be sharing Week 4 with you and my chosen challenge is "Lunch Alfesco not Aldesko", so join me then for another update, and be sure to head over to #runyourmindfree to find out what challenge Eugenia took on this week and how she's finding the whole experience.

Let me know in the comments if you ever get out walking, and where you like to walk the most. If you can recommend any walks in the UK let me know I'd love to explore more of my home Island this year!

See you guys on Sunday, have a great week!

Hey Guys, welcome back to another Confident Me Clinic! This week I'm so excited to introduce you to a new guest blogger for the series Rebecca from BBBaking! Rebecca shares with us how to have your cake and eat it with her insightful look into how she'd built up her own confidence over the past few years. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to share on your social media with the hashtag #ConfidentMeAandE. So without further ado, over to you...

Bbbaking here. Wow, my first guest post and I love the topic of the series which is self-confidence, motivation and self-care. The topic I chose was self-confidence as I felt I could share about this whilst relating it to my love of food as a food blogger and a chef.
Confidence is something that has really changed for me, in particular over the last year. Moving to a different educational environment has been different for me, but it has enabled me to grow as a person and decide who I want to be. One thing I decided I did want to be in my fresh start was fearlessly confident. Confidence has many pros; it allows you to grasp opportunities, meet new people and be who you want to be with no apologises. After 5 years in high school isn’t that what every teen wants?

So my guide to unapologetic confidence (or having cake as I call it) has 4 easy steps…

C – Courage
A – Acceptance
K – Killing it
E – Endurance

Courage. Many define courage as jumping into a river to save a child, standing up to the school bully or fighting for king and country. Although all these things are incredible and commendable, courage comes in all shapes, sizes and styles much like us. Courage is a word not often used in our society as it is entirely dependent on situation and circumstances. The type of courage I’m going to be talking about is being true to ourselves and not apologising for any of our quirks, flaws or mannerisms. In fact not apologising for anything about ourselves! Courage isn’t a natural emotion, fear is though. It’s not easy to be courageous in any sort of way but sometimes helping yourself is harder than helping others. Often it’s easy to see the beauty in others and the things that make them great people. But seeing how you can make the world a better place is a lot harder. That’s where courage comes in; courage to smile, laugh and bring sunshine into your surroundings is the type of courage which breeds confidence.

Acceptance of who you are is the next step on the road to true confidence. Acceptance is crucial as how can you expect others to accept you until you learn to accept yourself, clichĂ© I know! But as true as it ever was. Working with what you have also has a lot to be said for; I wouldn’t expect to be a bikini model blonde, that has yards of golden spun hair and flawless skin as actually I’m a dessert loving spotty teenager whose mixed race with shoulder length dark hair. My point is both people I’m describing are beautiful in their own way, and should accept themselves. I’m not saying that you can’t be displeased with aspects of yourself, for example I’d love to have a flatter stomach but it’s my own fault for not doing sit ups and there’s nothing wrong with a roll or two anyway as long as it doesn’t affect your health. Confidence isn’t all to do with appearance as well, I accept that I don’t have the talent to be the next BeyoncĂ© and that’s something that unfortunately I’m going to have to learn to live with. Maybe I’ll never end up on Broadway or receiving a standing ovation at the royal Albert hall and I have to learn to accept those things about myself. However, I have other dreams and aspirations (perhaps more realistic) that I believe that I can achieve with a lot of hard work and a little confidence.

Killing it. This is not as self-explanatory as the other 3 aspects of my foodie analogy, but I guess the gist is clear. How can you be confident if self-love doesn’t run through your veins? Not arrogance but self-love. If you’re not going to be your number 1 fan who is? Maybe some people think it isn’t humble or modest but guess what girls? Who run the world? Girls! Yes so far this paragraph has been slightly tongue in cheek however, no one else is going put your happiness first. So for ultimate confidence why don’t you go and grasp those opportunities looking great, feeling fine and generally killing it.

Endurance. This last step of caking it really is an addendum to the first 3 steps as it’s not too hard to have courage, acceptance and be killing it for a short amount of time however, keeping everything long term is the hard part. Endurance is the key last step of confidence as having a few moments of madness to reach for the stars is something everyone can do. But you, you can make that permanent. Imagine being fully self-assured and confident all the time. The old Chinese proverb says that we have 3 faces, the one we show to the world, the one we show to those we love and the one only we see. So how about making the face the world sees the best it can be? And no your true self is very private and all of us have what’s deep inside us but people are drawn like moths to genuineness and sincerity so how about showing elements of each face to the world and be true to all 3 of your faces in the long run.

So in conclusion, do you have the bravery to CAKE it?

Using each and every one of these steps will insure lasting and unapologetic confidence.  So guys and girls, just remember courage isn’t natural and that’s what makes it so hard, others won’t accept you until you learn to accept yourself but you CAN do it, and thirdly remember - walk in those heels, read that pile of books, break the glass ceiling in the professional world and wear that red lipstick. Do whatever you do kill it on a daily basis, and lastly work on your endurance everyday, keep going and your confidence will start to be permanent!  I hope to see more people caking it in day to day life!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the other articles in the #ConfidentMeAandE series and come back again next week for a new one! Thanks so much for reading.

Confident Me A&E

Yours truly, Bbbaking
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...right? Right?! OK so maybe not always.

If you follow me on twitter you might have heard I was pretty sick this week, so you can imagine that getting to completing my #Try20 challenge every day was...well a challenge.

If you've not heard about the #Try20 challenge you can have a read here and get up to speed on things. Don't worry I'll wait...

OK so now we're all on the same page, you'll know that for every week of May I'm adding an extra level to the challenge by trying to theme every run. In week 1 I I chose to #Try20 to work, in week 2 I got snappy with my #Try20 taking photos on my walks about London, and for week 3 I chose to #Try20 in my happy shoes. I'm going to save week 3 for a bonus blog later in the week but first I want to catch us all up on week 2 as I was too sick to blog last weekend.

Don't forget I've also partnered up with Eugenia from runyourmindfree so you can head over to her site to check out the challenges she's chosen to take on every week and see how she got on with them.

Back tracking for now, of my three challenges I've taken so far, Week two's get snappy was definitely my favourite. Sometimes on my walks I can get so lost in my head (not a bad thing either!) that I forgot to really pay attention to my surroundings but having my camera out made me really look around me. I can also see it as a really clever way to get yourself out and walking, because getting out around your town and taking photos can be really fun in itself and you still get all the health benefits of getting outdoors, moving your achy muscles and giving yourself time to mull over thoughts and ideas.

I didn't get much opportunity to take in any extra detours this week, still while taking my usual route to-and-from work, finding somewhere green on my lunch, and my typical weekly errands, I did catch some sights I hadn't noticed before and some real lucky finds along the way. So without further ado here's some of the sights from my walks in #Try20 week 2:

On a quick drop off into Chinatown 
and a walk to my partner's parents house where we stumbled on a vintage market!

Walking through the parks near my house is definitely a new favourite part of my week, and randomly walking past this float right next to Westminster made me chuckle!

This little guy has always stood near my work and I've never never noticed it before!

If you get the chance to get outdoors this week, I would really recommend getting your phone out and having a look around for nice photo ops. One of the bright sides of being so glued to our phones these days is we almost always have a decent camera on us now to capture those wonderful moments or taken that candid shot. I bet you'll spot things you've never noticed before!

In a few days time I'll be catching up with you again to share my #Try20 week three so be sure to check that out and let me know if you get involved to!

Confident Me A & E | Acceptance and Empowerment

Good merry Monday to you all. I hope you're well and looking forward to a new week. I always try to take time during my weekend to reflect on life, my worries and my hopes so I can start every Monday a fresh and ready for a new beginning.

I'm always saying it but Monday's are my absolute favourite day of the week and with the new Confident Me A & E series I've even more excuse to look forward to it. This week however is Mental Health Awareness week and with that in mind we're doing things a little differently. This week we don't have a Guest Blogger as usual but something more like a Guest Non-Fiction Author.

I was recently given the exciting opportunity to read and reflect on a Self-Help book "Loving the Life Less Lived" by Gail Marie Mitchell and as this series is all about Self Acceptance and Empowerment I knew it would make a perfect addition to the series. To catch the first article in the series click here:

5 Steps I use to Improve my Self Esteem

If you stay to the end I also have an exciting announcement so keep reading!

Loving the Life Less Lived is not your usual self-help book. In this in-depth insight into the complex and intricate world of Mental Health and Recovery, Gail shares a deep and personal reflection on her own struggles and journey from the darkest depths of her depression to the present day with tools she's found useful (and those she hasn't) and realistic reflections on the challenges she's faced. She shows an honest attitude and an ability to look in the mirror and not only be proud of her achievements but also have a good old chuckle from time to time.

Gail Mitchell is an Author, an Accountant, and a woman determined to live her life to the full with anxiety, depression and a positive attitude. Here is my response to her book "Loving the Life Less Lived"

When I first began this book I confess it didn't sit quite right with me. Gail and I are clearly two very different people, with different life experiences but we do share one very close connection - we both have an on-going battle with our mental health.

It took me a little while to sink into the book because of our differing perceptions and responses to mental health. Gail found her battle beginning in adulthood, while mine began in childhood, Gail has limited faith in Doctors or Psychologist, while I have a background in Psychology and passionately believe and support it. But what I soon learnt was that we both have a strong desire to live our lives to the full, within whatever capacity that means for each of us individually.

I learnt from reading Gail's story that despite our differences you can learn a great deal from anyone's experience, regardless of path, situation in life or personal battles. Simply knowing that others are going through equally challenging day-to-day struggles is a powerful thing, and if anything it can be even more valuable to read the stories of those who've had a different experiences. I found that in reading an alternative journey to mine, I was empowered to acknowledge my own UNIQUE journey. That journey is mine alone and no judgement or opinion of any other person can take that away from me. That is the most memorable tool I take from this book, and one I believe anyone can take home regardless of your situation, environment or life experience.

Another running theme that rang true in Gail's shared recollections of her journey, was the importance or recognition, compromise and balance. Gail makes no point of ignoring her weaknesses, and in acknowledging them she makes them her strengths. She doesn't claim to be anything more or less than she is and in that recognises the importance of balancing, it trying to push herself to improve her situation without forcing herself to take it too far. She recognises her limits and accepts herself for who she is. An incredible step in any journey through mental health and an invaluable 'tool' in itself to share with her readers. For me that was one of the strongest take home messages I'll be keeping this book and incorporating into my life whenever I'm able to catch myself.

Gail's writing style wasn't always for me, , and her experience may not always be relateable to everyone who reads it, but to some of us it will be, and regardless one thing we can all take from it is that each of our journey's is unique. It is our own, it is individually and it is equally valid. There will be tools we find that work, and those we won't be we are the masters of our own journey and it's in recognising that we can create balance that helps us grow and live life to the full.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to read an alternative take on the self-help genre, and the chance to remind myself that we are all different, and that in itself is a wonderful take home message. I thank Gail for that, and I wish her every success on the rest of her journey, and you on yours.

So now to the big announcement. To kick of the blog tour for "Loving the Life Less Lived" I have the wonderful opportunity to give away a copy of the book to one lucky reader. If you'd like to enter simply follow the instructions in the box below, and of course Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Confident Me Clinic and I hope you'll come back again next week for another article in the series. If you'd like to take part make sure you contact me, and please feel free to share the series on social media with the hashtag #ConfidentMeAandE

Last week I teamed up with Eugenia from runyourmindfree and Living Streets to take on the #Try20 challenge throughout May.

In sum we joined-up to take on the challenge of walking for 20 minutes everyday in May to raise awareness of the health (mental and physical) benefits of walking every day and see first hand the impact in can have on our lives. For full details on the challenge and how you can pledge to join the Living streets campaign check out my first post here.

Eugenia and I are both at very different stages in our fitness journey - Eugenia is currently doing a half marathon every weekend for the next three weeks, and I'm still working on getting my fitness back after a major hip surgery for a chronic health condition - but no matter where you are on your journey we're convinced this challenge can be beneficial for everyone!

In week 1 I took the challenge to #Try20 to work everyday. In hindsight it was not the best week for this challenge but I'll explain why in a moment.

All in all though it was lovely to walk to (or from) work everyday. Getting out of the house to see some of the beautiful parts of London, and take some time to be with my thoughts was an amazing way to start the day. Sometimes I find myself waking up with troubled thoughts but by the time I got myself to work I had a clear mind and was in a really positive place to carry on with my day.

My walk to work is also more like 40 minutes not 20, which at first seemed a bit daunting but the real trick was in leaving the house. Once I was on my way it didn't really matter how long my journey was I could have easily kept going.

It did rain a little on some days but it wasn't bad, so long as you come prepared (I wasn't but I always will be form now on!)

We're only a week in but I'm already loving the challenge. So to tell you what made it a challenge - my terrible timing skills, and just life! Taking on a different mini challenge for week 1 would have probably been a better idea that #Try20 to work. The reality is Monday was a bank holiday, I work part-time (so that only took me to Wednesday) and for the rest of the week I've had to improvise.
On Thursday I walked to my Acting class in the evening and Friday I walked to the cinema. I knew I wouldn't be able to do the challenge 7 days a week so I've been easy on myself this weekend but I still managed to walk on Saturday to a Museum Exhibit (Making Nature: How we see animals at the Wellcome Collection, and the Permanent Exhibitions on Medicine. Both were really great highly recommended!) and today I'll be walking to my partners parents for a roast (totally worth it!)

The main thing I've taken from all this is that once your out of the house 20 minutes is nothing at all! The reality is every one of my walks this week has been well over 20 minutes but once your legs are moving, the rest is easy! I've really been enjoying the guaranteed time outdoors everyday and I can't wait for Week 2.

If you'd like to see how I really got on with my #Try20 challenge in week one you can watch my weekly vlog over on Youtube every Monday.

In Week 2 I've decided I'm going to be taking on the challenge to "Get Snappy". Every day on my walk not only will I be vlogging but I'll also be taking snaps to take advantage of the amazing scenery in London and actually take a moment to stop and enjoy it!

Be sure to check out Eugenia's blog to see how she got on in Week 1 and find out what her next challenge will be!

In my vlogs I'm also including talks on topics around walking, fitness, mindfulness and anything else that comes up during my #Try20, so if there's any topics you'd like to hear let me know and I'll be sure to include them during the week.

So to another week with #Try20 - wish me luck!

Hi guys. Welcome to the very first article in a brand new Guest Blog Series:
Confident Me, A&E | Acceptance & Empowerment

I’ve been working on this series together for some time now and I’m so excited to share with you the thoughts, advice and experience of all these incredible bloggers, influencers and small business owners.
The Confident Me Clinic will be open every Monday with each writer in this series bringing to you different topics, perspectives and ways to reflect on life. 

The aim of the series is to show mutual support for all of us, in finding acceptance in who we are, pride in our accomplishments and the confidence to empower ourselves and each other to strive to reach our goals and improve on our quality of life.
I’m so happy to introduce our very first writer for Confident Me, A&E – Nadine from hellotigerface.
Nadine is a self confessed self-help junkie, living in the East Midlands, sharing on her blog her life, personal experiences and lessons she's learned. Be sure to show her some love on Twitter with the hashtag #ConfidentMeAandE.
So without further ado, it’s over to you Nadine…


In the last couple of years, I've dealt with a breakup, betrayal, loneliness, depression and changes in my household. My self-esteem had hit an all-time low! I felt unworthy, incapable and incompetent. I was unable to communicate with friends, I felt insanely paranoid at my job and I couldn’t date anyone at the time because I was failing to let anyone in. I was completely isolated and it eventually caused me to be more withdrawn and I was no longer going out at weekends and enjoying things that people in their 20s should be doing!
However, I have slowly started to come back to life, draw a line under it and start over and I have done this by sticking to some simple steps. So, without further delay, here are the 5 steps I use to improve my self-esteem:

Keep a journal
I have a notebook for everything – I even write my blog posts down before I type them. It’s highly therapeutic and you can rant, scribble, pour your heart out without reflecting this onto anyone else! I’m really into Morning Pages at the minute which I try and do first thing in the morning. Don’t think just write and don’t worry about how your journal looks. It can be whatever you want it to be! Always on your phone? Try Diaro – that’s how I started.

Be the leading star in your reality show
I love reality TV – it’s my guilty pleasure and every show has a leading star. Like Kim Kardashian – she takes centre stage and that’s what you should do! Letting your emotions run your life will never lead to a positive outcome. Start living and don’t let anything stop you!

I know how it feels being unable to get outside because you feel down and out. However, once you are outside, you start feeling more refreshed. It really helps me think more clearly and plus you’re being more active which is a daily bonus!

Smile more
This can be hard at first but start by watching comedy films or something truly uplifting. For me it was Peter Kay’s Car Share and Bridesmaids! My aim at first was to smile at least 3 times a day. It then increased to 5 and most recently I’m exceeding that every day. Smiling is an easy and free mood enhancer – start using it!

Stop judging yourself… and others
Being negative about certain areas of your life will not help you. I’m always negative about my weight and I judge myself and what I wear daily. I have also (ashamedly) judged others in the past too. Learning to minimise this, will not only bring a positive mindset but will also make you more pleasant to be around.
I hope these tips will help you along the way but just remember, how you feel now is not permanent. If you make some positive changes in your life, you will see positive outcomes. Just takes a little while.

If you’d like to take part in #ConfidentMeAandE be sure to contact me on with your name, blog, socialmedia or small business details, and your idea for a post. I’d love to have you on board!

See you next week for another article from the Confident Me Clinic!
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