I watch/read/stumble upon so much random stuff online which ends up absolutely fascinating me, making me nearly wee my pants with laughter or squeal inaudible noises as I forward cute teacup pig videos to my boyfriend. Honestly. Facebook used to be filled with people’s most boring status’s until I unfollowed them and now I thankfully end up discovering some pretty cool stuff on the social networking site.
And therefore, to share such stuff with you all, I actually thought ahead for once and began to bookmark/save links as I went along this month. Check me out!
Here’s some cool stuff I’ve been loving this July.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | July Favourites
THE CLOVERFIELD UNIVERSE (THEORY)
The other day I got the chance to geek out with my boyfriend as we watched this interesting Youtube video that goes deeper into the world of the Cloverfield films. We’d been discussing the film the previous day and as he watches a lot of film theory videos that I end up loving, we searched for one about Cloverfield and lo and behold, found this. I love Cloverfield as you all know and have always been fascinated by the fact that you can take the film as it is or delve further into the history of the monster and where it came from. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the movie. I was wrong. From characters with huge backstories – that don’t even appear in the movie but are related to it’s history – to whole other companies with accessible websites – it’s all covered in this nifty little video that sums up the weird and wonderful world created by the amazing J.J. Abrams.
GAME OF THRONES MAP
I’m not going to lie, it’s taken me a bloody long time to get into Game of Thrones. I’m only really doing it properly now so me and my boyfriend can watch the new series together and I’m only up to the first episode of the second season. God help me. Anyway, I found this cool map which is really useful for getting my head around it all (I think next I need a family tree as I’m always getting characters mixed up), even if it does have a few tiny spoilers. 

INSTAGRAM-FAMOUS EXPERIMENT
Another one from Cosmo! Continuing on from last months post which focused a little on Instagram (stories), I am loving this Instagram-famous experiment on Cosmo. I’m actually super digging their challenges lately. This one was a fun but tongue-in-cheek read, although the results were not what I expected. Everyone believes a super stylish Instagram theme is the way forward, but this article proved that authenticity trumps everything else. Which is cool, y’know.

GENIUS STREET ART
I don’t know a lot about graffiti, but I do know this street art in New York is pretty damn awesome.

CHEAP AS CHIPS FESTIVALS
Finally, I decided not to do any music festivals this year to save money and boy am I regretting it. Therefore I bookmarked this post by Red Bull for future reference and it just goes to show that you don’t need to drop £200+ on a weekend camping ticket to enjoy a decent music festival. All of these look pretty cool and most of them look really Instagram worthy too.

So there you have it: just a few things I’ve really loved this month – how about you?!

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I picked up this book a couple months ago after seeing it recommended in a magazine for fans of One Day. I really love romance books that take into account fate or almost-meeting moments, so I was really excited to start reading this story. The cover is really sweet too; it’s basic but drew me in.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Book Review | Miss You | Miss You by Kate Eberlen | Kate Eberlen
The blurb on the back reads –
Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven’t met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence – and, for one day, the paths of these two eighteen-year-olds will criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and chance, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?

This book was an interesting read, following the characters of Gus and Tess over the span of sixteen years. What I found most interesting was that they actually sort of meet at the beginning of the book, so already it’s not a case that they haven’t met properly yet. Still, this made it kind of romantic and I loved the overall idea that they (spoiler alert) came together years and years later with a lifetime apart. 
The whole story is filled with what-if’s and too-close moments which had me re-reading over and over again. Some chances where they almost met didn’t even register to me at first, so I’ll likely be giving this book another read. It’s bittersweet in a way; they’re destined to be together and almost meet by fate so many times, but still manage to spend so long apart. It almost makes you wish they met/got together sooner so they would have had all those years together.
The characters of Gus and Tess were really likeable and relatable and I really loved that even Gus’s character had tons of depth. A lot of the time in romance novels, the male lead isn’t focused on as much, even when stories are in the same One Day style as this one, so that was refreshing. Although some of both Tess’s and Gus’s actions and decisions were questionable, the whole story overall was realistic and had a lot of lessons behind it.
I was sad there wasn’t more story of them together, so essentially this is a story about each of their lives as opposed to a love story. The story actually reminded me a lot of Love, Rosie too – and of course, One Day – but to sum up, I’d probably say Miss You is just that more favourable to me than Love, Rosie, but not quite up there with One Day. The story definitely moved me though and I found myself in tears on a number of occasions, especially when reading the storyline regarding Tess and her mother’s illness. 
So to conclude, the only negatives to this book are that I’d have liked to have read more about the romance between Tess and Gus – or at least their lives after they finally got together – and the fact that though this story was extremely well written, as a whole it has been done before and isn’t too dissimilar to books such as One Day and Love, Rosie.


But Miss You is really moving and heartwarming overall and will definitely make you believe in fate if you don’t already.
I’m excited to read Miss You once more, as I feel there are a few more ‘almost moments’ to be picked up on. Overall I’d recommend this story for anyone looking for a romance summer read that has just that bit more depth than your average chick-lit story.
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Things change when you’re an adult. I’ve spoken about this before, but I still find it surprising that now that I’m in my late twenties, I find a certain satisfaction in buying homeware, keeping a room clean and just making a nice living space in general. Really, I thought I’d never see the day.

Being that I now split my time between staying at home and staying at my boyfriend’s flat – and with our upcoming plans to move into a new place together (eventually, when funds allow), I spend even more time browsing for home products to make my boyfriend’s room just that more homely. I tend to look for products that we can bring to the new place eventually, and since we made the decision to move in together, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about what we both want from our own place. 
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Collaborative Post | Lifestyle | Home | The Psychology of Colour
So far, my must have’s are a separate bathtub and shower (as in, an actual shower and not just a bath tub and shower in one), and his is just a gaming/PC area. Although we’ll be renting (so re-painting walls and full redecorating probably won’t be an option for us), we can still theme rooms by buying matching products or choosing accessories in specific colours.
Therefore, I found this Psychology of Colour guide super interesting, especially as it touches on the different effects and feelings colours can have on a person (which is something I actually briefly studied in college too when we did a module in advertising, I found it so fascinating). It states things like the colour purple is relaxing and elicits feelings of comfort, which means its ideal for a living room area.
On the other hand, it also states that black is a perfect colour for a bathroom as it adds sophistication and represents luxury. Boy do I love this; I’ve wanted to paint a bathroom or bedroom black for such a long time now and now I have back up reasons to state that it works and it doesn’t just look gothic. Seriously, even my bathroom on The Sims has black walls, a gold bathtub and tons of red hand towels and candles – it’s such a lovely look!
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Collaborative Post | Lifestyle | Home | The Psychology of Colour
Overall, I actually found this guide really helpful, as I already know I’m going to feel pretty overwhelmed when being faced with a new and empty space that I have to fill. I’m a sucker for junk and knickknacks, so being able to follow this guide to ensure things match and give off the right feeling is going to be really helpful when the time comes.
Have you ever thought about the colours in your home and the way they effect the feel of a room? Let me know!

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My boyfriend and I visited Blackpool recently and we packed so much into our short time there, but we’re already thinking about returning either this winter or next. The reason being is that Blackpool is the type of place you can visit all year round – in fact, Blackpool’s out of season is in the summer as there’s just so much to do in winter, which not many people realize.
Here are some reasons you should think about visiting Blackpool this winter.

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

THE ILLUMINATIONS
This ones a given, but Blackpool is famous for it’s illuminations or, rather, the golden mile (despite the fact that the illuminations actually run for around six miles). The light festival consists a large display of lights running above the main seafront, which people travel in car, coach or bus to view – entirely free, of course. There is often trams and cars alight too. The illuminations are switched on on the 1st of September each year with a concert and with famous people often conducting the switch on – a few years ago it was Tim Burton! All those lights look dazzling at night, especially the closer we get to Christmas.
THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO
Really, the list is almost endless. There’s Blackpool Tower, The Tower Circus, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, The Tower Ballroom (where Strictly’s final takes place!), SEALIFE Blackpool, the Pleasure Beach, Sandcastle Waterpark, casino’s, arcades (and the famous Coral Island!), Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, Madame Tussauds, three piers, lots of shows, the beach and a theatre – to name just a few! Most attractions also offer combined cheaper tickets to help you save money. You definitely won’t run out of things to do here.
There’s more further afield. In Blackpool, everything is close together and in walking (or tram!) distance, but on the outskirts of the city and in Lancashire in general there’s also a lot to do if you’re with a car. There’s Blackpool Zoo, Ashton Gardens, Fairhaven Lake and more.

IT’S  GREAT FOR A ROMANTIC *cough* DIRTY WEEKEND AWAY
I’ll be honest with you here: as well as being known for a popular area for stag & den do’s, it’s also a great place for, ahem, a dirty and/or romantic weekend away. With lots of great bars for laid back drinks, a theatre, tons of shows and even a few lingerie/sex shops dotted about, it’s going to be very hard to visit Blackpool on a weekend away with your other half and not feel closer together or rekindle things between you. A kiss at the top of Blackpool Tower is also a must. Plus if it’s freezing outside, it’s always a good idea to get hot and heavy inside, no?

NO SUNSHINE? = NO PROBLEM

Lets face it, you don’t visit Blackpool to go and lay on the beach to get a tan. You can still visit the beach of course and huddle up on a bench and eat some classic seaside fish and chips. You really don’t need nice weather but if you insist on those summer holiday vibes, you can always head over to Sandcastle Waterpark for a giant indoor paradise/water theme park. Some hotel’s also offer pools too. For example, the day we went and got caught in the rain, once we got back to the hotel we treated ourselves to a swim, hot tub and sauna to warm up. Plus, as we found, a little bit of overcast meant we had to wait in virtually no lines at The Pleasure Beach too.

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

IT’S CHEAP AS CHIPS
A weekend away doesn’t have to be expensive, especially when Christmas is fast approaching and money needs to be saved. As a whole, being up north means most things are cheaper than they are down south, but there are plenty of ways to save money. We got the coach up which saved money and for travelling around Blackpool, we got a fab tram pass which meant for around £11 each, we got unlimited travel on the trams for all three days. Trams were super frequent so this was really useful, especially when we spent the day at The Pleasure Beach and were too tired to walk all the way back to the other side of Blackpool for our hotel. As I mentioned, most attractions do great deals too. The tower offers varied types of tickets depending on what you want to do there (as not everyone will want to pay for the children’s play area for example!), and we won a free wristband for The Pleasure Beach by playing the app The Big One. I mean it drove me freakin’ mad at times but after playing on and off for a few days, we wracked up enough vouchers for one free wristband which was great. You can also buy wristband’s cheaper the earlier you buy them in advance online. This is a tough one as often the weather can be unpredictable, but the park offers a Rainy Day Return deal. If it rains for more than three consecutive hours (or even just rains lightly or spits!), you can return for free the following day or for half price during any Sunday later in the season.

THE BIG ONE (ROLLER COASTER) AT BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH
Okay, so this ride is amazing no matter what time of year it is, but it still deserves an honourable mention. The ride begins with a slow ascend to the top to offer a beautiful view of surrounding Blackpool, followed by a stomach clenching steep drop of 205 feet. The rollercoaster broke many records when it was first built, such as the tallest and steepest rollercoaster in the world and the fastest in Europe in 1994. It now still remains as the tallest in the UK. Plus it’s just amazing. Need I say more?!

These are just six reasons to visit Blackpool this winter (and some reasons to visit anytime really), but there really are so many reasons and more to discover. For example, I had no idea there was paintball or Stanley Park in Blackpool, nor that there was a model village! Even though we went less than a month ago, writing this post has given me serious nostalgia to go back ASAP…

Have you ever considered Blackpool for a winter weekend away? Let me know!

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I’m not going to lie; this is probably the first of many, many H&M haul posts since I started working there again – but more on my new job later. In the meantime, having worked there for around two weeks now, I finally gave in and used my staff discount for some goodies.
The make-up I’ll likely be keeping spare at my boyfriend’s house, but first it’s a nice little haul for our upcoming holiday in two weeks time (speaking of which, I’m looking for guest post’s if anyone is interested…)
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul
I actually only planned to buy a bikini and tried a bunch on before eventually settling on this beautiful printed one. I was quite surprised; most I tried on fit really well which I always find surprising in shops. It’s always tough enough trying on bikini’s in the horrible lighting in changing rooms and most shops have a lot of varied sizing but H&M was really good for sizing this time. I have two patterned bikini’s to take away with me but I’m going to still keep an eye out for a more simple plain one too.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul

I do really love the detail on this one and the bottoms fit really nice without showing too much. I remember how much I hated shopping for swimwear ready for my Mexico trip as everything in the shops was just really revealing and skimpy so I’m glad H&M has more variety.
Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul
I bought these cute glow/highlighter pens just because they’re so damn cute. I like the idea of using a ‘crayon’ as a highlighter as I haven’t much experience with highlighters before. These look super easy to use and really versatile and subtle too.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul

I also purchased this simple highlight palette which has more of a variety of colours; a couple of which that can be doubled up as a blusher. I like the look of this but they looked quite glittery in my swatches so I’ll likely just use this palette for an evening look as opposed to a day-to-day one.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul
I’ve been after a new liquid eyeliner or so long now as the one I currently use is one I’ve had for years. I like my eyeliner to be like a felt tip and loved the look of this one, although when I took a swatch on my hand, the line seemed thicker than I originally thought. Still, with practice I think this will serve me well.

Finally, I also picked up a super cute mini brush and makeup sponge kit from the sale. The brush is sooooo soft and I chose to get a sponge too because a) it’s cute and b) currently I apply my makeup with like..I don’t even know what to call it but probably also a type of makeup sponge but it’s really flat and just ugh. So I figured I’d jump on the beauty blogger band wagon and try one of these.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Beauty | Make-up | H&M | H&M Haul | Shopping Haul

I’m pretty pleased with my purchases and I think they’ll serve me well; then again I still need to actually try them out so once I do I’ll ensure I get a review up. I think they’ll do the job for the price that they cost = I’m not expecting amazing results but I am also only after make-up for an everyday look and it’s not like I’ll be putting together creative out there looks inspired by Instagram. So for what they are, they’re exactly what I need.

What do you think? Have you tried any of H&M’s beauty/make-up range? Let me know!

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