Now that I work from home on a regular basis, I’ve spent some time wishing I had my own office space. 

Currently, I set my laptop up on the dining room table, although I still occasionally work from bed. It’s not healthy, I know, which is why I wish I could design my own space.
I find it hard to concentrate when I don’t have my own space, because things like mess, an uncomfortable chair etc makes it really hard to concentrate. I also believe that if I had a set space especially for work, just by sitting myself in that area I would feel more productive.
I thought it might be nice to share some ideal office spaces with you and share some inspiration I’ve taken for when I do get my own place and get around to designing my own place.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Office Space | Inspiration | Career

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Office Space | Inspiration | Career

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Office Space | Inspiration | Career
A lot of these ideas share pastel colours and, where possible, minimal mess, which I think is essential for having a clear head when working.
I also use shops for inspiration, and already know where I’ll be visiting when it comes to putting together my own office space. Paperchase is great for stationary, whereas TK Maxx is ideal for decorative office items, like tassel bunting (as shown above) and inspiring prints. I also really like the filing cabinets from Furniture at Work, and That Lame Company for finishing touches.

My only problem is that I struggle with the idea of minimalism as I’m such a messy person, but hopefully, if I get my own space and dedicate the time to creating and office area, I’ll keep it nice and clean!

Do you have a dream office space? Let me know!

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Today I’m just going to do a quick catch up regarding what I’ve been up to lately and a few opportunities I’d like to talk about, too.

First and foremost, I’m excited to announce that today (as in, right this second!), I’m teaming up with SheNomads to do an exclusive Snapchat takeover on their account – how fun?! SheNomads is an uber cool company whose goal is to share the stories of those who are underrepresented in tech, travel etc = basically our whole generation, who do anything but just sit at a desk job and work a typical nine to five day.
I really love their values, and, as I’m off to attend the Vuelio Blog Awards tonight, it’s a really fun opportunity to collaborate. Make sure you follow them on Snapchat (their username is shenomad) to see what I get up to and get a glimpse of the awards night!
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Life Lately
There’s also been one or two other opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to achieve lately. I’ll soon be blogging for Metro, which has such a huge audience reach that I actually can’t even believe it. I find it hard to believe that my writing is that good, so the fact that someone considers me talented enough to blog for such a successful company has made me feel really rather happy! I’ll be starting my contract ASAP, with my first posts likely to go live in December (if not earlier!) so please do keep an eye out! 
Another thing I’d like to talk about is the fact that I’m hoping to go into a new direction with my writing – in a professional sense, anyway. Although I have experience with working in travel journalism, mixing my writing with one of my other passions has been on my mind for a long, long time now and therefore I have made the decision to try and break into music journalism.
It’s something I have always considered really, and I have had plenty of experience contributing to music publications in the past, but lately I’ve been looking at it as more of a career decision and have spent my time searching for jobs directly in the industry. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m lucky that I do have a few good opportunities thrown my way by Invicta Mag, a publication that reviews new music, focuses on artists and writes about shows. 
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Life Lately
I have a few pieces I’m already very proud of on there and a few interviews I’ve really enjoyed conducting, too. I’ve known for a long time now how much I enjoy interviewing bands, so hopefully I can further that dream more soon.
So, anyone that knows of any roles in music journalism that you think may be suitable – hit me up 😉
In other news, I had a really fun opportunity to visit Great Yarmouth with Heart Radio at the weekend, which is one of my part time roles. Even though it was out of season, me and two other lovely ladies went down to sell some merchandise, host a quiz and promote a competition. The weekend consisted of free food and soft drinks, a fun disco every night and some awesome entertainment. It was really fun to get away for the weekend and I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do so little work that felt like so much fun!
I’ve also began a new teatox with Essential Teatox. So far, I’m feeling pretty good, and the full review will be up after Christmas (with a few tweets updating my progress here and there!), and, as always, you can still find me over at Debut Magazine as the online editor – although I do have features coming up in the print issue too!
And, finally, I’ve decided I want to start drumming lessons!
Phew! I’m feeling pretty proud about some of these opportunities, especially as just a couple of weeks ago I found myself suffering at night, wracked with thoughts about me never ‘getting anywhere’ or doing what I want to do. So getting my head down and putting myself forward for some of these opportunities has really helped.
What have you all been up to lately? Let me know with a comment! 

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Everyone has their own issues.

That’s a given.
Everyone has their own insecurities, their own baggage, their own demons to deal with.
I know I certainly have my own weird problems that I alone deal with.
Although I’m not an expert, I know how hard it is to feel so lost and like their is no outcome to your problems.

This is a tough post for me to write, but by all means, please be assured that I am not offering professional advice or likening my ‘baggage’ to that of others. 

I am simply sharing my own experiences and what has helped me through them.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | How To Help Yourself

A few years ago, when I graduated from university and when I was not working, I got myself in a bad way which would see me sleeping in during the day, spending my days doing nothing and then driving myself crazy at night.
Unable to sleep, my mind would wander until I would feel almost suffocated by my thoughts and my life, nearly unable to breathe.
I’d think about my life and how I did not know where it was going. I’d think about how I wanted something more from this life – only I didn’t know what. I thought about how I wanted to travel but couldn’t do this without money, and I found myself feeling terrified of wasting my life away.
I still often find myself scared that one day I’m going to wake up and realize I never took the chance to do all the things I wanted to do. One of my biggest fears in life is wasting my life like that.
I’d feel suffocated thinking about these feelings. I’d feel like the walls were caving in on me and that all I wanted to do was to scream or to get out and just go anywhere. But as this almost entirely hit me in the middle of the night, there was nothing I could do except get in a state.
At times, it panicked me, and there was only two things that could really calm me down at the time – and that was to write, or to listen to music.
Eventually things got better when I did find a job and found myself busy in the day, allowing myself to sleep at night.
But even I know deep down that it never really fixed the solution as I never actually went on to do any of those things I wanted. I just, y’know, got a job which helped me sleep at night and didn’t give me much opportunity to entertain those thoughts again.
Except it seems like those thoughts are coming back again fast and heavy, and I’m starting to revisit those options to help calm me down in moments where I can’t leave.

I don’t know what these feelings are exactly. On paper, they sound like panic attacks or anxiety attacks, but I know they’re not because I don’t suffer from anxiety – so, who knows.

Regardless, here’s what helps me – at least in the moment, anyway – and may hopefully help you too, if you suffer from anything similar.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | How To Help Yourself

Writing helps me a lot. Usually I’ll try and write about what I feel, and then, when that’s all out on paper or on screen, write about something else – anything else. A blog post. Fiction. A diary entry – anything. It forces me to concentrate on the words on the page and the message I want to get across. Even writing this post has helped me, as it’s helped me be more vocal about these feelings I’ve been having.
Music is another one that helps me a lot, although sometimes, depending on what I listen to, it helps me give in and accept what I’m feeling and have a little cry first, instead of just denying it. I let my mind wander with the music, making up music videos in my head or trying to decipher the lyrics.
Anything that will crack a smile. Scrubs or The Office US tends to help me, and before I know it my move has improved massively as I’m engrossed instead in the characters on the screen.
My ‘moments’ seem to only happen at night, so often going out for a run or a walk isn’t an option for me, but on the rare occasion that I do feel like this in the day, getting outside helps a lot. I usually stick my headphones on and listen to my music loud during a run, or just take the dog out for a walk.

I tend to be more productive in the evening anyway, but there’s only so much I can do at 3am. Writing and job hunting helps, but ‘making a plan’ is a new method for me which has helped greatly. During one of those evenings, I simply told myself enough was enough and made a note of the date in my phone. I then told myself I had a deadline of three years to get to where I wanted to be. I thought about where I wanted to be in three years – no matter how silly and fanatical – then worked out backwards, step by step, what I had to do to get there.

It sounds like an incredibly obvious choice, but not one I had considered before. Normally I’ll job hunt in the day and that’s it – I’ve never really entertained the thought of ‘oh, okay, I could be doing this dream job at this point in however many years time, if I just work hard enough.’

Since then, every single day I’ve taken one small step in the right direction, whether that’s getting a band interview, applying for a job in the industry or even just putting myself out there. For example, this past weekend I was away with work, and much of the role required me to approach the public and talk to them. That was a scary thought for me but, hey, I did it, and I know that even just taking that tiny step, it had given me a bit of confidence that I can later use when it comes to approaching people for interviews, for example.

Finally, just breathe. Sometimes I feel like my breaths are coming in too quick, like my heart is beating too fast and that I’m getting myself into more of a state with each passing second. I try to take some deep, slow breathes in this case, and usually, within a few minutes, my breathing and heart rate will return to normal.

Although these may not work for everyone, these are just some methods that have personally calmed me down in the moment when suffering from these kind if feelings/demons.

Of course I am no medical expert, but if anyone is going through something similar and reads this post to discover that a) they’re not alone and b) sometimes natural methods can help, then posting this would have been worth it!

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Has the cold winter weather given you a craving for a trip to somewhere wonderfully warm and sunny? There’s something about the cold weather that makes us more prone to feeling blue. So, if you’ve got the time, and can afford to jet off abroad, getting away could be a great idea. Whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that you’re getting a much-needed break from the grind of daily life. 
To ensure that you make the most of your time away, below are a few tips, that should help you to plan the most incredible trip. (These are all things that I like to do before jetting off abroad.)

The first step when planning a trip to anywhere should always be working out how much you have to spend. Even if you’ve got thousands saved in the bank, that doesn’t matter. You don’t want to overspend on your trip, so it’s important to establish a budget before you go. Sit down and work out how much you want to/can spend on your trip. Then, once you’ve got a figure to work with, you can start planning. 
Once you know the size of your budget, the next step is to select the perfect travel destination. Is there somewhere that you’ve been dreaming of visiting or are you open to anywhere? Have a look online to get some ideas of different places, and then take the time to do some research into your favourite ones. Say, for instance, you’ve decided that you’d like to visit Spain but are stuck between Barcelona and Madrid. Read up on both destinations to get an idea of what each place offers. There are lots of travel sites offering information and advice, for instance, you can read about Madrid on The Crazy Tourist website.
After you’ve settled on a destination for your trip, the next step is to book your plane tickets and transfers. To get the best price on your plane tickets, take the time to compare prices online. When it comes to booking your transfers, take the time to decide whether you want to book private or shared transfers. If you want to make the most of your trip, private transfers are probably a better option, as you’ll get to your accommodation more quickly.

Last but not least, take the time to plan out your trip itinerary. Once you’ve booked your flights and accommodation, you can then start planning out what you want to do while you’re there. From the sights that you’re desperate to see to the places that you would like to eat at, take the time to plan out as much of your trip as possible. This will allow you to make the most of your time while you’re there, as everything will already be planned out.

If the winter weather is getting your down, now is the perfect time to plan a trip away. Take note of tips above, and you can organise the most incredible trip.

*Please note this post has been contributed.

Now that Halloween and Bonfire night is now out of the way, I think it’s finally just about acceptable to start looking forward to Christmas and doing seasonal related things.

Although we don’t really celebrate Christmas as such in a traditional sense in our house anymore, I do really enjoy the run up to the season. I love the Christmas songs (at least when they’re not overplayed), the many, many Christmas parties and of course, London during the season. 
It always looks so pretty.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London
Myself and Briony headed down to Taste of London’s Festive Edition last week to enjoy some seasonal food and drink and get us in the mood for the season. I’d not been to any of Taste of London’s events before, so I was really excited.
I was super sad my sister couldn’t come in the end though as she is such a foodie and would have loved it.
The four day event at Tobacco Docks included artisan food and drink brands, a number of different restaurants, top chefs, cooking masterclasses and entertainment.
The event was set out beautifully. Although we got lost many times, everywhere we looked there was a pop up offering delicious hot drinks or a restaurant serving yummy food and there were beyond beautiful photo opportunities.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London

 Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London

It was almost like we’d walked out of autumn and straight into Christmas because the change was that drastic. It wasn’t subtle at all, but I loved it. Everywhere we looked there were twinkling fairy lights, colourful Christmas trees, beautiful garlands and more. I loved it.
There was so much to see and do but our first point of business was a seasonal drink. I opted for Mulled wine, having been craving it for a couple of weeks now, whilst Briony grabbed herself some eggnog. We then took a slow stroll around, chatting to different brands, picking up a couple of gifts etc.
We particularly enjoyed the entertainment and found the pianist at the Piano Bar by Deco Noir particularly fun. He had a lovely voice (my friend is actually in love), and played laid back versions of top hits throughout the evening. 
Before we left, we grabbed a final drink and sat down to admire his singing voice and felt ever so Christmassy, drinking our seasonal drinks and enjoying the atmosphere. Plus, with a beyond beautiful light fixture hanging from the ceiling and lots of decorations in this area, it was really, really lovely.
We may have requested a few songs. He may have performed some Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At The Disco for us.
What a dude!
Food wise, we had a few nibbles but opted for some hot dogs by my favourites, Bubbledogs. We each opted for Santa’s Sausage which included Christmas stuffing, cranberry chutney and crispy parsnips. Although we were disappointed at the size of Santa’s Sausage (hehe) – it does make sense, as y’know, a lot of restaurants were doing a bunch of mini sizes of their usual menu – it was delicious.
We also booked ourselves in for an AEG Take Taste Further cooking masterclass with Steve Brown: The Cookery School at Daylesford.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Taste Of London: The Festive Edition | Taste of London
Here, we learned how to make a Christmas dinner in 30 minutes and I was surprised at how well it turned out, despite us being very bad cooks! It was interesting though, and very hilarious. At one point, I went mad blending the brussel sprouts and the teacher told us off and took our blend to the front of the class to embarrass us, oh dear.
Still, the end result was delicious and I was very proud of us!
Overall, it was a really lovely visit and if you have the chance to attend next year or any of Taste of London’s other events:
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