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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Yesterday marked one full week in Romania and we've already packed quite a bit into this short amount of time, despite the fact that we've not even started on our road trip yet! In fact, I don't even know where to start when summing up my time in Romania so far.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov

Last Wednesday we touched down in Bucharest and took the coach to my boyfriend's hometown of Onesti. Here, we were greeted with both smiling and emotional faces as Vincent was reunited with his family for the first time in around a year; and I was touched that they welcomed me with open arms too.

Our first few days were busy - we had lots planned but luckily his family were also up to visiting some of the touristy places too which was great as it meant we've been able to spend tons of time with them. On our first full day in Romania, we packed up a picnic and drove to a beautiful spot just out of town for a relaxing afternoon enjoying the sunshine and gorging on delicious food. And my god, the views were beautiful. I honestly felt like we were in somewhere like Canada instead. I had no idea that Romania is a place filled with such beautiful countryside - I get blown away more and more each day.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania

The following day we took a trip to Brasov and Bran. Brasov is a really quaint town which is often seen on Pinterest due to it's gorgeous architecture and colourful buildings. Here, there's lots of outdoor eating spots, hidden gems tucked away and accessible via alleyways, a beautiful and large courtyard with a fountain and the famous Black Church (amongst other things). We spent the morning strolling around Brasov and visiting the Black Church, which is named aptly so due to an arson attack which saw the church survive but it's walls turned black.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov |

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov | The Black Church

Next up was Bran, which is a classic fairytale town. Unfortunately it was really, really busy so we couldn't get many photos, but we took the time to explore Bran Castle which is also known as Dracula's Castle. I enjoyed this tons as the views from the castle were beautiful but both my boyfriend and I admitted it was far too overcrowded - still, it was worth it.

I've already decided I'd love to come back in winter and view the castle covered in snow.

TIP - If you're into horror/being scared out of your wits like me, there's a really cool 'horror house' on the way up to the castle that you can visit. It's only short but it's a lot of fun!

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

After a packed few days, we took it easy for the rest of the week. We headed to the local pool and then spent the remainder of our time with family and exploring the neighbourhood. I was really happy we had the chance to do this because obviously it's fun to see all the pretty tourist attractions, but I also wanted to see where my boyfriend grew up and feel less like a tourist. We ate at local restaurants, visited bars and went food shopping - a LOT. I soon learned that Vincent's family loves to shop and that on any given day can visit at least six different establishments/supermarkets to get everything they need - yes, we counted. But hey, I ain't judging!

I've had so much fun so far and I've also been overwhelmed with just how welcoming and lovely Vincent's family is - I think it's definitely going to be emotional leaving. But technically we're only halfway through our holiday as today we head off onto our big Romanian road trip...

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Are you sick of blogging in front of the TV, or even from your bed? Here are some of the best ways to create an inspiring blogger workspace in your home.

As a blogger, you can probably be found hunched over your laptop at the kitchen table most days, or maybe you have to work from a coffee shop as you can’t concentrate sitting on the sofa. If so, then it’s time to set up your own blogger workspace! It’s so important to have a creative and inspiring space you can dedicate to blogging and escape the distractions of home.

Not everyone has the luxury of an office at home, but if you have an occasional guest room think about using it to create an inspiring blogger workspace as a multipurpose room. Pinterest has so many great ideas on creating a home office which doubles up as a guest room (this also gives you the option of a sneaky work-time nap!).

Even if you live in a studio flat, you can be creative with your workspace. Find a corner and some wall space – it’s all about how you zone your room with clear boundaries between work and home.

If you want a long-term solution, look at installing a garden studio. This way you can really separate home life and work life. With so many options available at different budgets it might be more achievable than you imagine – and let’s face it, a garden office is the absolute dream! 

If you’re a blogger, it’s probably fair to say you’re a creative person. Décor is so important when it comes to putting together a space that’s going to encourage your creativity and inspire you. Whatever your budget, you can create a workspace you love. 

Candles, cushions and decorative throws can make it an inviting space that you want to work from. Fill it with motivational wall art, a pin board so you can create mood boards, fresh flowers and little trinkets – all of the things that make you happy! Treat yourself to some fancy stationery so you can be practical and stylish at the same time. Pinterest really is your best friend with ideas for every kind of blogger work area.

The downfall of anyone who works at home – clutter! Invest in good storage solutions that hide your paperwork and keep your desk looking tidy. This doesn’t have to be a boring corporate filing cabinet; think outside the box and look at more attractive storage solutions, go vintage or see what you can find on eBay and upcycle. The space you work in should match your personality and fit well with your home décor.

It’s easy to get carried away with making your workspace look pretty, don’t forget this is somewhere you might be working a full day, so make sure you are going to be comfortable. 

That cute vintage kitchen chair might look great on Instagram, but you can’t sit in it all day. If this is a full time job for you, find a chair that supports you and make sure your workstation is set up correctly. 

Think practically about what you do on a daily basis - do you photograph? Do you need an area for flat lays? Do you need natural light? Do you vlog? Plan your space around your needs, not the other way round. 

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Hellooo August, haven't you been a long time coming? I hope we get some nice sunshine this month; but nice hot weather, not humid weather please.

The Mist is finally coming to Netflix. I watched the trailer for this a while back and have been looking forward to it ever since. The show is based, of course, on Stephen King's book of the same name. I have no idea what it's about - except an eerie mist - but somehow they have made it look so freakin' scary! I'll definitely be binging all ten episodes in one go when I get the chance.
The Mist will be available on Netflix on the 25th.

I do enjoy the DC movies but I've never been a massive fan. That said, I really like the sound of Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1). I'm not entirely sure how it fits into the DC universe or whether or not it's just a fictional story about Wonder Woman in general but it does sound really cool. I wasn't even aware DC were releasing any DC Icons books, so maybe this will help me become more of a fan.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) will be released on the 29th.

Yes it's been out a while now but I'm still desperate to see Baby Driver. I love how it combines driving/action and music and that it's obviously going to have a kick-ass soundtrack. In short, it's about getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) who must listen to music when driving to help distract from the ringing in his ears. I watched the opening scene online and that boy has some serious driving tricks. I need to see it ASAP.
Baby Driver is out now.

I am so excited for this event - and so is everyone else, it seems (I've seen it covered on and The Debrief!). I like food festivals, but I don't like that often you have to pay for entry and then pay for food once inside. BUT NOT THIS ONE.  Livin’ on the Veg is actually more like a foodie battle of the stands (like battle of the bands, but with food stands/companies), where a £30 ticket covers a meal from EACH STAND and a drink so that you can vote for the best/tastiest. And it's allllll vegan. Providing we're not too tired from holiday, the boyfriend and I will be making a trip down; but be quick, as tickets are selling out fast.
Livin' on the Veg takes place on the 18th and 19th.

I'm off on holiday tomorrow! I'm off to spend just over two weeks with my lovely boyfriend in his home country of Romania, so things will be quiet on the blogging front. I've scheduled one or two posts and may find time to blog whilst I'm away but, as a whole, BRB, I'm going on an adventure..

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Monday, 31 July 2017

I watch/read/stumble upon so much random stuff online which ends up absolutely fascinating me, making me nearly wee my pants with laughter or squeal inaudible noises as I forward cute teacup pig videos to my boyfriend. Honestly. Facebook used to be filled with people's most boring status's until I unfollowed them and now I thankfully end up discovering some pretty cool stuff on the social networking site.

And therefore, to share such stuff with you all, I actually thought ahead for once and began to bookmark/save links as I went along this month. Check me out!

Here's some cool stuff I've been loving this July.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | July Favourites

The other day I got the chance to geek out with my boyfriend as we watched this interesting Youtube video that goes deeper into the world of the Cloverfield films. We'd been discussing the film the previous day and as he watches a lot of film theory videos that I end up loving, we searched for one about Cloverfield and lo and behold, found this. I love Cloverfield as you all know and have always been fascinated by the fact that you can take the film as it is or delve further into the history of the monster and where it came from. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the movie. I was wrong. From characters with huge backstories - that don't even appear in the movie but are related to it's history - to whole other companies with accessible websites - it's all covered in this nifty little video that sums up the weird and wonderful world created by the amazing J.J. Abrams.

I'm not going to lie, it's taken me a bloody long time to get into Game of Thrones. I'm only really doing it properly now so me and my boyfriend can watch the new series together and I'm only up to the first episode of the second season. God help me. Anyway, I found this cool map which is really useful for getting my head around it all (I think next I need a family tree as I'm always getting characters mixed up), even if it does have a few tiny spoilers. 

Another one from Cosmo! Continuing on from last months post which focused a little on Instagram (stories), I am loving this Instagram-famous experiment on Cosmo. I'm actually super digging their challenges lately. This one was a fun but tongue-in-cheek read, although the results were not what I expected. Everyone believes a super stylish Instagram theme is the way forward, but this article proved that authenticity trumps everything else. Which is cool, y'know.

I don't know a lot about graffiti, but I do know this street art in New York is pretty damn awesome.

Finally, I decided not to do any music festivals this year to save money and boy am I regretting it. Therefore I bookmarked this post by Red Bull for future reference and it just goes to show that you don't need to drop £200+ on a weekend camping ticket to enjoy a decent music festival. All of these look pretty cool and most of them look really Instagram worthy too.

So there you have it: just a few things I've really loved this month - how about you?!

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Friday, 28 July 2017

I picked up this book a couple months ago after seeing it recommended in a magazine for fans of One Day. I really love romance books that take into account fate or almost-meeting moments, so I was really excited to start reading this story. The cover is really sweet too; it's basic but drew me in.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Book Review | Miss You | Miss You by Kate Eberlen | Kate Eberlen

The blurb on the back reads -

Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven't met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence – and, for one day, the paths of these two eighteen-year-olds will criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and chance, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?

This book was an interesting read, following the characters of Gus and Tess over the span of sixteen years. What I found most interesting was that they actually sort of meet at the beginning of the book, so already it's not a case that they haven't met properly yet. Still, this made it kind of romantic and I loved the overall idea that they (spoiler alert) came together years and years later with a lifetime apart. 

The whole story is filled with what-if's and too-close moments which had me re-reading over and over again. Some chances where they almost met didn't even register to me at first, so I'll likely be giving this book another read. It's bittersweet in a way; they're destined to be together and almost meet by fate so many times, but still manage to spend so long apart. It almost makes you wish they met/got together sooner so they would have had all those years together.

The characters of Gus and Tess were really likeable and relatable and I really loved that even Gus's character had tons of depth. A lot of the time in romance novels, the male lead isn't focused on as much, even when stories are in the same One Day style as this one, so that was refreshing. Although some of both Tess's and Gus's actions and decisions were questionable, the whole story overall was realistic and had a lot of lessons behind it.

I was sad there wasn't more story of them together, so essentially this is a story about each of their lives as opposed to a love story. The story actually reminded me a lot of Love, Rosie too - and of course, One Day - but to sum up, I'd probably say Miss You is just that more favourable to me than Love, Rosie, but not quite up there with One Day. The story definitely moved me though and I found myself in tears on a number of occasions, especially when reading the storyline regarding Tess and her mother's illness. 

So to conclude, the only negatives to this book are that I'd have liked to have read more about the romance between Tess and Gus - or at least their lives after they finally got together - and the fact that though this story was extremely well written, as a whole it has been done before and isn't too dissimilar to books such as One Day and Love, Rosie.

But Miss You is really moving and heartwarming overall and will definitely make you believe in fate if you don't already.

I'm excited to read Miss You once more, as I feel there are a few more 'almost moments' to be picked up on. Overall I'd recommend this story for anyone looking for a romance summer read that has just that bit more depth than your average chick-lit story.

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