twitter facebook instagram bloglovin google plus pinterest

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

As you all know, I've just come back from a holiday in the sun in Ibiza! The holiday had its ups and downs but I sure am glad I got away and had the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and relax. Of course I'll go into more detail about the holiday, but in the meantime, here's a quick photo post showing a snapshot of what we got up to.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Ibiza in photos; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Travel; Ibiza; Ibiza Rocks; Together Week; Together Week Ibiza

Among the days spent lazing by the pool, the boozy nights with Together Week, and a beyond lovely intimate boat ride to end the holiday, I had a lovely time and can't wait to tell you all about it in further detail.

Oh, and in case you can't tell by my many photos, the sunsets were amazing. One even gave me goosebumps...

You can also find me on
Facebook
 | Twitter | Bloglovin | Tumblr | Instagram
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Thursday, 23 June 2016

I struggled to think what books to take away with me on holiday.

I wanted books that were chick lit, lighthearted and romantic, but I also kept an eye out for any zombie ones too. I also didn't want to take too many or anything too heavy because there wouldn't be space in the suitcase and, in the past, I've taken loads of books away with me but never had time to read them all.

So this time around I limited myself to just three.

Here's what I chose.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Books | My Holiday Reads; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog

THE MINIATURIST | JESSIE BURTON
I've actually been trying to read this for a while now, but found I haven't had the time to sit down and read it properly, and so far, it's looking to be something that needs my full distraction and that can't be dipped in and out of easily. It's about an eighteen year old girl named Nella Oortman, who arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to meet her husband Johannes Brandt. Her wedding gift is a cabinet-sized replica of their home, soon to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist. It's supposed to be mysterious with lots of twists and it will be the perfect alternative to my chick-lit reads this week.

ALWAYS WITH LOVE | GIOVANNA FLETCHER
Admittedly, I don't have high hopes for this story. I have read a couple of Giovanna's books - most notably Billy and Me, which is the prequel to this novel, but didn't find myself thoroughly impressed. She can write, that's for sure, but her stories just didn't seem like anything special or didn't particularly move me, nor her style of writing. However, I personally think she's such a lovely and inspiring person and have decided to give her writing another go. Always With Love looks at the distance between average Sophie and rockstar Billy, when he flies out to LA and extends his stay there, meaning Sophie has to come home alone. I'm intrigued, especially as I love any stories with a rockstar in them, so let's see how I feel about it.

THE ONE WE FELL IN LOVE WITH | PAIGE TOON
I absolutely adore Paige Toon's writing, although have found nothing quite lives up to my love of her Johnny Be Good series! I did consider buying the spin off books that relate to Johnny's 'long lost daughter' (for lack of a better explanation) but I read a preview and it didn't really grab me so I thought I'd try this, especially as many people have been praising it online. It tells the story of three very different girls who once fell in love with the same man (not at the same time, I don't think) and I anticipate that this will be the perfect book to get stuck into whilst lounging about by the pool this week.

So that's the three books I'm taking away with me on holiday, here's hoping I get through them all! Although I am very disappointed that Lindsey Kelk has nothing new out right now, as she is the ultimate chick-lit-beach-read writer!

Are there any other books I should have taken with me?

Let me know! 

You can also find me on
Facebook
 | Twitter | Bloglovin | Tumblr | Instagram

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 20 June 2016

This months playlist mixes some good old indie - half of which is lying about in my Shazam tags, the other half I've discovered at the gym of all places - somehow just one song by Jack Garratt, who I can't stop listening to since Lost Village, and some mostly old but still awesome clubbing tunes to get me in the mood for Ibiza.

Which I won't actually need by the time this post goes live as I'll already be in Ibiza.

Haha.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | The June Playlist; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Playlist; Music

Twenty One Pilots are my ULTIMATE FAVOURITES right now, I have been listening to them non-stop (even more than Jack Garrett - sorry Jack) and I just can't stop. Someone stop me. No, don't.

Anyway, do enjoy. I've even thrown in a little bit of Calvin Harris, who is recently single..!


For some reason, at the time of writing this, it keeps saying playlist is empty! I've googled and apparently it's a temporary glitch - but if not, I'm away so cannot do anything about it :( In which case, if you cannot listen to the playlist via this post, click here to see the playlist in a new window.

Sorry it's being such a div. But enjoy, ha!

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, 17 June 2016

On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to head down to the recently refurbished Brache Beefeater in Luton, to get a feel of the restaurant following a huge makeover.

I was beyond excited, first of all because it's so nice to have a blog opportunity close to home and to focus on somewhere so lovely and local - especially with all the bad rep Luton used to get.

Secondly, because everyone I've spoken to has always raved about the Brache and I'd been eager to visit for a while now, following their makeover and to see if the restaurant had improved since the last time I'd been there.

The last (and only, actually) time I'd visited the Brache in Luton had been for a work Christmas meal a few years back, and although it was enjoyable, I wasn't overly impressed. The food was nice, but I remembered the look of the restaurant being quite dark and crowded. So although I did enjoy it, my experience there wasn't really anything to write home about!

So obviously I was really glad to have the opportunity to visit the restaurant following its makeover.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Straight away, I was impressed upon arrival with not only ample parking but such a pretty car park! I know it's not a necessity to have a pretty car park but let's face it, many places just have something basic and not nice to look at. The Brache Beefeater had lots of trees and bushes and it just generally made the building seem a bit approachable.

Inside, I found myself continually impressed. The makeover had given the building a world of good - it's now spacious and bright with a modern bar but very homely seating and deco. It was ever so welcoming and although it was the perfect basis for a family meal, I think some parts were a little romantic, too.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

My Nan immediately mentioned how nice it was that the waiter asked her if she was okay with us sitting upstairs. Although this isn't something that applies to me personally, I do know the plight of there being many stairs/not enough seats for the elderly when out and about. She was over the moon that he bothered to check her ability, even though she was absolutely fine with seating upstairs. It was the small gesture that counted.

Upstairs was perhaps more spacious then downstairs and had beautiful large bay-like windows overlooking the many trees in the car park.

The decor upstairs was lovely too - enough to peak your interest - for example there was a lovely wall piece explaining the different types of chopping knives - but not enough to be over the top.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

The food itself was absolutely delicious. I went for the grilled chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado burger which came with fries and coleslaw and, as I love my mushrooms, I ordered the crispy flat cap mushrooms as a side for the table. It was all so, so good. I had no idea bacon and avocado could work together so well!

I'm also not generally a fan of grilled chicken but I was pleasantly surprised. Even on its own, the chicken had tons of flavour and even a bit of a kick to it.

My brother had the smothered chicken melt and my Nan fish and chips - and both were thoroughly impressed. The portions were very generous too and unfortunately I could not finish all of mine.

I'd definitely say the food was a ten out of ten!

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Foodie Review | The Brache Beefeater, Luton; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; The Brache; The Brache Luton; The Brache Beefeater; Beefeater; Luton

Although we didn't go for a steak personally, we found there was tons of choice on the menu. The steak menu was varied which is good, but we also found there wasn't 'just' steak, obviously, and we had a lot to choose from.

The service from the staff was also what made our visit. From checking my Nan was okay to be seated upstairs to serving us promptly, I couldn't fault them. I also found that they genuinely seemed happy to welcome us - as I know often when being served in a restaurant it can feel like a member of staff is serving you but just going through the motions - but not here. The staff were lovely.

I also have to say there were lots of toilets too! Yes, the restaurant is large but many times I've been to a large restaurant and found not many facilities so this was a bonus. Plus they were kept clean and tidy.

Overall I found my visit to The Brache Beefeater spot on. Often I go to a restaurant and have a great time but tend to have just one or two niggles like having to wait too long for food or the staff seeming a bit off, but I honestly couldn't fault The Beefeater in the slightest.

I'll definitely be going back.

PLUS
For those of you who might want to take my word for it and visit yourselves, I have very kindly been offered an exclusive code for 25% off! That's as good a reason to visit!

If you'd like to take advantage of this generous offer, please note down the code 588114033 and present it upon arrival.

I'd also like to thank the team at The Beefeater for letting me pop down and visit - I'm already looking at the menu online and deciding what I want for my next visit soon!

*Please note, although we were kindly invited along to The Brache and offered a voucher to cover our food bill in exchanged for an honest review, all views are entirely my own and have not been swayed.

You can also find me on
Facebook
 | Twitter | Bloglovin | Tumblr | Instagram
 

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I quite enjoy doing diddy little posts like this.

Although I am conscious not to share my whole life on my blog, as I do feel there is a line, sometimes it's really useful to do a little catch up post especially if I want to recommended a place or  share my thoughts on something and when a full post about each simply isn't possible.

And, of course, we all love a good nosey at a lifestyle post ;)

Here's what I've been up to sort of lately or at least what I've been sharing on Instagram and Snapchat.

Oh, and by the way, you can find me on Instagram at Louise_Joy_!

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Life according to Instagram

Around a month or so ago, I spent the weekend catching up with the girls from H&M. It's rare that we do get together as we're all so busy now (and out of 'the girls' there's only actually two out of around seven of us who are actually still working at H&M) but when we do it's ever so lovely and I find we often have really nice chilled, chic evenings out. The first two pictures are of our food and drink after our evening out in St Albans. The first photo shows a portabello mushroom, halloumi, red pepper hummus burger with a side order of halloumi fries at The Beech House, and it was all ever so yummy (and healthy, too). The delicious looking cocktails in the second photo were taken at The Brickyard, which actually turns out to be that famous bar that went viral for having the 'bad Tinder date' sign in the bathroom.

I really, really loved this bar and found it was right up my street. Not only did it have an extensive list of yummy tasting and sophisticated cocktails, but the bar itself was just lovely with fairy lights, tall wobbly wooden stalls, little curtains you could pull across if you want to drink in peace and a really down to earth team of staff. 

Me and the girls can't wait to go back.

The second two photos were taken on a day out in London with my brother and sister. The first was a cocktail and cake from The House of Time and Wonder, which saw this old townhouse in Spitalfields transformed in a topsy-turvy house to help promote the new Alice in Wonderland film. It was really quirky and fun!

And, the next photo is just of my delicious bacon, pancakes and syrup food at The Breakfast Club. SO GOOD.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Life according to Instagram

These photos speak for themselves, really. A visually pleasing (and visually tasty) lunch at work the other week, my gym kit, as blogged about, a pair of really cute unicorn shoes I just HAD to get from ASOS, and me posing like a loser after I got my hair cut/went a bit blonder. I needed it short for holiday as I can't stand it being long.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Life according to Instagram

Another selfie from me here, but a personal favourite of mine, looking festivally with my pink-tipped hair, glitter under my eyes (style tip - if you're tired at a festival and have bags under your eyes, glitter covers them up excellently), and bubbles at Lost Village Festival.

Followed by a new bed set from Primark which is so cute, a quick lunch when shopping this weekend just gone and a new playsuit I tried on and promptly purchased from Topshop.

I spent way too much money holiday shopping.

Well, that's it and that's what I've been up to lately. I'm off on holiday this Sunday and I'm currently busy scheduling blogposts for while I'm away. In between temporarily moving into my nans, working full time and trying to get everything ready for holiday, this week has flown by so far and I've got my fingers crossed that I managed to get everything sorted blogwise..

Wish me luck and do let me know what you've been up to lately!
 

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 13 June 2016


Recently, I blogged about how me and my bestie prepared for Lost Village, our first ever camping music festival.

I spoke about how I didn't know what to expect, what tent we purchased and what we thought were the necessities for the weekend. Now that the festival has been and gone, however, there are definitely some things I'd like to add.

So, just the same as before, I'd still suggest things like a spacious tent, comfortable sleeping bags and an inflatable mattress. 

But here's some things that we didn't bring and really wished we had.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | The correct way to prepare for a music festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Prep for a music festival; Lifestyle; Travel

A SPARE QUILT
Despite the warm days, it was so, SO bloody cold at night. My first night was horrible and I can still remember shivering, trying to get warm in my sleeping bag whilst my toes were ice cold. We were silly to think that the warm weather would lead to a warm night, and a tent, air mattress and sleeping bags simply didn't cut it.

The second day, we discovered we could leave the site so we made an emergency run to ASDA to purchase spare quilts and some thermal socks, plus some thicker jogging bottoms. This made a world of good by our second night and, up until 4am, I slept through soundly. 

Then I joined my best friend to sleep in the car, as people were being loud and woke me up.

The final night, we both slept in the car also because we're total losers and although the quilts made a big difference, I honestly cannot stand the cold. So therefore in future, I'd without a doubt recommend bringing a thick (the ones we bought were just basic and not so thick) quilt or blanket, even if its in the middle of summer.

As it goes, the festival next year has been pushed back so it will be warmer at the time, but even so, it doesn't hurt to bring something spare just in case. I know camping is all about giving up luxuries and you don't expect to get much sleep at a music festival, but when I could barely feel my toes on the first night, I honestly did worry for my safety (I'm a drama queen, I know).

Plus, we did have barely any sleep thanks to the partying, but when it was time to catch up on those zzz's before more partying the next day, warmth was more than necessary.

NOT SO MANY ACCESSORIES
I packed so many accessories. I barely wore any of them. I do think accessories are important at a festival but I also think there's a line. I packed tons of jewellery and only really wore a bright set of bracelets throughout. Waking up to boiling hot sunshine and being hungover did not put me in the mood for spending ages on my outfit and what accessories to go with it. Hence why I suggest more subtle or long lasting accessories like glitter roots, temporary tattoos etc.

LESS CLOTHES
And on that note...less clothes, too. In my earlier post, I did say about choosing one outfit per day and throwing in a couple of spares but I'm an idiot who doesn't listen to myself let alone anyone else, so I just threw anything festival-like into my suitcase. This was fine - everything 'went' so to speak, and I didn't feel at a loss of what to wear, but I did pack way, way too much. In future, I will definitely stick to my earlier plan of one outfit per day and some spare things just in case like denim shorts, a playsuit and a jumper. So yeah, as many people suggest, before you go, lay out what you're planning to take and then half it all. And check the weather beforehand.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | The correct way to prepare for a music festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Prep for a music festival; Lifestyle; Travel

LOCK UP YOUR STUFF
We were wise enough to keep our valuables locked in the car, but we did hear of some people who had things stolen from their tent. It's not something you expect to happen at a music festival but, likewise, just because you're 'on holiday' or celebrating, you should still have your wits about you.

DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH
Finally, don't worry too much. Anything you forget to pack, you can get there, or borrow from other campers. We camped next to a generous couple of guys who had stuff for a BBQ, so cooked us breakfast one morning, sold us a spare bottle of vodka and generally looked after us. It's easy to get frazzled when you forget something, but your life isn't going to end just because you don't have your favourite tasty pink lemonade or your pair of sandals that go with everything.

Oh, and don't bring anything too dressy either. I brought a gorgeous dress and a matching pair of chunky heeled sandals which I'd bought specifically for the festival from ASOS and did not wear them once. Heels have NO place at a festival (I know, I should know that) and my dress actually ended up being worn by some drunken guy who thought it would be funny to try it on, seeing it hanging up in the back of the car.

So, yeah.

Festivals are all about relaxing. So, my advice, from my first ever music festival, would be to do just that. Don't overpack, stay safe, keep warm (!) and relax. No one cares about what you look like and you shouldn't either.

Have I missed off any other advice? Let me know!

You can also find me on
 

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, 10 June 2016


Exactly one week today will be my last day at work before holiday. I'll be giddy with excitement, looking forward to catching up on sleep on the Saturday and packing and getting ready for our flight to Ibiza on the Sunday.

There's not really much left to buy, except maybe a few bits and bobs, but nothing that is really necessary. All that's left to do is sort out the insurance, change up our money and pack!

Oh, and I need to get a bikini...

I'll be taking a quick lap around the shops tomorrow to see if anything catches my eye but in the meantime, I've been having a mooch online. Here's what I'm wishing for, if I had the money to spend!
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Fashion | Holiday Shop Wishlist; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Holiday; Shop; Wishlist

First up is this gorgeous dress from the Topshop sale, via lovethesales. It's a little dressy, but I think this would be perfect one evening in Ibiza for when we go out to dinner. It's just that glam enough for that type of holiday, and I can totally see myself wearing this on the final night if we decide to go out for a nice meal before we fly back.

Second is this gorgeous girly playsuit with pastel colours and from New Look. It just makes me think of being on a beach back in the day as I think it has a very vintage feel to it - and the shape of it makes it a tad feminine and flirty too. I can just imagine wearing this with a chunky pair of sandles and I know just the ones that will go...

There's also this cute skirt from the Ted Baker sale and also via lovethesales, which also has a bit of a vintage feel to it. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and I think it's very much a statement piece - I'd wear this with a simple white vest top and a pair of sandles. It'll be the perfect skirt to wear to transform my outfit from day to night and I'd likely only have to change my shoes and add a few accessories to go from lunch/dinner onto a night out.


Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Fashion | Holiday Shop Wishlist; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Holiday; Shop; Wishlist

Even though I'll be looking for bikinis tomorrow, I do have my eye on a couple of swimsuits and this one from H&M has definitely caught my eye. It's kind of flirty, but still more covered up than a bikini. I imagine the shape and design of the suit is ideal for ladies with smaller chests, as the ruffle detail will likely cause the illusion that there's more there! The colours are really sweet too, as well as bright.

Sometimes, a beach bag is a must because I simply can't stand sand getting everywhere. This super cute one from Accessorize is simple but cute and I love the pom poms - I love that they're more 'winter' colours too, but work well in summer also. It's a good size too and will likely fit a towel and some basic bits and bobs in there very easily.

Finally, another H&M gem, just a simple pastel top which I think will be quite versatile. I think this is another piece that can easily be styled from day to night - I'd probably wear it with denim shorts or white shorts in the day with sandles or flip flops, and swap the shoes for a pair of chunky heels in the evening. Plus, the design is really sweet, meaning accessories aren't even necessary. Perfect.

So there's six things I'm so very tempted to splurge my money on for my fast approaching holiday, and I'm more than aware that all the shops mentioned above will be within walking distance of me tomorrow. I must not buy it all, though...

What do you think? Do you have a holiday wish list? Let me know!

You can also find me on
  

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

As I've mentioned before, these days, festivals are more then just about the music.

The line up is still important, but now people flock to festivals for other reasons too - the food, the atmosphere, the activities on offer...and the fashion. 

A big part of festivals, especially the quirky ones, is the fashion and the accessories. People put a lot of thought into accessories in particular, as there can often be days when you simply don't have the motivation to dress super stylish or do anything but throw on something quickly. 

Accessories can easily make or break an outfit however, and in 2016, the biggest trends in festival fashion tends to be just these exactly.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | 2016 Festival Trends; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Festival Fashion; Festival Accessories; Festival Trends

NAIL TATTOOS

Nail tattoos - as well as funky nail designs, as always - are quite popular at the moment, too. Alongside metallic tattoos, nail tattoos are an add on and can even be extended to your fingers. They look best with plain nails to avoid being 'too much'. I bought a kit from TK Maxx for Lost Village which I didn't actually use in the end, but will keep for Ibiza instead. I can't comment on how fiddly they might be, but I do know they look great and would be the perfect add on to any plain nails this summer.

FLORAL HEADBANDS
Floral headbands are still a popular trend this summer, but this year it seems to have toned down a little. Gone are the oversized rose buds and large flowers and instead many girls are wearing much simpler designs, which also makes designing your own easier, too. I got a fab simple one with (fake) white flowers in a 'festival kit' for just £10 from Rockit's stall at Lost Village (the kit also included an iPhone case, sunglasses, jewellery and other festival related accessories - such a bargain) and loved it so much that I've worn it a few times since - and not just to festivals. So more subtle and more versatile floral headbands are more in this summer, as is hair jewellery like gold leaf headbands. The only thing with this is the jewellery doesn't really work as well if you have a fringe, so if you've got bangs, I'd recommend sticking to a floral headband or a metallic parting (similar to glitter roots, but is essentially a metallic tattoo for your roots/parting instead).

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | 2016 Festival Trends; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Festival Fashion; Festival Accessories; Festival Trends
 [Source]

METALLIC TATTOOS 
Metallic tattoos are another big trend right now because they're so versatile and can look really professional for a fraction of the price. They all come in really funky designs too, and are great for festivals. They're ideal, as well, for really hot days when you just can't be bothered to accessorize or layer on lots of accessories.

However one top tip would be - if you're going to apply a metallic tattoo that goes all the way around your wrist, ankle or neck - do this in advance. These can be a bit more tricky than the other ones, especially getting them straight, so I wouldn't recommend doing these half tipsy in a tent like we did. I looked like I'd been strangled, so it wasn't the best look... 


Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | 2016 Festival Trends; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Festival Fashion; Festival Accessories; Festival Trends
 Please excuse my greasy roots, but as you can see, the glitter covered them up fairly well!

GLITTER ROOTS
Glitter roots are a huge trend at the moment, having become most popular earlier this year. Glitter roots look great with bold, coloured hair or if your hair is a pastel pink etc. But it also looks great with regular hair and it works so well at festivals because it really covers up any greasy roots or anything like that. At Lost Village, we noticed a lot of people had glitter roots along with space buns, which was really the trend that started it all. Glitter roots are super easy to do as well, but a lot of festivals (especially the smaller independent ones) are offering services for this type of thing this summer, so if you don't have anything sorted, don't panic and run around trying to buy glitter last minute like we did!

Even though many festivals encourage fancy dress, a few well placed accessories can either be a more subtle take on the festival look, or can blow other people's outfits out of the water.

What do you think? Will you be following any festival trends this summer? Let me know with a comment!

You can also find me on
 
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 6 June 2016

As of the moment I type this, my beautiful big sister is one week and three days overdue. I've been texting her almost daily in capitals with the words HURRY UP BUBBA, both eager and anxious to meet my first niece.

The last time I felt this kind of eager and anxious was when I was planning my sister's baby shower, and if you know my sister then you know why.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Throwing a low-key baby shower; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lifestyle; Baby Shower

My sister is so effortlessly cool. She's stylish and sophisticated and I look up to her every single day, whether that's thinking about what to wear in the morning, choosing a healthier lunch over some junk food or simply spending my lunchtimes being generally all round more adult (blogging, online food shopping, writing) instead of just wasting my lunch break.

However, my sister is not the type of person who wanted a corny baby shower. She did not want any games, she did not want a big 'do' and she most definitely did not want the game 'guess the baby poo' (aka mushed up chocolate in a nappy) at her shower. Trust me, I tried. I very nearly almost did so just to see her reaction, but I learnt my lesson when she wasn't amused at the Facebook invite that started with 'my sister has gone and got herself knocked up.'

So how did I go about putting together a baby shower that wasn't very traditional, was very classy, was fun and pleased both my sister AND my nan?

Spoiler alert - despite it being my sister's baby shower, we were more concerned about my nan's reaction. She doesn't believe in baby showers. Honest. The amount of times I had to hear 'I don't believe in em' in her overly Cornish accent in the weeks leading up to it almost made me uninvite her.

But anyway. Here's how it was done.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Throwing a low-key baby shower; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lifestyle; Baby Shower

THE VENUE
Home was an option, as was afternoon tea, but the big sister wanted something laid back and we also had to keep in mind what other people would be willing to pay, plus not everybody likes afternoon tea. So we chose The Hide, a really classy bar/lounge in Ampthill that just oozes that sophisticated chic vibe. We've been there before for lunch and aim to return for cocktails one evening too, but in the mean time, it was the perfect fit for the shower.

We had the upstairs to ourselves which revealed a cluster of comfortable armchairs and twinkling fairy lights - so it was all laid back as opposed to what afternoon tea would be sat up at a table etc. 

As for food, we ordered one giant cake so everyone could have some, and then all attendees had the option of ordering lunch on top of that if they wished. 

So we managed to go out and get a nice venue/room but still didn't requite anyone to pay if they didn't want to by providing cake too.

THE ACTIVITIES
I laid out a few small activities for people to partake in if they wanted to - and luckily they did - but there were no 'organized' activities as such. I ordered a couple of prints so guests could guess the sex, and another one which had the baby's surname printed on it and a cute little poem, with Winnie the Pooh holding onto some string. Guests then used their thumb prints to make multicoloured balloons, and this was then framed. I thought this was a nice idea to go into the baby's room.

We also have an old Polaroid camera lying around at home so I purchased some non-tacky props off the internet - some represented 'guess the gender' and others were just funny phrases or things like milk bottles and stuff. This went down a storm and people enjoyed posing, as well as the fact that they could take photos away with them.

I also picked up some cute advice cards and a scrapbook and used this to place said advice cards into. I thought the scrapbook could be kept for baby related milestones and things like that, and everyone enjoyed filling it in too.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Throwing a low-key baby shower; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lifestyle; Baby Shower

THE DECORATIONS
The venue was ever so pretty so I didn't bother much with decorations, except for some pastel coloured tassel hangings from TK Maxx, I'd definitely recommend TK Maxx for this type of stuff - lately they have a lot of wedding party decorations but most of it can be used for any event really! I also found a tutorial online on how to make a personalized mason jar and although this didn't go as well as I hoped, it was fine for the day. I stuck a photo of me, my sister and my mum in there and my sister brought a candle, so we had a little area representing what I hoped was mum looking over us. I thought this was a nice idea to have her 'there' in some sense and to remember her on the day.

ETSY
Finally, Etsy was a god send when it came to the 'little things' or the finishing touches, if you will. The Winnie the Pooh frame I bought off etsy, and I also purchased a super cute 'mum to be' floral pin for my sister to wear on the day. She was over the moon with it and it was just an example of something that wasn't necessary, but was lovely all the same.


So that's it, really. That's how I threw a non-traditional baby shower that also kept the key elements of the shower (celebrating the soon-to-be-birth of a new member of the family!) and made my sister happy. She loved it - and so did everyone else. But at the end of the day it was just about having family and friends come together - the setting, the food and everything else didn't matter, as long as everyone was there.

You can also find me on




 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, 3 June 2016

This weekend just gone, I was lucky enough to attend Lost Village up in Lincolnshire on behalf of Invicta Magazine. You can read my full professional review here (and what I thought about the music etc) but here's a quick glance of what I personally got up to over the weekend. 

As well as listening and dancing to cool music, having AMAZING street food courtesy of The Cheese Truck and Spit and Roast, who served the best buttermilk fried chicken burgers I have ever tasted in my whole entire life, my time spent at Lost Village involved of:
  • Becoming one at nature and participating in meditation on the forest floor with a lady who was meant to look scary but still managed to look ever so beautiful
  • Stumbling across the characters of Lost Village telling a story through the medium of dance and disco balls late at night, as other festival-goers raved at the abandoned chapel only a couple of minutes
  • Getting buried alive (or at least lying in a grave and having dirt poured over me before I screamed and ran away) when I sold my soul to the devil - by accident, may I hasten to add.
  • Getting 'married' to my friends in a special friendship ceremony which may sound corny but was actually a rather fitting way to end the weekend, being 'bound' with my new friends I'd made during the crazy experience of the festival
  • Being officially welcomed into the Lost Village tribe by a special lake initiation ceremony
In short...the whole festival was artistic, immersive, offbeat, bonkers...and amazing.

But why don't I just show you?!

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village FestivalFormidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Lifestyle | Lost Village Festival; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Lost Village; Lost Village Festival

I could go into more detail, but I won't. The whole point of Lost Village is to discover everything on your own terms, and lost I did get...

In short, it was pretty damn amazing and I'd undoubtedly recommend it to everyone. It was just the right size too, so there was no trouble, no massive lines (except for the Illamasqua tent *cry) and somewhat clean portaloos.

I hope you'll all join me for next years tribe!

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING
blogger template