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Thursday, 29 September 2016

I'm not going to lie - for me online dating is a godsend.

I can be notoriously shy when I meet people for the first time, and find I often need to have a drink in my hand (and some dutch courage) before I can approach a guy to talk to him.

Tinder, Plenty Off Fish..sites like that help a hell of a lot. They remove the stuttering and mindblanks I sometimes get when I talk to a guy, and allow me time to think of a decent response and think of what to say. They allow me to show my best side, both personality wise and physical, and although I always try to use photos that best represent me, it removes that slight self-conscious side I my mind sometimes taps into on a night out when I see girls prettier then me.

But I also have a love/hate relationship with online dating and find it's a vicious circle to find myself in. 

Sometimes I'll use it to scroll through endlessly when I'm bored and after some attention as, deep down, I really hope/believe that if I were to meet someone or the one, it wouldn't be online. 

I'm a hopeless romantic you see.


Don't get me wrong, I've met many a great guys on Tinder and the like, but I can't help but feel if I were ever to get married, I wouldn't want to explain mine and my future husbands meet-cute moment to be that we met online.

So then I decide to take a break from online dating for a bit - a week or so - to get myself out there more, properly.

But, for what?

Me and my friends go out to a bar or to eat and everyone is on their phones. No one has proper conversations anymore and I can bet that half the people in any establishment in any given time is already flirting or swiping away on Tinder/POF/OK Cupid/Badoo/etc/etc/every other bloody online dating website out there.

So what's a girl to do? Give up and give in and accept that this is how dating is done now? Or take a break?

In the long run, I don't bloody know.

But short term, I know that I'm feeling exhausted with online dating. Not that I'm some online hussy or anything, but I just feel like it's been so long since I've been 110% single.

Of course I don't count talking to people online as not being single, but for the purpose of this post, when I say I'm giving up dating, I mean I'm giving up the opposite sex entirely for a while/for a month.

I can't remember the last time I wasn't seeing/talking to/flirting with/snapchatting/dating someone. At any given time of day, I - like pretty much every other girl - have a conversation going, whether that's on POF, or arranging a date etc. 

And I'm getting fast fed up of having to participate in the same boring conversations over and over about what I do, where I live etc.

I'm also fed up of receiving unsolicited dick pics too.

really don't understand the point of them. How do guys expect us to react upon receiving them?

Do they expect us to reply 'whoa, I'm so impressed that I'm going to set this as my phone background and drop everything RIGHT NOW and come see you so you can have your wicked way with me?!'

But I digress.

I want - I need a break and so I'm going to take one.

For the next 31 days (at least, maybe even longer) I am giving up online dating and all that comes with it. This means deleting Tinder and the like, and no more flirting. It means no more taking part in casual conversation when a f*ckboy decides to pop up again, and definitely no dates.

It sounds easy, but I know it's going to have its challenges.


I don't think I'm going to find it hard not using apps like Tinder or flirting, but I do think I'm going to struggle when people I've liked/may currently like might pop up and initiate conversation - I'm going to find it hard not to give in to it.

I also think I'll struggle during those times like Sunday afternoons or Thursday evenings, when people are busy and I have no one to talk to, really. It's these times that boredom kicks in and I find myself swiping on Tinder or flirting with someone - nearly always out of boredom, and more often than not, because I like the attention.

Everyone likes attention and if I go for a few days without it, that's usually when I tend to succumb back to the weird and wonderful world of online dating.

A friend recently shared this article with me, and it really hit home.

Although I would like a relationship, until I meet what I feel is the right person, I am guilty, like everyone else, of agreeing to nearly every part of this article. I'm happy to flirt aimlessly on Tinder when I'm bored, and I'll even go as far to complain about the many conversations that go on and on and on without an end result in sight and without a guy actually wanting to meet in person.

But nine times out of ten, unless we're really getting along, there's still a big percent of guys that I have no intention of dating either. I'm happy to chat and flirt and for it to not go anywhere and quite frankly I'm fed up of it.

The article states:

"We “talk” and we text, we Snapchat and we sext. We hangout and we happy hour, we go to coffee and grab a beer – anything to avoid an actual date. We private message to meet up, we small talk for an hour only to return home and small talk via text. We forgo any chance of achieving real connection by mutually playing games with no winner. Competing for “Most Detached”, “Biggest Apathetic Attitude”, and “Best at Being Emotionally Unavailable”, what we end up actually winning is “Most Likely to Be Alone”."

- and this is just one of many parts of the article that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Here are my rules:

- no dating apps or websites. I have already deleted POF and Tinder
- no real life dating/flirting
- no sex (eek!)
- no flirting with f*ckboys or previous interests. This is going to be tough, because it's hard to differentiate between flirting and just talking. If an old flame pops up (which they often do when I least expect it), I'm either going to have to not reply or tell them outright that I'm on a no-dating challenge. Of course, this could lead to some awkward conversations, especially if they insist they just wanted to say hello.
- and, obviously, no falling in love ;)

So here goes my 31 (hopefully 31 plus!) days of giving up on dating and the opposite sex altogether - and yes, I will be blogging about it.

I'm hoping I can last until Christmas, which is of course the worst time to give up on the opposite sex, but for now I'm setting myself a challenge for the month of October and then we'll see how I get on.

I start on the 1st, of course.

Wish me luck and I'll see you on the other side..

You can also find me on

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

When people think of cocktails, they tend to consider them as summer drinks. Long, warm evenings sipping a mojito is possibly one of the best things about summer. However, when the sun goes down, the rum seems to get hidden away. In fact, winter is the best time for a cocktail! Especially if you get the right one. This cocktail recipe roundup is filled with warming, festive cocktails perfect for those colder nights. 

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Food & Drink | Cocktails


You can’t put together a list of winter cocktails without including an Irish Coffee. If you want to make it even more seasonal then add a little bit of spice in there too! This is a really warming cocktail, that will give you a boost of energy when the winter nights draw in. What’s not to love? You’ll need coffee, sugar and whiskey to make this one. Just stir them all together and add some whipped cream on top, with a little bit of cinnamon for the perfect cocktail. 

Yet another perfect winter cocktail. It just makes you think of Christmas markets and woolly gloves, right?! This mulled wine is something you can make in the slow cooker and leave all day, to get some incredible flavours coming through. If you don’t have time (and want to cheat) you can also get mulled wine spices in the supermarkets. Put them in a pan with some wine - and a dash of rum - then leave to simmer before serving. 

This thick and creamy cocktail has a little bit of spice, and a whole load of chocolate. If you’re looking for something that’s just like a warming chocolate milkshake then this is your cocktail! The nutmeg gives it a nice Christmassy feel and the brandy will certainly warm you up as it gets colder. Oh, and it’s got cream in it, so what’s not to love?! 

Like it or not, it’s definitely getting closer to Christmas. If you want something a little bit unusual to serve to your guests then try this Candy Cane infused vodka. It’s really easy to make and can be bottled up to give as guests too. Not keen on candy canes? You have to try Werther's Original infused vodka instead; it’s creamy and delicious! 

Who said that rum has to be reserved for summer mojitos on the beach? This pumpkin and pineapple spiced rum cocktail brings together a little bit of autumn and a little bit of summer. What could be better than that? It also has a pinch of cinnamon in it, to spice things up a little. This is one cocktail you won’t be able to put down.  

These are just a few of my favourite winter cocktails, although there are plenty more! Which drinks are you planning on rustling up, to keep you warm as the nights draw in? Let me know!

*Please note this is a collaborative post

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

I promise this is my last post related to Reading Festival! I thought it would be fitting to end my posts about the music festival with a playlist, especially since my last post was all to do with the new artists and music I discovered at the festival in August.

So I've put together a playlist of all the best songs I feel my favourite artists played over the weekend. Except for Biffy Clyro, who I really wanted to see but didn't have the chance to. I don't think Animal Style was actually played during their set - in fact, I'm not sure it was even out then - but I love it so I had to include it.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Reading | Reading Festival | Music Festival | New Music

And yes, the playlist is supposed to look messy and ripped on purpose - it's part of the effect! 

Listening to songs such as Words Don't Come So Easily by Lower Than Atlantis, Alone Together by Fall Out Boy and Holding On To You by Twenty One Pilots were definitely the highlights of my weekend.

Words Don't Come So Easily is one song that I listened to a few times on the drive there and fell in love with it immediately, so discovering this band and this song for the first time then seeing them perform it live was great!

Alone Together has always been a favourite song of mine by Fall Out Boy - it's just one of those songs that require you to sing your heart out. It's such a heartfelt but upbeat song, and seeing them perform this on the main stage to thousands of people was amazing.

And of course every damn song performed by Twenty One Pilots was such a great experience for me. Holding On To You is a massive favourite of mine, it's just so lovely and fun to sing along to, but I didn't know if they'd perform it or not. Because I'd never seen them live or had any idea about their set lists, I had no idea what songs they would and wouldn't play. I've not really been sure of their biggest hits over here either, so it was a pleasant surprise when they sung this, especially as it's not been released as a single.



And I'd really recommend checking out The Wholls, VANT, Rocky Nti and VEXXES, as suggested in my previous post.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, 25 September 2016


When I make the effort to leave my phone alone and really concentrate, I actually really enjoy a good documentary and in recent years, they've become more and more popular.

Shows like Making a Murderer and Louis Theroux documentaries have almost drawn a new crowd to the world of documentaries. Years and years ago, a documentary to me would be the type of thing my nan would watch late at night - usually an hour special about a gory unsolved murder from years ago, but nowadays people will even watch documentaries instead of movies during those Netflix and chill dates.

Here are some documentaries I believe are worth a watch and that are quite easy to follow, too. Because I do believe some documentaries can be a bit overwhelming and can throw too much at you, especially if you have a short attention span - which is perhaps why I have yet to get past the third episode of Making a Murderer!

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | TV | Documentaries

MADNESS IN THE FAST LANE
I've blogged my praise for this hour long special before, and even now I'll recommend it to friends. It's all about two female twins who run into oncoming traffic along the motorway and moments later, are up and walking as if nothing happened. When the police arrive, they try to run again, even hitting an officer with brutal force and running again into oncoming traffic - if I remember rightly. The fact that one gets run over by a truck and is absolutely fine afterwards - and so afraid of police that she runs into oncoming traffic again - is probably the least weird thing of the documentary. It's super interesting and filled with twists.

THE CASE OF: JONBENET RAMSEY 
You've probably heard a lot about this case what with the documentary recently airing and although I have yet to watch it, I've heard good things about it. The documentary is all about the unsolved murder of six year old JonBenét who was found murdered in the family homes basement. There are loads of really curious parts of the case that are looked into in this documentary, such as the fact that the house and basement was searched thoroughly before the body was found during a second search of the basement, and telling 911 calls. I actually only really heard about JonBenét for the first time a few months ago when I discovered a bizarre conspiracy theory that her death was actually faked and she grew up to become Katy Perry.  The whole case is kind of disturbing, and it's really sad that it's never been solved, nor has the family got any justice for the loss of their child. 

THE REAL AMITYVILLE HORROR 
I've watched a few documentaries based on the Amityville murders and ghost stories over the years (and read about the subject vastly) but this is one of my favourite documentaries. I find the whole legend fascinating - the murders and the ghost stories that followed them, plus the spooky ghost photo of the little boy. I haven't watched this documentary in a good few years but I always remember it to be good and think I'll be watching it again over Halloween this year.

THE IMPOSTER
I saw this in the cinema a few years back and didn't really understand it until I watched it a second time once home. If you haven't seen it, I'm not going to give a lot away, but it revolves around a family who seemingly accept the return of their child that had gone missing years earlier. Despite the fact that there are obvious changes, such as his eyes being a different colour, the family welcome him regardless. Of course all is not as it seems, and this documentary will keep you thinking until the very end.

LOOSE CHANGE
There's actually so many 9/11 conspiracy theory documentaries floating around the internet that it's hard to choose just one - or even find the time to watch many - but this is one I particularly remember being fascinated by. Now, I'm going to find this hard to explain as I understand that 9/11 is a very sensitive subject and we'll probably never know the truth, but I am also adamant that there is so much we don't know about what really happened that day, and this documentary really helps you understand that. There's so many questions that need answered, like why a news reporter suggested a third tower (the 7th tower) collapsing before it was showing any signs of collapse and how the towers fell in such a way that it looked like it was due to demolition. Of course, 9/11 is one of the biggest conspiracy theories and after watching this documentary, you'll likely find yourself falling down a deep, dark hole of theories, but I do think it's worth watching even just to open your mind a little bit. 

All of these documentaries can be found online and on YouTube (and I believe that The Imposter can also be found on Netflix) now - apart from The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey as it's only just aired but will likely be online soon. 

I think it's important to delve into documentaries now and then, even the conspiracy theories because even if you don't believe them, it's important to open your mind and question things now and then. 

Why not watch one with friends and see what their thoughts are? 

Are there any documentaries you can recommend? Let me know!

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Friday, 23 September 2016

It's been an scary few days for me - in terms of movies, anyway.

On Wednesday night, my friends and I went to see the new Blair Witch film, which was petrifying in it's own.

Then, on yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Train to Busan, the highly anticipated South Korean horror movie.

I couldn't wait to see it, especially it's a zombie flick too.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Movies | Movie Review | Train to Busan | Zombies | Zomie Flick | Gong Yoo | Ma Dong-seok | Jung Yu-mi | Kim Su-an

The general premise is that the zombie apocalypse is upon us and the film focuses mainly on the character of Seok-Woo, and his young daughter, Su-an. The two don't have the best relationship - Seok-Woo is divorced from Su-an's mother, and he often works long hours, missing out on pivotal times in his daughter's life.

When Su-an insists on going to see her mother in Busan, Seok-Woo eventually gives in and goes with her. But even during their journey to the train station, it's obvious that something is going on. Although they don't know what yet, and even though we as the audience know it's clearly zombies, the anticipation is already building.

Train to Busan to me was like Snakes on a Plane meets World War Z.

It's a dramatic roller coaster of emotions over the course of two hours and I spent an hour and a half of that time on the edge of my seat, occasionally jumping and sometimes shouting at the characters. 

The action just did not stop. Every time we thought a character was safe, at least for a while, we barely had a moment before another challenge made itself known and we were suddenly subject to that tension once more.

But, the action didn't seem like too much, either. The whole film was fast paced and exciting, but there were some heart-to-heart moments and some witty one-liners to break it up.

We were lucky enough to have a few minutes here and there for our heart rates to return to normal, but overall the whole film was action packed from start to finish.

It certainly wasn't boring.

It was realistic in a way that had me kind of scared to get the train to go home afterwards. The idea of zombies on a train (like snakes on a plane!) works so well because there really is no escape. 

We've all learned from horror movies that when a zombie approaches you have two choices; fight or run, but on a train there is nowhere to run to!

What's interesting as well is that the zombies were fast, and there were a few elements these zombies showcased that other zombies didn't.

It seems fast zombies is just the norm these days.

And these zombies were genuinely scary!

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Movies | Movie Review | Train to Busan | Zombies | Zomie Flick | Gong Yoo | Ma Dong-seok | Jung Yu-mi | Kim Su-an

What I loved about the movie as well was that it had a lot of heart and there were plenty of messages to learn, too. It very much touched upon the subject of whether you'd put yourself or someone else first in danger, or in a life-or-death situation.

It seems so easy to say you would sacrifice yourself for someone or to help someone else, but of course things are a lot different when zombies are involved. Sacrificing yourself means essentially getting turned into a zombie and helping spread the virus further.

There's also the point of the main characters - Seok-Woo and Su-an. Seok-Woo would do anything for his daughter - but is sacrificing other people for her safety right or wrong?

It's a tough one, and this film definitely left me thinking.

I must also point out that Kim Su-an who played Su-an was an amazing actress - despite being just ten years old! She was one of the best actresses in the entire movie and I was thoroughly impressed by her.

In conclusion, Train to Busan is without a doubt one of the best horror movies from 2016. The action does not stop and you will spend the whole time on the edge of your seat, silently cheering on each character. 

It has actually been a very long time since a film has had that kind of effect on me and I would recommend that if you're looking for a good movie to see for Halloween, it should be this one.

Train to Busan will be released in the UK on the 28th of October - just in time for Halloween.

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