twitter facebook instagram bloglovin google plus pinterest

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Oh yes, the Mexican BLT tour related posts aren't over yet!

I've spoken a lot about what I got up to on my trek around Mexico with Trek America back in April, but I haven't yet spoken about my feelings about the tour overall and the company that hosted the tour. Although, spoiler alert, my thoughts are generally pretty damn positive.

I'd wanted to book onto a Trek America tour for years and years before I finally took the plunge and it left me feeling like everyone should take one of their tours at least once in their life. They're all so varied and provide such amazing opportunities that it's hard to decide which one to choose.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour |

The first thing to be aware of is that the tours can be pricey - as it's obviously not your average holiday - but for what the tour actually includes, the price is really fair. Of course it does add up when you add on your flight and spending money, but I personally felt the price was worth it for such an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, there's always lots of sale's taking place on the site and last minute offers with up to 25% off so there's definitely ways to save further.

One argument against the tour is that it could be cheaper if you did the same tour on your own terms/without the company. I'm not so sure. Obviously you pay for a tour guide and the help, knowledge and experience they provide cannot be achieved if you were to do a tour alone/without Trek America. Booking the flights, accommodation and trips etc alone could be around about the same price but only if you're an expert and know what you're doing. 

For example, now I feel confident that I could head back to Mexico cheaper and do similar things than what I did on the tour - but simply because I have that knowledge of the hidden gem's and top tips from already doing the tour if that makes sense.

The people I was on the tour with were great. Obviously the tours are designed for a younger audience, but Trek America are really good at making sure you're travelling with like minded people. I got on with everyone as there was a real mix of people and although I had no issues with anyone, I do feel confident in the fact that any issues would have been dealt with in a great manner by the company.

Our tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and knew tons of hidden gems like great places to eat and such. At points, he seemed a little less enthusiastic about the tour than we would have liked, which we felt was odd as when you first begin a tour with six other people you don't really know, you want a guide who is pumped and enthusiastic about the day ahead. We also noticed that once or twice he failed/forgot to mention a couple of extra excursions we could have booked onto and when it came to the nocturnal jungle tour for example, he seemed very disorganised to the point that those who took part had to push it back to the following evening. 

He did however offer up a lot of knowledge on new places and answered our questions in detail. He was friendly and often felt like part of the group as opposed to just a leader/guide and seemed to genuinely enjoy most of the tour. He was much better than what I was expecting, which was someone similar to a club rep or something. Overall, Delai was great, bar a few points that could probably be improved on with time.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Trek America | Trek America Mexican BLT Tour |

The actual activities themselves on the tour were great and so varied. We did jungle trek's, boat rides, beach days and visited many ruins. It was the perfect way to see all different areas of Mexico and really feel at home in a country as opposed to a tourist. I felt what the tour did involve was well worth the money.

My only qualm - which I've noticed other people have expressed too - is that there was more downtime than expected. I personally enjoyed the downtime we had throughout the tour, as it was spread out and well deserved, but come the last couple of days of the tour, I felt like we were on our own. Our guide was still on hand to take us to dinner, but our last two days really just consisted of beach days and we weren't given any guides to what else there was to do in each place or any extra activities we could have booked onto. It was nice to have downtime at the end, but perhaps not that much as overall it really felt like we'd paid for a nine day tour that actually only seemed to last seven or so days.

It wasn't a huge issue, but as I'd arranged to stay on a few more days for my own downtime, this time felt a little wasted. I think perhaps the tour could be shorter or a tad cheaper to avoid paying money for two days just spent on the beach or doing our own thing.

Overall though, I haven't been able to stop recommending the tour to everyone I know. Despite one or two small negatives, I had the time of my life and enjoyed the tour from start to finish. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I'll never forget and has only really left me feeling like I want to book even more trips with Trek America!

The price was worth it, the people were great and the week was jam-packed, offering us a real authentic glimpse into Mexican life. What more could a girl ask for on an adventure around Mexico?

You can also find me on

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.

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 17 July 2017

Ah, the festival season. The yearly ritual of donning our wellies, packing as many Pot Noodles as possible into backpacks and checking we have every type of waterproof clothing, is already in full swing and so far it’s been memorable.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

We’ve seen Ed Sheeran woo the crowds on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, Aerosmith make their final UK appearance at Download and Rod Stewart charm everyone at the Isle of Wight Festival. We’re not even half way through the season, so we can still expect to see some fantastic performances by some of the biggest names in music too!

So, what is it exactly that we love about festivals? Here are our top five reasons why the festival season is our favourite (who needs Autumn and Winter anyway?).


Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

The weather is probably one of the most dreaded things about festivals. The lack of showers and sleep?
Not a problem. But the risk of downpours dampening the mood? Not ok. But despite the risk of the odd shower, the weather is one of the most memorable aspects of our festival experiences. Of course wellies are a must, as well as any waterproof garment you can think of. Those foot-deep mud pathways? Not a problem when you’re armed with your trusty pair of wellington boots and waterproof poncho.

We always like to check the weather as far in advance as possible, and if you’re heading to V Festival this year, it’s been estimated that there could be a 39% chance of rain, so make sure to pack those rain ponchos and wellies!


Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

Festivals are actually perfect for getting some vitamin D (on the proviso that the weather is on our side!) and taking in the clean, fresh air. You might not be able to get a peaceful night’s sleep when camping, but there is no better medicine to life’s worries than watching the sunset, surrounded by fresh air and friends.


Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

When else could you have the opportunity to wear a sequin catsuit?! Dressing for festivals has always been the perfect opportunity to wear the outfits that you would normally never dare venture out in. Sequins, feathers and glitter are the common staples of festival get-ups, which are all ideal for allowing us to channel our inner diva!

The makeup is just as important as the clothes, and glitter and neon face paint is always a winner. Festivals are the perfect excuse to rock bold eyeliner, bright lipstick and delicate stick on gems.


Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

It’s fairly obvious that festivals are playgrounds for the rich and famous, with some of the biggest names in music adoring the many stages during the festival season. It’s not just on stage where the celebrities are flocking, but you could be in with a chance to spot the odd celeb rocking within the crowds.

At Reading Festival, they have had their fair share stars attending the festival over the years, including actress Emma Thompson, Game of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke and Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, to name a few.


Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Music Festivals | Guest Blog

Festivals are an amazing experience and one that we aren’t quick to forget. Even after the mud has washed away, the glitter has disappeared from our faces and we’ve caught up on our sleep, we’re still remembering the fun times we had, the friends we made and the bands we saw live. Taking lots of photos, either on your phone, using a Polaroid camera or buying a cheap disposable camera for that ‘old skool’ vibe, can really help keep the memories alive.

And with that being said, let’s pack our festival gear!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Food is the way to a girl's heart and one of the favourite things my boyfriend and I like to do is discover hidden gems of restaurants and cafes. Being that he is entirely vegan, we often have to think out of the box when it comes to visiting a new place. Of course, we know of a lot of restaurants that offer vegan options, but it's always a rarity to find an actual vegan restaurant.

Therefore, we were super happy to stumble across Faringo's restaurant during our time in Blackpool recently. It was one of those ones where we weren't quite sure to begin with - it's not a chain, so we weren't 100% sure it was still open, and it was right next to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and looked like it was tucked away down an alley on the map.

Still, I know that sometimes the best places are found in the most weird and oddball locations, so we persevered and were ecstatic when we stepped inside the warm and inviting restaurant. The menu really was entirely vegan and it was extremely varied too, with vegan pizza, pasta and curry on offer - and even a vegan roast dinner!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Food | Faringo's | Faringo's Vegan Restaurant | Vegan | Blackpool

We were spoilt for choice but as we tried to decide, we took time to speak to the owner. He explained that Faringo's was the first entirely vegan restaurant in Blackpool and had only converted to fully vegan a week prior. The idea came to him when he was asked to put together vegan options for breakfast in the hotel and, despite not being vegan himself, he decided to venture into going entirely vegan.

The result was Faringo's and what a result. The thing is, being that he wasn't vegan himself and that it was the only vegan restaurant in Blackpool, we weren't sure what we expected. Of course we expected the food to be nice, but a lot of places don't know a lot about vegan food so cook with the wrong oils or offer real basic food = this wasn't the issue here.

The owner knew exactly what he was doing and we spent much of our conversation sharing tips. The food was beyond delicious too and full of flavour - let's just say there was no avocado on toast on the menu; only delicious filling food.

The first night, we gorged on cheesy garlic bread and garlic mushrooms for starters, whereas for a main Vincent went for a pizza and I opted for pasta. I loved the unique take on garlic mushrooms and the owner explained that people are always surprised to see their meal served up, having become used to mushrooms covered in breadcrumbs. Instead, the mushroom arrived in a tasty garlic sauce.

I couldn't say much about my boyfriend's pizza as it was a little too spicy for me, but the pasta was delicious and filling.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Food | Faringo's | Faringo's Vegan Restauraunt | Vegan | Blackpool

As usual, my photos suck so I just have the one. It was kind of dark inside the restaurant but in a lovely way, with lots of pretty fairy lights. It gave it a real homely and romantic feel.

The food was so delicious that we returned for a second night, this time having garlic bread and pate for starters and both choosing a pizza for main. Much like the previous night, it was all delicious.

All in all, it's clear to see that Faringo's is going to do well. Not just because it's the first vegan restaurant in Blackpool but because the food is actually amazing and the staff are ever so lovely. Eating in the restaurant sold the whole place to us and now we're set on staying there upon our next return to Blackpool.

I'm so glad we found this hidden gem and would definitely recommend a visit to Faringo's if you're ever in Blackpool.

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Sunday, 9 July 2017

So although I still have a few more travel/lifestyle related posts regarding my time in Blackpool, when going through my planned posts for this month, I realised I still had some content to post about Mexico!

Though I've come to the end of my posts talking all about what I got up to on Trek America's Mexican BLT tour, as many of you know, I actually stayed on a few days after the tour. The reason for this was so that I still had a little experience of travelling/being in a new place/country alone, and also because I really wanted to visit Xcaret Park.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Xcaret Park was actually one of the first things that sold me on Mexico and it was the reason why I first thought about staying on after the tour. I'd hoped to round up some buddies from the hostel I was staying in to come with me, but unfortunately this did not happen because a lot of them had been in Mexico a while and already done that and the weather actually rained quite a bit for many of the days I was there. I had to play it by ear, and so when we finally got a somewhat nice day, most people already had plans (to head to the beach no doubt!).

I was super nervous but I persevered. I think the worst part was getting there; I was to be picked up at the hostel and taken to the park but being the only one going from my hostel, I was really worried they'd forget about me, I wouldn't understand where to meet back at the coach afterwards etc. It was actually all fine though, but I did worry at one point when we stopped in what seemed like an abandoned (or maybe it just hadn't opened yet as it was early in the morning) small shopping mall to collect our tickets, and then be split into groups to change coach. Of course I was separated from everyone else because it's just my luck but it made sense as Xcaret actually has a bunch of other parks which I think are under the same management.

Anyway. We were on our way and soon arrived and a lovely man who spoke really good English explained everything to me; what my wristband involved, where to meet afterwards, what time and who to look out for and to remember sunscreen - all that type of thing. He also gave me some recommendations on how to explore the park as I was just there for the day and there was so much to see and do.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

I was so sad I didn't have time to do everything, but what I did manage to pack in made it an amazing day overall. I swam two of the underground rivers, which are essentially both underground and open air rivers that run around the park. They're entirely natural and are a fun way to see the different nature. Some of the caves had bats in them! And one of the rivers runs through the re-constructed Mayan village too. These rivers were so much fun and so smart; basically you start at one end and give the staff your bag with all your items in it; they give you a necklace with a key on and when you get out of the river at the other end (each swim can take up to an hour or more), your bag has been transported there with all your stuff, ready to dry off.

Another favourite part was visiting the Mexican cemetery and seeing all the bright and beautiful graves. I really love the tradition of the graves representing the personalities of those lost. Unfortunately the weather was rainy for a few hours so the photos I did get simply do not show the colours justice. Beneath was a beautiful temple/religious area.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

I also managed to walk around the Mayan village and the rest of the park in awe as even without taking part in any of the attractions, there's so much to see and do. The park is also home to many animals (including flamingos and jaguars!). I also took a ride on the scenic tower to see the park and the surrounding nature from high up, and took a very relaxing ride on the paradise river boat. It had literally just stopped raining so I was the only one on there, but it was so beautiful.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Mexico | Xcaret | Xcaret Park | Cancun

Finally, as the day drew to a close, everyone headed to the main arena for the much anticipated Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, a show which is made up of performances of Mexico's history, legends and festivities. More than 300 actors take part with original costumes and the set design is amazing - this show is definitely one to see and you'd be mad to miss it. At the end, when everyone stood up to give a standing ovation, I even felt a little emotional!

After, it was time to head back. By the time I arrived back at my hostel I'd been gone for over twelve hours and I was exhausted but happy. Xcaret Park is unlike anything I've ever done before. It's been described as a sort of Mexican Disneyworld and I have to agree with that as it's just so amazing. Though pricey, it's well worth it, especially as there's something for everyone. If you're looking to go however, do ask around as you'll get entry cheaper elsewhere. I went through my hostel and my ticket price included transport there and back and a meal/unlimited buffet, plus access to a VIP guest area (which I think was just more changing rooms).

I already want to go back and I also want to visit some of the other parks. However, I'm glad I chose Xcaret as the other parks are more varied - one is adrenaline focused, one is nature focused and includes tons of water sports etc. Xcaret had a bit of everything which I loved.

If you are ever in Mexico, do not miss your opportunity to visit Xcaret. It will be something you'll never forget!

You can find all other posts relating to My Mexican Adventure or my Mexican BLT tour with Trek America here.

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, 7 July 2017

Have you ever spotted an item and fallen in love with it so badly that you can't stop thinking about it? 

I was in TK Maxx recently and came across the most sweet and beautiful unicorn year planner - it was pastel pink and colourful and filled with inspirational quotes between its pages. I didn't really need a planner per say - but I was in love. And the moment I left TK Maxx I regretted not getting it.

So a few days later, my boyfriend and I took a two hour journey into St Albans for a day out, lunch at a cool restaurant I'd found and, mostly, to get my damn planner.

It was still there thank god, although something was off. It wasn't as pretty as I remembered but it was okay. Until I spotted the planner next to it.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

The planner was sleek, sophisticated and totally Instragram worthy. And that's when I knew I'd made my decision. I'd fallen in love with the unicorn planner and thank god I came back to St Albans to get it - only to walk away with another.

So it has the basics - a notes section, a month and week view; oh, and did I mention stickers?! It's totally Instagram worthy too. The only problem is, it's so pretty that I'm actually too scared to write anything in it yet. Oops.

Boy I love my new planner.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

Isn't it damn cute?

What do you think?!

Not bad for a tenna, eh?

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I'd stayed at his flat plenty of times before. There had been the first night we spent together. The time two-days-accidentally-turned-into-a-whole-week. Days where he'd worked and I'd tidied, cooked and washed clothes and dishes in between playing The Sims.

But when I was offered some temporary work at his bar - and couldn't say no to the idea of some extra cash - there was no question that I'd be spending more time there than normal.

After all, he lived a mere five minutes away from work. Now, with no car, my journey would take me between fourty minutes and an hour and a half, and with shifts starting early in the morning, the bus wasn't always an option.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Personal

So with this in mind, I packed an even heavier bag than normal. More clothes. Makeup. A couple of bits that would now stay at his permanently. 

I'd been meaning to do it for a long time really - gather some things like dry shampoo and makeup to keep here all the time. But I just didn't get around to it.

That day, I kept his key so I could let myself in whilst he was at work. I took a hot shower, changed into my pajamas and sat down to write this post - on his computer, even though I had my laptop with me of course.

And something just felt weird - but not in a bad way.

Not just weird.

Good. Secure. Long term.

We'd already discussed moving in together later this year and although me staying whilst working isn't permanent - I'll still be popping home on my days off really - it felt weird that I didn't know when I'd next spend a night in my own bedroom. It felt weird leaving things here and trying to find my own little area to keep them (I haven't scoped out an area yet).

It felt like our future was turning into less of a fantasy and more of a reality.

And I really like that. 

Here's to the beginning of the future - our future.

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 3 July 2017

Last week, my lovely boyfriend took me away to Blackpool for a midweek break. He'd kept it a secret up until a couple of weeks beforehand (as I no longer have a car so we had to discuss travel issues) and I can't tell you how happy I was when I found out - I almost cried!

To some, Blackpool might not seem like much, especially compared to weekends away abroad and the like. And even though some parts are said to be tacky/rundown (though I insist its all part of it's charm!), Blackpool is a place that has always been special to me. Not only is there so much to do there, but I have fond memories of visiting as a child with my family. 

I've spent a long time waiting and wishing to meet not only a special guy but a guy who actually knows me well enough to take me to such a place, and despite numerous hints to ex boyfriends, it never happened. So of course, I was over the moon to find out that Vincent would be taking me there for two nights/three days (though it worked out more like two-and-a-bit-days - but boy did we pack a lot in during that time!).

Here's what we got up to.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Blackpool | Blackpool Pleasure Beach | Blackpool Tower

Due to no longer having a car, we actually took the coach there and back with National Express. I had no issues with this as I used to travel a lot with National Express when I lived up North for uni, so I've had plenty of experience of long, long coach trips. As it goes, they've actually updated their coaches a bit.

We took an overnight coach on the way there so that we would have a whole day as opposed to half a day upon arrival. This was fine - we did struggle to sleep, but it was worth it for the extra time there. We just had one issue when we had to change coaches and ended up on a super packed coach, meaning we didn't get a seat at first as some passengers were rude and wouldn't move their feet. But we got some seats together in the end.

Anyway, eventually we arrived in Blackpool bright and early - to lots of rain. But this didn't dampen our spirits - after all it's a well known fact that you don't go to somewhere like Blackpool to sunbathe! Our first duty was to grab some breakfast and then head to our hotel - The Imperial. 

We couldn't actually check in until 3pm but we were able to leave our luggage with them in a safe location - and they even allowed us into the gym/pool area to use the changing rooms to change and freshen up which was a nice gesture.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Blackpool | Blackpool Tower

After this, we headed straight to Blackpool Tower. Here, we experienced The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, the Blackpool Tower Circus and the Blackpool Tower Eye (which actually refers to going up the tower). I was really excited to do the dungeons as I hadn't done them at Blackpool Tower before - I know they had something similar when I was younger, but if I remember rightly it was part of Madame Tussauds when it was still in the tower and was actually just gruesome/horror waxworks. I try and do the dungeons anywhere they have them when I visit a new place. 

The dungeons were so much fun and a lot better than I thought they'd be. As I've done a few, I didn't expect it to be much different, although sometimes a couple of the subjects change based on the location's history. This time, nearly everything was new so I took in lots. The visuals were stunning too and I loved the area all about the Pendle witches, which took place in a fake forest. Very cool.

Next, we popped into my favourite arcade, Coral Island, as we had about an hour to spare before the circus (but not long enough to go up the tower in that time). Then we came back for the circus. Going to the circus when I was younger is one of my favourite memories and I've always remembered parts of it. It was super funny and the talent/performances were amazing. Apparently, the clowns Mooky and Mr Boo have been part of the show for 25 years (the actors too), so it was the same people I saw each time when I was young as well. It was really lovely coming back here to watch the circus now that I'm a little older - but it was just as funny and jaw dropping as it's always been.

We then headed up the tower (after a quick 4D movie) to take in the sights of Blackpool - it was so windy and we were able to see so far. We also braved the glass walk. I'd last done this alone in October, where I'd reminisced about going there with my family and my mum. This time around, I also reminisced, but it was a bit different as I had my boyfriend with me, who I consider to be part of my family now. It was a weird feeling coming back in such different circumstances, but somehow made me feel positive about the future. I also felt that if my mum could have seen me then, she would have been happy to see how happy I was.

After the tower, we headed back to the hotel to check in. Our room was lovely and the hotel itself was gorgeous and classic, but some parts were a little outdated and could do with some upkeep. Still, the boy did good and the room was very plush. We then headed out to dinner at this gorgeous fully vegan restauraunt up by the Pleasure Beach. I have so much to say about this amazing restaurant so I will be writing a separate post on this. After a filling meal, we headed back to the hotel for an early night!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Blackpool | Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The following day we headed over to Blackpool Pleasure Beach - a huge waterfront themepark. We really messed up on the weather though as today was a day when it rained nearly the whole day - really we would have been better doing the tower on this day and doing the Pleasure Beach the day we arrived, but nevermind. It's not like it was cold - only our first stop at the themepark was a ride on Valhalla which is an amazing and visually stunning water ride. Unfortunately this left us drenched for the rest of the day! We did the rounds, riding the biggest and oldest coasters, getting lost in a maze etc and of course going on The Big One, which dominates the whole park. Despite the cold, it was a really fun day and we got to go on everything we wanted to. Also, because the weather was crap, the lines were super short for everything.

Tired and gripping a Panda teddy won from Donkey Derby, we headed back to the hotel before dinner. Because we were so cold, we took an hour out to go for a swim, jacuzzi and sauna in the hotel's leisure area which was nice. The jacuzzi was beyond warm and was well deserved after being in the cold all day. Afterwards, we dressed up nice (as today was also technically our four month anniversary!) and headed back to our hidden gem of a vegan restaurant for dinner. We wanted to head into town afterwards but we were just too tired so ended up back at the hotel for a celebratory drink.

Our coach was picking us up at 2:50, so after check out, we spent a busy morning doing all the last small things we wanted to do in Blackpool. We popped back into Coral Island to try and win some tickets and go on the mini ride there (yes there's a ride in the amusement arcade and a ghost train), then ordered some traditional seaside chips. It just had to be done. We also took a walk along the pier and very windy beach, had a game of old school 10p bingo (which was ever so confusing but I won without realizing!) and generally had a mooch around. We had a bit of a rush catching the coach as the tram was real slow (and we lost track of time in Coral Island), and the coach was also late into Manchester so we literally made our second coach with a minute and a half to spare, but eventually we were on our way home.

It was an amazing weekend and one of my favourite breaks/holidays yet. It was so lovely showing my boyfriend around places I used to love as a child and have such great memories of. It was also great doing things as a 'first' together, like the dungeons and a kiss at the top of the tower (n'awww). It was great to get away from Luton/Hitchin too and although we packed so much in, it felt like a really relaxed few days away and we're already planning to go back soon, perhaps for the illuminations.

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Saturday, 1 July 2017

It's July! I have spent the 1st spring (summer?) cleaning and little else. Still, is there anything better than the feel of fresh bedsheets? I think not. Anyway. Hello July. Here's what I'm looking forward to this month...

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Hello July | Glow | Glow on Netflix | This is How It Happened | This is How It Happened by Paula Stokes | The Big Film Quiz in Little Soho | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Pizza Express | Pizza Express Vegan Cheese | Vegan

So it was actually released on the 23rd of June but apart from attempting to watch one episode with Lisa and not getting far as we talked through the whole thing, I haven't yet had the chance to watch Glow. I've seen the trailer though and it looks ace. The show is set around 80s wrestling circuit, Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling and looks/sounds amazing; as well as totally filled with awesome girl power. It's also been created by Liz Flahive (Homeland) and Carly Mensch (Orange Is The New Black), so you just know it's got a great team behind it.
Glow is available to watch via Netflix now.

This is How It Happened by Paula Stokes looks absolutely fascinating. It tells the story of Genevieve Grace, who wakes up from a coma unable to remember the car crash she was in that injured her and killed her boyfriend, who was a YouTube star. There was also another driver in the car at the time - Brad Freeman - who is assumed guilty - yet Genevieve can't help but feel like she had something to do with the crash. The story is very much focused around 'a brutal trial by social media' and touches upon the consequences of actions made in a world where everyone/the internet is always watching. There's so much I like the sound of in this story; first of all, I love any story that begins with a coma/memory loss (for some reason), and secondly, being a blogger and social media addict, I'm going to find the whole story fascinating. Plus, it sounds like a total gripping thriller, so I can't wait to get my hands on it.
This is How It Happened will be released on the 11th.

Looking to have a bunch of fun whilst raising money for a good cause at the same time? Then look no further. The Big Film Quiz in Little Soho is taking place later this month, taking place at The Clachan (in London). This isn't a normal 'pub quiz'. It's a film-based quiz that includes opportunities to also win random prizes throughout and, even better, all proceeds from ticket sales will go towards helping the families and residents of the Grenfell Tower fire. I've heard a lot of great things about The Clachan's quiz nights anyway, so the chance to take part and raise money for a good cause is the ultimate selling point for me.
The Big Film Quiz in Little Soho takes place on 25th July.

Spider-Man: Homecoming drops this month and although I have mixed feelings about a reboot now based around a younger Peter Parker, I have to admit, I have to see it anyway. Plus, his debut in Captain America: Civil War was pretty damn good, so if that's anything to go by, hopefully it'll be a hit.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on the 7th.

Actually, there's not a lot to talk about this month as I have little planned - after a few days spent in Blackpool last week and my summer holiday fast approaching, I'm trying to save a whole lot of money now and not go out as much. One thing I am super excited about however is that Pizza Express is starting to roll out the use of vegan cheese in all it's UK restaurants. Yay! Usually my boyfriend and I stick to ZiZi's for pizza (as he's vegan and I'm like, 85% vegan currently), so I'm super glad we'll soon be able to mix it up a bit. We can also order in and get dough balls, making our own garlic butter!

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, 30 June 2017

Well today is the last day of June, and boy has this month gone by quickly. We've had crazy weather where it was far too hot and humid to do anything (why do we complain about the cold but then complain about the heat?!), I've been attacked by god knows how many insects and after today we're officially in the second half of 2017 which means winter is fast approaching..oh dear.

I thought it would be nice to do a roundup post of June - beware, this isn't a beauty post - sharing what I've been loving this month such as music, cute pictures on the internet and such. (Actually, reading back on this post now I realize I haven't included ANY music or cute pictures, but you get my drift...). It may even go on to become a regular feature - who knows.

Still, this is the first, so bare with me if it's a little messy.

Formidable Joy | Lifestyle | June Favourites | Buzzfeed Meal Plan | Buzzfeed | Instagram Stories | I Heart Forever | Lindsey Kelk | Bloglovin'

I'm not normally one to follow meal plans because usually they're filled with a bunch of recipes I don't like - or I'm at the point in my life where I can't afford to bulk buy. But this meal plan by Buzzfeed really caught my eye as everything looks so yummy! The guide covers prep information and pricing (if you're in America, anyway) and is totally customizable. I really love how you don't need to purchase a huge boat load of food either - of course it's more than your normal weekly shop but not a ridiculous amount extra. Plus it's for seven days - I can't tell you how many meal plans I've come across that lie when I click on to discover it only covers five days worth of meal prep. 

Although I've yet to really explore the new Activate section on Bloglovin', I am really loving the new profile area in this section which shows lots of stats and analytics such as audience demographics and brand partnerships. It's such a clear interface and so easy to understand in terms of analytics, which I find really hard to get my head around when it comes to Google. I'm not sure how valid these are (is it like blogger analytics that no one ever uses anymore or is it legit?!), nor do I know how it looks to a brand's point of view, but I'm finding it super helpful to see how my blog is doing and such.

I have to admit, up until the last few months, I really slacked on actually reading blogs and was more concerned with just blogging myself. Luckily, I have turned this right around lately by following new blogs, commenting more and generally just taking time to enjoy reading blogs. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to share the love and recommend some posts I've really enjoyed this month. I love this brutally honest post by Colours And Carousels, where she talks about real reasons she unfollows blogs - it's refreshing to see someone admit that sometimes they just grow out of their interests and therefore don't particularly enjoy content they used to. Here, Emma Inks shares a personal post about music (I love personal posts that aren't necessarily for the reader), and I particularly enjoyed Rhian's post about six Trek America tours she'd like to do in future. I'm also itching to get away with Trek America again, so this post is jam packed full of inspiration.

There is news of another I Heart book, I repeat, Lindsey Kelk has written another book for her I Heart series! I'm so excited as this is one of my favourite book series EVER. I Heart Forever focuses around a wedding, a secret (any bets Angelia is preggers?!) and Alex going travelling. I need it NOW. But unfortunately it isn't out until September. 

Out of all my social media, I have to admit, I am slaying on Instagram stories currently. Well, on the days I actually leave the house or have something interesting to do anyway. I love how creative they are and it's so much fun messing around with text and filters to make it look pretty. Boomerang is my favourite effect. Some bloggers who are really killing it with their Instagram stories lately include Cattitude And Co, Coffee With Meg and Shiny Thoughts. Give them a follow - watch their stories and let me know what you think. And if you have any other recommendations, do let me know..!

So there you have it; my June favourites. What have you been loving this month..?

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A while back, I attended the launch party of Yuc - the Yelp community - and as I had a plus one, I invited my boyfriend. My boyfriend doesn't really know much about blogging, apart from the fact that when he games I blog and I sometimes leave my blog open on his PC so he can read it, so I thought it would be interesting to hear his thoughts on what it was like being a plus one to a blogger event for the first time.

So I sat down and quizzed him and came up with these five things he learned from attending.

Also this isn't the best photo of us - soz - but it's the only high quality photo of us from the said event.

And yes, that is a unicorn horn I'm wearing. The party was wild animal themed and so of course I finally had an excuse to wear it.

Formidable Joy | Lifestyle | Blogger Boyfriend | Funny

I've never been to a 'blogger event' so I wasn't sure what to expect - I thought it would just include a visit to the ice bar. However, it was a lot more than that. The event was to publicize a launch so there were speeches, a competition for best dressed, and free food and drink. It was clear to see that it was a classy event and not just a mooch around an ice bar or a publicity stunt.

People were friendly and it was easy to make contacts - I mean, I chatted to the bar tender as I'm not a blogger myself, but I saw that Louise and other bloggers use these type of events to meet new people and network - it's not just a party, you do have to put yourself out there and see it as an opportunity to learn about the company who hosted the launch and their products. It's not just an excuse to go and make use of free drink.

I - along with everyone else - loved the fact that the food and drink was free. Free food at an event? Who knew. I couldn't eat anything as I'm vegan, but I humoured my girlfriend stuffing her face with mini burgers and shrimp cocktails. I totally took advantage of the free bar though. And I'm still loving my free mug too!

...and a lot colder than I thought it would be. Also, although we were there on my girlfriend's behalf, I did find the idea of the app interesting.

I had to take lots of photos and sort of get out of my comfort zone by talking to people too. I'm obviously being trained to be one of these blogger boyfriends who take outfit photos and the like. However, I'm looking forward to being a plus one to more cool events. It was interesting to see such a sociable event on behalf of learning about a new brand as opposed to something boring such as a sit down presentation; I didn't really know that new products or brand launches could be presented that way and it worked well.

In answer to his last point - yes, I am training him to become a blogger boyfriend and will soon be enlisting his help for some outfit posts. I don't know how successful I'll be however as he already gets annoyed when we're out eating and I take photos or I insist on adding random things to my Instagram story when out and about - oops!

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, 26 June 2017

On Thursday night, I had one of the most surreal nights of my life.

I headed into London - courtesy of another competition win via Love Pop Ups - London - to attend Temple Of The Tongue, an all out party at renowned foodie masters, Bompas & Parr. 

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | London | London Event | Lifestyle | Bompas & Parr | Temple Of The Tongue

If you don't know who Bompas & Parr are, they're a foodie duo who often create and put on really obscure and unique events/projects revolving around food. Past adventures have included Beyond The Waterfall - an immersive and magical land featuring mermen and themed cocktails (in the middle of Westfield), Height Of Winter - a romantic experience at The Shard and the famous Alcoholic Architecture - an alcoholic cloud. They're pretty offbeat and quirky, right?!

Anyway. I've wanted to go to one of their events for a long, long time now so when I had the chance to attend Temple Of The Tongue, I was super excited. 

The whole evening was in celebration of the duo's 10th anniversary and also saw their weird and wonderful studio being opened to the public for the first time.

Most of the event took place outside with so much going on. Some of my favourite parts were the waste shoot (basically a giant waste slide which was a sheer drop - I did go on this after some dutch courage!), the optic chandelier (which was a punch bowl of soft drink and a chandelier of various alcohol which you add yourself), and the volcano jacuzzi. We were told in advance to bring our swimwear but I didn't really expect many people to jump in a hot tub in the middle of a party - I was wrong.

About five drinks in, I did of course end up in there - it was mighty fun!

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | London | London Event | Lifestyle | Bompas & Parr | Temple Of The Tongue

Other going ons included a super soaker cocktail blaster, a talking tongue, a minature miniatures bar, a glitter plunge pool and more. Overall, it was just one big party, but I loved how immersive it was and it was really cool to see a bunch of smaller projects come together for the night.

The only thing I would say was that I was a tad surprised there was no canapes or anything like that on offer, being that Bompass & Parr specialize in food. There was one food stand though and the amount of free alcohol made up for it. Another thing was that there was just one small toilet. Of course the party was confined to one small yard, but as so many people attended, it would have been wise to bring in some portaloos.

Overall though it was a really, really fun event and it was great seeing everyone get into the spirit. I was expecting it to be more like an exhibition with all the different projects on offer but to be honest it was so laid back and immersive that it just all felt like a really good time which is awesome.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | London | London Event | Lifestyle | Bompas & Parr | Temple Of The Tongue

I'm really happy I finally got to attend a Bompas & Parr event - oh and did I mention there was also a unicorn there? ;)

So it was a pony with a horn on its head but I cannot tell you how over the moon I was with this. At first I was a little concerned at seeing this poor pony arriving to a crowd of drunk people, but the pony was actually looked after really well and safely in a more quiet area which is good.

It's crazy to think how far Bompas & Parr have come in ten years with so many various projects under their belt and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

The party was actually just one part of a major new retrospective taking place in Sao Paulo. You can find out more about Tongue Town here.

You can also find me on

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING
blogger template