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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I haven't done a wishlist post in so long!

I recently discovered this Wish app via a weird Facebook advert; I kept seeing an advertisement of those weird feet booties (that shed dead skin) and other odd body treatments and I don't know why. Still, out of curiousity I clicked onto it as I actually do kind of want the feet booties and then I discovered how cheap everything on the app was!

At first I was wary, everything seemed too cheap and too good to be true. But I read through the reviews and figured it wouldn't hurt to buy one or two things just to see if it's legit and check out the quality as it was so cheap. I ordered a sweet black crop top to wear beneath some of my wife beater tops and although it took a while to arrive (as most things would from another country), it was great quality! 

The only issue was that one of the straps was a little loose but this can easily be fixed.

Anyway. Since then, I've been adding items to my wishlists left, right and centre! Here's what I've been eyeing up...

HOMEWARE

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Wednesday Wishlist | Wishlist | Wish App | Shopping | Bargain

ONE | I am loving these cute chic laundry baskets. I'll be honest, I've been keeping an eye out for one for my boyfriend as he doesn't have one currently, so I think the 'home' one would be ideal.

TWO | These cushions! Oh my god. There's so many beautiful cushion covers on this app and I really like these. The problem is to not have too many clashing, but most of these are quite subtle and versatile colours. I particularly like the pineapple one.

THREE | I really love the boho vibe of tapestries; especially when they're hung on the wall as a statement piece. There's a few from this collection but I particularly like this colourful elephant one. Although I wouldn't hang it above my bed, I'd probably instead hang it on one plain wall or in a reading nook.

FOUR | I'll actually be purchasing these soon as I love the idea behind hanging bags on the wall and the more you get, the better they look together. They're small, but perfect for 'bits and bobs'. I'm going to buy a couple to hang at my boyfriends to keep some of my own stuff in; as I'm getting sick of lugging a huge bag of clothes, toiletries and makeup every time I go to his to stay for a couple of days. I constantly joke about how I'm slyly moving in bit by bit without him realizing..!

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES 

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Wednesday Wishlist | Wishlist | Wish App | Shopping | Bargain

ONE | How stunning is this bikini?! I love the colours and the fact that it's a little bit different whilst still being relatively classy. Most swimwear on the high street this year offers cut out parts, lots of gems etc and it's just too much for me, so this more laid back but still pretty two piece is what I've got my eye on for my summer holiday in August.

TWO | How gorgeous do these matte lipglosses look? I still haven't taken the plunge and splurged on any MAC lipsticks yet, so I'm going to give these a go first, as they look beautiful. I've just put my order in for the deep purple one.

THREE | I know, the idea of these booties sound disgusting but they have become a huge trend this year. It's not even that I want baby soft feet - I hate my feet so I don't care - but I'm sick and love peeling off dead skin #sorrynotsorry. The only thing is, the process is rumoured to take so long that I'd have to avoid leaving the house for a whole week...it would be worth it though..right?

FOUR | And finally, this uber cool watch. I don't really wear watches to tell the time, only to accessorise, ha! And this would look really sweet on my wrist.

I actually found it so hard to narrow everything down for this post as there's so much I want, I've actually had to take a step back and stop using it for a few days because I'm adding so much to my wishlist to buy and talking myself into it because it's just so cheap. The homeware gadgets, in particular, are AWESOME. There's even a thing that collects food in the sink so you don't have to touch manky wet food, rejoice!

Although this post isn't a collaboration of any kind and I did genuinely want to share this super cool app with you, I will note that if anyone does want to sign up, you can use my code to get 50% off your first order! (And the discounts don't stop there, there's promotions such as free items where you just pay shipping, items made even cheaper if you buy them within a set time and the more you use the app the more discount you get!).

So if you'd like to use the app yourself and get 50% off, you can use the code htprwlq. I do also get 50% off is someone uses it but if you know me, you'll know I love sharing a good bargain or wishlist anyway, so you'll know that I haven't written this post for that specific reason. You can also find my profile here, where you can see the wishlists I've created & find all the items mentioned above.

What do you think? Do you think you'll treat yourself to anything off Wish? Let me know with a comment!

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Monday, 19 June 2017

It's been a while since I've done a book review so I thought it was time for another. I picked up I See You by Claire Mackintosh (and another book, Miss You, which I'll also pop a review up for) recently at WHSmith, as I realized it had been ages since I'd bought a new book.

It was also not the type of book I'd normally read, as usually I'm set in my ways with chick lit books or zombie novels, so this thrilling psychological thriller was new to me.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Book Review | Books | I See You | Claire Mackintosh | Thriller | Mystery

The blurb reads -

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you're going.
You're not alone...

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She take it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different women, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is it someone keeping track of every move they make...

The first thing that attracted me to this book was how local the story was set; it's based all around a women's usual commute around London - and often on the tube - which is something I'm used to doing myself. The story actually brought up some interesting points about how we never really pay attention when on our regular commute and how easy it is for someone to be watching us or to steal from us.

I thought by reading a story based around something I know of would give it an interesting twist and it did. It definitely felt just that bit more gripping to me to know that anything that was happening in the book could happen to me - the whole premise behind what was happening was entirely realistic.

This story was gripping and I couldn't put the book down once I got past the first few chapters. The first few chapters were setting the story and focused on different crimes that were related, which meant that for a while there were a lot of different characters and names to remember. This got a little confusing, so I was pleased when the story faltered out of this to focus on the main characters.

The story also kept me guessing until the very end - this wasn't a book where I could guess the ending nor who was behind it all which is always a good thing. Throughout the book there were tiny parts that were added to pad out the story that didn't really make sense at the time - although looking back now and thinking about it more, I can see where each little thing slotted in - smart!

The characters were likeable and I especially loved the fact that the main women of the hour were such strong characters. A lot of the story was based around men preying on unsuspecting women, but to read the main characters as being such headstrong women was refreshing.

Finally, the ending. I liked the ending and liked that it tied up all ends nicely. I did find some of it a little unrealistic, but it all made sense and I think had it ended any other way I would have finished the book feeling disappointed and let down.

All in all, it was a really interesting and gripping read for my first thriller novel - I'll certainly be reading this type of genre a lot more often.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Book Review | Books | I See You | Claire Mackintosh | Thriller | Mystery

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

I'm finally coming to the end of my Trek America trip posts, with this post summing up my last two days on the trip. You can read all the others here, and I still have a couple more posts about Mexico in general to pop up, but in the meantime, read on...

Tulum was next on the agenda. On the way to our final hotel, we stopped briefly to explore the coastal ruins. Although these were pretty, I didn't enjoy exploring these in particular for a few different reasons. For me, I was far too worried about my money situation and couldn't concentrate enough to enjoy the beauty.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour | Tulum | Playa Del Carmen

I also felt that although the ruins were beautiful, they didn't hold a candle to any of the more vast and impressive ruins we'd seen throughout the week. I think perhaps if we had started with these ruins and built up to the others, we would have appreciated them even more. I also think with it nearing the end of the tour, we'd seen so many ruins that we just weren't as blown away as we should be.

I do wish we'd taken the time to appreciate them more though as they were really beautiful. 

Driving around Playa Del Carmen however was a lot of fun. I almost fell in love with the place with each and every turn and wish we'd had more time there - it was filled with so many beautiful restaurants and different places. When I do one day return to Mexico, I think I'll stay in Playa Del Carmen and take my own time to explore.

Our final hotel for the night was beautiful as usual, with a small pool on the ground floor and a tiny one (which unfortunately wasn't working) on the roof. But, the roof area was stunning, with hammocks and lots of comfy seating and cushions. Once we checked in (and grabbed a quick lunch in a pirate/burger themed restaurant in central Playa Del Carmen), we headed to the roof once more for pre-drinks.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour | Tulum | Playa Del Carmen

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour | Tulum | Playa Del Carmen
Yes, I had this whole bed to myself *heart eyes*

This seemed to be a routine we settled into during our journeys and it was one of my favourite parts, having laid back conversations and drinks in lovely areas of hotels, especially as it was always warm enough. 

That night we went to Coco Bongo! 

I wasn't actually going to go to Coco Bongo originally - to me, it just sounded like a big nightclub which isn't really my thing and I knew it would be expensive, so with my money worries, I didn't think it would be worth it.

But as our whole group was going and it was our last proper night out, I gave in and I'm really glad I did. It was so much fun.

If you don't know, Coco Bongo is kind of like a giant nightclub meets a West End show - there's varied performances like a Freddie Mercury Impersonator and a fight between Spider-Man and The Green Goblin whilst they fly through the air, but it's much more than that with singers, dancers and gymnastics. What's even better is that you don't sit in your seat to watch it - you get up and dance along, you get covered in so much confetti and we even ended up dancing on our seats and partying for a good few hours afterwards.

It is expensive, but for a big night out, it's worth it. I'd definitely recommend getting a table as you're really part of the action that way. Between us it wasn't too bad and Delai found a deal so we got VIP entry with welcome drinks, free drinks all night, waiter service etc. It was such a great night and probably the most drunk I got throughout the trip but boy was it worth it.

It was the perfect end to the perfect trip.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour | Tulum | Playa Del Carmen

The following morning we took our hungover asses to the beach to chill out and eventually start our final drive back to Cancun, where we checked into the same hotel we started with on the trip and said goodbye to one another.

It was kind of emotional, I'm not going to lie. The whole week had been so much fun and even slightly challenging, but it was more than worth it and I wouldn't have changed any of it for the world (except the money thing, but that was out of my hands). 

When I stepped into my room alone, I was sad and felt like I was ready to go home now that the trip was over. However, there was more in store for me so I took a long shower and grabbed an early night, ready for the final part of my Mexican adventure.

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If you're considering booking a tour with TrekAmerica after reading my experiences on my Mexican BLT adventure, you can visit their website to see the variety of tours on offer.

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

I thought it would be nice to do a more personal post today or a post 'about me' as I haven't done one in a while now! I spotted this tag on I'm Just A Girl's blog, although the tag was originally created here.

I haven't actually been tagged to take part - so I won't be tagging anyone - but it's always fun to answer a quiz, no? I used to be addicted to the Myspace quizzes...

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Personal | The Tell Me More Tag

WHAT'S YOUR REAL REASON FOR BLOGGING?Well I actually first started blogging as a way to have something to coincide with my dissertation at university, which was to create a print magazine. But I'd been reading blogs for a while before that and considering starting one; I was just too scared I guess because I didn't think I had it in me. Now, my main reason for blogging is, well, I'm not sure really. Currently, I feel like I do it more for me than anyone else; I enjoy writing and growing my blog, but of course I want people to read my content too.

BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
There are a few things. The community, how helpful it is to write and get your feelings out and just having something to look back over, to see all your memories from the past few years etc. I also enjoy the opportunities I get and the fact that I have something to call my own.

WORST THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
I'd definitely say the pressure. It's so easy to compare your blog to others and feel like it's not good enough. I can't tell you how many times I've read news about a big blogger and wondered what the point of my own blog is. But, I enjoy it and I do it for me.

PROUDEST MOMENT SO FAR?
My relaunch at the start of 2016 and realizing I'd been running a blog for five years at that point. It's crazy that I've kept it up all that time, despite setbacks such as irregular posting, running out of content ideas and not being entirely successful. 

WHAT ARE YOUR ULTIMATE BLOGGING GOALS? DON'T BE SHY!
Haha. It's hard to specify really, as obviously I'd like to be more successful but how can you define success? I'd love to be a bigger blogger so that I can grow my audience and work on more opportunities, but I wouldn't want to be on the level of Zoella fame. I'd love to be the first blogger to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, haha! I'd also like to publish my own book but not related to my blog, if that makes sense.

IF YOU RELEASED A BOOK, WHAT GENRE WOULD IT BE?

IF YOU RELEASED PRODUCTS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? HOMEWARE, BEAUTY, OR SOMETHING UNEXPECTED?
Hmm, maybe homeware? I'm really into homeware lately but I don't think I'd be very good at designing it.

WHAT WOULD YOU NAME THE PRODUCTS AND WHY?
No idea. I'm terrible with names. I'd probably team up with my sister and release products with her and make her come up with the name, haha.

WHAT HAS BLOGGING TAUGHT YOU?
To concentrate on yourself/your own blog - focusing on others is rarely ever a good thing, unless it just helps challenge you and inspire you. It's taught me about both the good and bad side of the internet and I've learned tons of skills related to HTML, social media, SEO etc, as well as working with brands.

SUM UP YOUR BLOG IN THREE WORDS?
Edgy (sometimes!) I hope - I like to believe I focus on different posts sometimes. Honest, and down to earth. Yes, I'm aware that down to earth is actually three words, but you get my point..

So there we go. The 'Tell Me More Tag', all about my blog! If you'd like to take part yourself, please do leave me a comment so I can come read!

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In life, it's important to push yourself to step out of your comfort zone sometimes. 

It's great for your confidence, it can reduce stress and will leave you feeling better all round. I've always been a firm believer in taking risks and trying new things; it keeps life exciting and can be a nice change if you're stuck in a rut, which can often happen in life.

However, many people think of stepping out of a comfort zone as doing something crazy like going travelling or trying bungee jumping - which can be so scary! Of course, things like this are beneficial, but sometimes it's a better idea to start of small too - especially as not all of us have the time, money or resources to do something extreme.

Therefore, if you're feeling like you're in a bit of a rut and need to change it up a bit, here are some small ways you can step out of your comfort zone.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Lifestyle | Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone | Taking A Risk

TRY A NEW LOOK 
Buy a bold lipstick you wouldn't try normally, get a haircut or even colour your hair temporarily to achieve an instant confidence boost. You can use apps like the L'Oreal hairstyle app for a small physical change which will make a lot of difference; you'll more than likely find yourself standing up straighter and continuing the change by experimenting more in future or trying out some new styles of clothes and people will see the changes too so will likely compliment you on them. 

WIN MONEY ONLINE
If you love games like me, why not try a bit of light gambling? Of course I'm not promoting dropping your life savings, but logging on to play a bit of online card games or playing at an online casino can be a lot of fun. Online casino games, for example, can give you that thrill as you hope to win but of course there's also the possibility of an outcome where you can win some extra cash too!

DATE SOMEONE DIFFERENT
Forget any types you might have and go on a date with someone you might not usually - whether that's by going on a blind date arranged by a friend or taking the plunge and replying to that message on your online dating profile. Back when I was online dating and using apps like Tinder, I tried to go on dates with people who weren't my type at all or who even didn't peak my interest at first - and I actually ended up having such a good time with these people. You never know what'll come out with it = a friend, someone you can network with or even a relationship in the long run.

VISIT SOMEWHERE NEW ON YOUR NEXT ROAD TRIP
If you have the travel bug like me but can't necessarily afford to fly abroad and go travelling, it's important to remember that even if you just travel to a new town in the UK, it's still considered as travelling! First, research nearby towns online or just see where is cheap to get to by train or coach. I'm still determined to travel to Cambridge and Canterbury for a day trip, which are both less than a two hour drive away and can be super cheap. The benefits of travelling to somewhere new are endless.

TRY NEW FOOD (OR A NEW CUISINE) WITH YOUR NEXT TAKEAWAY
Okay, this doesn't sound like a massive step out of your comfort zone, but it totally can be, especially if you're a fussy eater or often always eat the same thing. I guess even trying a spicier curry can be a step out of your comfort zone, or trying a new restaurant. The main benefit of this is tasty food of course, and if you do end up liking a new cuisine, you have tons of new dishes to try in future.

These five steps might be small but they're so beneficial, as trying something new always is. It's just important to remember that it doesn't always have to be a big change and that you can always achieve the same effect with something small - good luck! 

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