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.

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BUZZFEED’S MEAL PLAN
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. 
BLOGLOVIN’ ACTIVATE 
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.
BLOG POSTS
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.
I HEART FOREVER
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. 
INSTAGRAM STORIES
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..?

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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.

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IT WAS MORE HIGH END THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
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.
IT WAS REALLY SOCIAL
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.
PEOPLE LOVE FREE SHIT (CANAPES AND DRINKS FOR THE WIN)
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!
THE ICE BAR WAS REALLY FUN…
…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’M OBVIOUSLY BEING TRAINED TO BECOME AN INSTAGRAM HUSBAND/BLOGGER BOYFRIEND
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!
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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. 
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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!

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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.

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I haven’t done a wishlist post in so long!


I recently discovered this Wish app via a weird Facebook advert; I kept seeing an advertisement of those weird feet booties (that shed dead skin) and other odd body treatments and I don’t know why. Still, out of curiousity I clicked onto it as I actually do kind of want the feet booties and then I discovered how cheap everything on the app was!
At first I was wary, everything seemed too cheap and too good to be true. But I read through the reviews and figured it wouldn’t hurt to buy one or two things just to see if it’s legit and check out the quality as it was so cheap. I ordered a sweet black crop top to wear beneath some of my wife beater tops and although it took a while to arrive (as most things would from another country), it was great quality! 
The only issue was that one of the straps was a little loose but this can easily be fixed.
Anyway. Since then, I’ve been adding items to my wishlists left, right and centre! Here’s what I’ve been eyeing up…
HOMEWARE
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Wednesday Wishlist | Wishlist | Wish App | Shopping | Bargain
ONE | I am loving these cute chic laundry baskets. I’ll be honest, I’ve been keeping an eye out for one for my boyfriend as he doesn’t have one currently, so I think the ‘home’ one would be ideal.

TWO | These cushions! Oh my god. There’s so many beautiful cushion covers on this app and I really like these. The problem is to not have too many clashing, but most of these are quite subtle and versatile colours. I particularly like the pineapple one.


THREE | I really love the boho vibe of tapestries; especially when they’re hung on the wall as a statement piece. There’s a few from this collection but I particularly like this colourful elephant one. Although I wouldn’t hang it above my bed, I’d probably instead hang it on one plain wall or in a reading nook.

FOUR | I’ll actually be purchasing these soon as I love the idea behind hanging bags on the wall and the more you get, the better they look together. They’re small, but perfect for ‘bits and bobs’. I’m going to buy a couple to hang at my boyfriends to keep some of my own stuff in; as I’m getting sick of lugging a huge bag of clothes, toiletries and makeup every time I go to his to stay for a couple of days. I constantly joke about how I’m slyly moving in bit by bit without him realizing..!
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES 

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ONE | How stunning is this bikini?! I love the colours and the fact that it’s a little bit different whilst still being relatively classy. Most swimwear on the high street this year offers cut out parts, lots of gems etc and it’s just too much for me, so this more laid back but still pretty two piece is what I’ve got my eye on for my summer holiday in August.

TWO | How gorgeous do these matte lipglosses look? I still haven’t taken the plunge and splurged on any MAC lipsticks yet, so I’m going to give these a go first, as they look beautiful. I’ve just put my order in for the deep purple one.

THREE | I know, the idea of these booties sound disgusting but they have become a huge trend this year. It’s not even that I want baby soft feet – I hate my feet so I don’t care – but I’m sick and love peeling off dead skin #sorrynotsorry. The only thing is, the process is rumoured to take so long that I’d have to avoid leaving the house for a whole week…it would be worth it though..right?

FOUR | And finally, this uber cool watch. I don’t really wear watches to tell the time, only to accessorise, ha! And this would look really sweet on my wrist.

I actually found it so hard to narrow everything down for this post as there’s so much I want, I’ve actually had to take a step back and stop using it for a few days because I’m adding so much to my wishlist to buy and talking myself into it because it’s just so cheap. The homeware gadgets, in particular, are AWESOME. There’s even a thing that collects food in the sink so you don’t have to touch manky wet food, rejoice!

Although this post isn’t a collaboration of any kind and I did genuinely want to share this super cool app with you, I will note that if anyone does want to sign up, you can use my code to get 50% off your first order! (And the discounts don’t stop there, there’s promotions such as free items where you just pay shipping, items made even cheaper if you buy them within a set time and the more you use the app the more discount you get!).

So if you’d like to use the app yourself and get 50% off, you can use the code htprwlq. I do also get 50% off is someone uses it but if you know me, you’ll know I love sharing a good bargain or wishlist anyway, so you’ll know that I haven’t written this post for that specific reason. You can also find my profile here, where you can see the wishlists I’ve created & find all the items mentioned above.

What do you think? Do you think you’ll treat yourself to anything off Wish? Let me know with a comment!

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review so I thought it was time for another. I picked up I See You by Claire Mackintosh (and another book, Miss You, which I’ll also pop a review up for) recently at WHSmith, as I realized it had been ages since I’d bought a new book.

It was also not the type of book I’d normally read, as usually I’m set in my ways with chick lit books or zombie novels, so this thrilling psychological thriller was new to me.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Book Review | Books | I See You | Claire Mackintosh | Thriller | Mystery

The blurb reads –
You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you’re going.
You’re not alone…

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She take it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different women, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is it someone keeping track of every move they make…
The first thing that attracted me to this book was how local the story was set; it’s based all around a women’s usual commute around London – and often on the tube – which is something I’m used to doing myself. The story actually brought up some interesting points about how we never really pay attention when on our regular commute and how easy it is for someone to be watching us or to steal from us.
I thought by reading a story based around something I know of would give it an interesting twist and it did. It definitely felt just that bit more gripping to me to know that anything that was happening in the book could happen to me – the whole premise behind what was happening was entirely realistic.
This story was gripping and I couldn’t put the book down once I got past the first few chapters. The first few chapters were setting the story and focused on different crimes that were related, which meant that for a while there were a lot of different characters and names to remember. This got a little confusing, so I was pleased when the story faltered out of this to focus on the main characters.

The story also kept me guessing until the very end – this wasn’t a book where I could guess the ending nor who was behind it all which is always a good thing. Throughout the book there were tiny parts that were added to pad out the story that didn’t really make sense at the time – although looking back now and thinking about it more, I can see where each little thing slotted in – smart!

The characters were likeable and I especially loved the fact that the main women of the hour were such strong characters. A lot of the story was based around men preying on unsuspecting women, but to read the main characters as being such headstrong women was refreshing.

Finally, the ending. I liked the ending and liked that it tied up all ends nicely. I did find some of it a little unrealistic, but it all made sense and I think had it ended any other way I would have finished the book feeling disappointed and let down.

All in all, it was a really interesting and gripping read for my first thriller novel – I’ll certainly be reading this type of genre a lot more often.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Book Review | Books | I See You | Claire Mackintosh | Thriller | Mystery
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