It’s that time again – here’s what I’ve been listening to a lot this month. This months playlist isn’t as varied – a lot of it is just easy listening alternative, but I think a lot of the music suits the fact that we’re now in Spring and the weather is getting nicer. It just reminds me of relaxing afternoons spent lying in the sun…

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Music | The March Playlist

Most of this week’s playlist has come from Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature which I am loving right now. There is of course the newest track by The Maine and some of the usuals like twenty one pilots and Green Day. Also, how different does Pierce The Veil’s track sound? I would have never have guessed it was them…Also, I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids reminds me so much of Cobra Starship’s early stuff.

What music have you been listening to this month? Let me know!

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Sometimes you just need to switch off from the world and watch an engaging film. Every once in a while, it’s near impossible to choose said film, whether it’s because you don’t know what you’re in the mood for or maybe you can’t think of any decent romcoms/horrors/action films you haven’t already seen.

I’ve been trying to catch up with a bunch of movies lately, most of them I saw the trailers for years ago and made a note of but never got around to seeing. Most of them are easy watching but are also offbeat and/or engaging at the same time. I also think a lot of them are relatively unheard of or are at least nowhere near as popular as big blockbusters that have come out at the cinema.
So if you’re looking for something random to watch or perhaps something new you’ve not heard of before today – here are 5 films I can recommend.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Movies | Films | Movies to watch when you're bored | Nerve | A Long Way Down | How To Be Single | Sleeping With Other People | The Right Kind Of Wrong

This film is really out there and I guess a lot of it is quite hard to believe but it’s still quite a fun movie and I like the ideas behind it. It’s cute and offbeat, even if parts of it are hard to believe. It’s all about a man called Leo, who’s life is kinda going backwards until he falls in love with a girl called Colette – on her wedding day. It’s a recipe for disaster, but his cute-come-stalkerish attempts to woe her are sweet in some ways (as in he doesn’t give up), and it’s also based on a novel written by Tim Sandlin (which is referenced in the movie). Plus, it stars Ryan Kwanten who is super hot.

I’d probably say this movie is only really upbeat for it’s refreshing and different take on the romance genre and although some parts are corny, overall it’s a feel good, quirky and witty movie. It stars Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie as two people who lose their virginity to each other and bump into each other again, years and years later at a meeting for sex addicts. Although some parts are predictable, the journey of their relationship is certainly different and interesting, and there are some more serious undertones like Alison’s relationship with someone who is married. It’s worth a watch if you’re bored of typical romcoms but still want a feel good happy ending.

I love this movie! The general premise is four strangers who want to commit suicide, but all meet on the same roof on New Year’s Eve to do so. The four strangers make a pact to at least wait until Valentine’s Day to do the deed and form an unlikely friendship. The film follows each of their lives and what happens after ‘nearly committing suicide’. It’s a really offbeat and heart warming film, plus it stars awesome actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and my favourites, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots. Plus it’s the kind of movie where you really don’t know where it’s going to go.

I’ve mentioned this film before but even though there are some parts that aren’t too great, overall I really like this film and again, it’s refreshing take on modern relationships. It mostly focuses on Alice (Dakota Johnson) trying to be single (okay, that much is obvious), but it has some real witty moments too and generally the whole message of the film is that it’s okay to be single and to be alone. I suppose this film was quite popular during its release, but its definitely a lot different than your average romcom/chick flick and I think a lot of people would have shied away from seeing it due to thinking it was just another romcom. Most chick flicks that are based around modern dating don’t really work well (*cough* He’s Just Not That Into You *cough*) but this one succeeds.

NERVE (2016)
Nerve is definitely one of your typical blockbuster/Hollywood movies, but it was a lot better than I expected it to be. I only really watched it for Dave Franco but it held my attention throughout, even if half the time I was calling all the characters dumbasses. It’s about an online reality app/game, where users complete dares to win money. Of course, they start off harmless before turning damn right stupid, at which point I found it hard to understand because users lose all their money once they fail or ignore a dare. Still, it was interesting and thrilling and got me thinking, especially about what I would do in the characters situations.

These are just five non-typical movies I’ve watched and liked lately, as well as wishing I’d discovered them sooner. Do you have any random movies you can suggest for when someone is bored and just can’t decide what they should watch? Let me know!

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Last Friday it became time to meet my boyfriend’s close friends for the first time ever, and in a bid to impress (and save money!), I swiftly booked us all onto a Cocktail Masterclass at Steinback & Shaw, Watford.

I’d actually been wanting to visit this particular bar for a while now as I was intrigued by it’s unique decor and it’s extensive cocktail menu. Plus, the whole bar is big on skulls and you know how much I love skulls…
So it was my boyfriend’s friends birthday which meant we could get the masterclass for half price. £15 per person got us three cocktails (each) which were made during the masterclass, shots of prosecco, free entry and our own table or booth, which is a total bargain.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Steinback & Shaw | Steinback & Shaw Watford | Watford | Cocktail Masterclass | Lifestyle

Although I mainly booked the deal to save money and to impress, I was looking forward to it, as was my boyfriend who is actually a bartender so he was intrigued to see how each drink was made differently to how he makes them etc.
In the class that lasted around 45 minutes, we were taught how to make Sex On The Beach, a Pornstar Martini and a Long Island Iced Tea. I think these were the best cocktails to make because they were a little complicated but in a fun way – for example, it wouldn’t have been a lot of fun learning how to make something like a Jägerbomb!
The bartender that conducted the class was friendly and talkative and explained each step thoroughly. It was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Steinback & Shaw | Steinback & Shaw Watford | Watford | Cocktail Masterclass | Lifestyle

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Steinback & Shaw | Steinback & Shaw Watford | Watford | Cocktail Masterclass | Lifestyle

The bar itself was well worth trekking into Watford for. It had such a fun atmosphere. We arrived pretty early as we had plans afterwards, but even arriving around 7pm it was busy with an upbeat vibe but not too busy. As the evening progressed, a DJ began playing some tunes which meant we had a chance to get up and dance too.
Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to check out upstairs, but I did notice on the way to the bathrooms that it had ping pong! Which to be honest is as good as an excuse to visit again as any.
Overall, it was a really fun night and I was so impressed with what we got for such a bargain price. My only qualm was that we weren’t really well informed of what our night consisted of; I was under the impression that we had a bottle of prosecco and a booth upstairs, as well as entry into next door’s club too, but any staff member I enquired to didn’t really know the answer. Although we found our table quickly upon arrival, it would have been nice to have one set member of staff to greet and look after us and explain in more detail what our evening consisted of, instead of me having to seek out staff to ask if we had a table upstairs and whether or not we had to give up our table to go upstairs or we could stay there etc.
However, for so many benefits for just £15 per person, there’s little I could complain about. We ordered a few additional cocktails too and found they were delicious and priced just right.
We’ll definitely be visiting again soon!

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Lately, I’ve been spending a hell of a lot of time in a sweet little market town called Hitchin and, during this time, I have absolutely fallen in love with the place. It is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been here before plenty of times with family to visit the market, but I’ve never quite visited the more high-end or cute area of the town and now that I have, I bloody love it.

Hitchin is based in North Hertfordshire and is around a half an hour drive away from Luton. It’s also just a half hour train journey away from London.
Here are five places well worth making a trip to Hitchin for – plus it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon visit, with plenty of opportunities for bargain shopping, cute chic eating options or classy bars for a drink.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Hitchin | Hertfordshire | Chia Naturally Healthy

20 Churchgate, SG5 1AB

If you love a bargain like me then you’ll definitely want to visit Hitchin market. It takes place on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with Fridays aiming to offer an antique/bric-a-brac market and Sunday being a car boot sale – other market days are just a general market. You’ll find all sorts amongst the stalls but it’s definitely worth a mooch if you’re after something individual and unique.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Hitchin | Hertfordshire | Chia Naturally Healthy

25 Church Yard, SG5 1HP
This gorgeous small cafe is the cutest place I’ve ever visited in my whole entire life – and the healthiest. The old building overlooks a beautiful view of St Mary’s Church and the staff are firm believers in clean eating. The menu is entirely vegan/veggie and offers delicious lunch and breakfast options, as well as hot drinks and smoothies. They also sell a small collection of veggie/vegan products and allow pets downstairs, too. Plus, everything on the menu (plus inside the cafe itself) is ridiculously instagram worthy.

8 High Street, SG5 1BHThe Cock *immature snigger* is a lovely British pub in the centre of Hitchin. The food is mouthwatering with a satisfying selection of sharing platters, one of which includes mini versions of the pub’s favourites such as burger sliders, minced beef and ale pies and hand battered cod goujons. There isn’t much for vegans, but there is a veggie fish and chips (hand battered halloumi cheese – delicious) and many items on the lunch menu can easily be made vegan. Plus, the food is presented beautifully – and the menu itself is unique in design.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Travel | Hitchin | Hertfordshire | Hermitage Rd. Bar and Restaurant

20-21 Hermitage Rd, SG5 1BT
I may be somewhat biased to as of why I’ve been visiting this place so much lately, but if you’re looking for somewhere to go in Hitchin with a more classy vibe then this place is the answer. The bar-restaurant-coffee-house just oozes sophistication with a relaxed vibe in the day, followed by a more upbeat but welcoming atmosphere in the evenings, often with live music to accompany the creative cocktail menu. The food is delicious, too, and the bright and spacious building even has a history; it’s been a cinema, a ballroom and even a concert venue in past years.
As if all the independent venues I’ve mentioned above aren’t enough to tickle your fancy, you’ll also find Starbucks, Zizzis, Pizza Express in the city centre, as well as a selection of charity shops and small bric-a-brac shops too. Nearby is Stevenage Leisure Park, with a cinema, more foody places, bowling and even crazy golf.

Finally, Hitchin is just damn pretty…

Despite being a pretty mixed town – with lots of elder generations mooching around the market and on-trend hipsters flocking the bars, Hitchin is a sweet but upcoming place overall. Have you ever visited? Let me know..

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As well as having a few dates from hell in my life time, I can admit that I’ve made some of my own embarrassing dating disasters – hey, no one is perfect..

Luckily I can laugh at these kind of things (if a guy can’t handle my crazy side then he aint worth dating) and they lead onto pretty hilarious stories. Here are some of the dating disasters I’ve made over the years.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Dating | Dating Disasters

Recently, I broke my phone. Well, when I say broke, I mean I smashed it on a night out, smashed it more on another night out and now sometimes it works perfectly (bar having a cracked screen) and other times it’ll just open random apps on my phone, type random messages etc. Once it even got stuck in Snapchat for three hours and I couldn’t swipe to switch my phone off then back on. But you know where this is going. I met a cute guy in London recently and I’m sorry but I have real ‘seize the moment’ feelings when it comes to this sort of thing and although I didn’t manage to get his number, I did manage to find him on facebook eventually.

If adding him and messaging him wasn’t stalkerish enough on my part (in my defence though, he did reply. He’s either as much as a dumbass as me for accepting my stalkerish behaviour or maybe he’s just a really ridiculously nice person), I was looking at his profile recently when my phone began having one of it’s episodes. Determined to stop my phone liking some random photo of his or something, I locked it and put it in my bag until I got home. When I eventually logged on again, my phone had somehow scrolled down his timeline and shared one of his life events to my facebook profile. *face palm*. I apologized profusely, but there’s no way he believed it was an accident. On the other hand, that kind of gesture is so batshit crazy that I like to believe no one would actually willingingly do that but who knows. It would only happen to me and I kind of wish my phone HAD just liked a random photo instead. At least then I could have laughed it off and been like yeah, sorry, I was perving on your photos, you’re fit..

I’d been seeing a guy for a bit, we stopped talking and eventually started talking again bit by bit. We arranged to go for a drink one evening and I was out shopping with my nan whilst texting him and I mentioned how my nan was driving me crazy. I put my phone away and it wasn’t until an hour later when I checked and saw his messages asking me why I didn’t tell him I had a baby…I’d only went and typed that my baby was driving me mad! (How my phone autocorrected nan to baby I don’t know!) Luckily, this one was easily laughed off.

Of course, I have also done the accidentally liking of an old photo of someone. Except it wasn’t the guy I was crushing on at the time. It was an old instagram photo of his new girlfriend and I had no reason to even know he had a girlfriend because a) we hadn’t spoken in months, b) it wasn’t announced on facebook and c) I only found out on Instagram even though I didn’t follow him on Instagram. I immediately made my profile private but, y’know, the damage was done.

Another time I was seeing a guy and it was early days. We’d met on Tinder but definitely hadn’t had that ‘are you talking to anyone else’ conversation yet. Although I later realized it was at this point he was starting to seem more and more off, he asked me what my plans were one day and I told him I was off to see my other nan (as in the nan I wasn’t staying with at the time), with lots of smiley faces. Three days later I actually realized I’d typed ‘other man’, and his reply was just ‘oh…cool’. I had no idea how to read that. It had sounded like a) I was leading two guys on at the same time and b) I was actually referring to him as ‘my man’ already, and his reply didn’t reveal much either. Another fuck up from yours truly.
Once when I was a love sick fan girl teenager, I was nosing at a rockstar’s facebook, found his rumoured girlfriend on facebook and accidentally sent her a friend request without realizing. I finally noticed around three months later and she’d obviously seen the request. And the giant photo of said rockstars band as my facebook banner, therefore making it fairly obvious I was an obsessive fangirl.

Oh, when in Amsterdam. Not that I promote the use of drugs but, y’know, when in Amsterdam you gotta try the (legal, may I add..) space cakes. Did you also know that in Amsterdam, many clubs have unisex toilets? Well, one evening, after one too many space cakes (okay, well, I had one to myself instead of half for my first time like the man suggested), me and my friend got chatting to these super hot Australian dudes. We excused ourselves to go to the bathroom and agreed to meet back at the bar and whilst in the bathroom, I practically begged my friend to let us hang out with them for the rest of the night because the guy I was talking to was apparently so fit. And then, moments later, the guys exit from the stalls (in the unisex toilets) obviously having heard the whole thing… *facepalm*

And of course, there’s been many, many, many drunken messages. Sometimes they’ve led to a good thing but most of the time it just makes me come across as really over the top. I can’t help it. I can play it cool, sure, but as soon as I get a drink in me, all that vagueness builds up and overloads into ten messages in a row of me talking about how fit someone is and how much I like them and how good they smell. It’s actually got to the point now where if I know I’m having a messy night and I know there is someone I shouldn’t be talking to drunk, I’ll actually DELETE their number in advance just to be safe.

I mean some of these things just baffle me. I’ll go out of my way to be so careful to avoid getting in situations like these and then they happen but in a way that’s a million times worse than they could have. And they always make me come across as someone who literally stalks people online 24/7 when it’s genuinely just a one off mistake. God help me.

Have you ever had any dating disasters that you just can’t live down? Let me know!

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