It’s Halloween at last! My favourite day of the year; finally. To celebrate, my boyfriend and I have booked an entire two days off work to binge watch Stranger Things (it’ll probably only take one day but there’s an extra day just in case…) since we forgoed Halloween parties or anything like that.

If you’re like me though, you may find yourself leaving Halloween plans to the last minute like I have done in previous years. You want to do something spooky but you don’t quite know what exactly, and by the time you decide to do anything remotely related to the holiday, everything is booked up and all the shops are sold out of their decor.
Still, even if you’re sat at home on your todd tonight, even if you’re working today..there are still some small last minute ways you can still celebrate.
Here’s how.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Halloween | 10 small ways you can still celebrate Halloween
READ A SCARY BOOK | Anything by Stephen King gets top pick, or there’s plenty of zombie-related books out there too.
CARVE A PUMPKIN | Obvs. The supermarkets might be sold out of the proper big ones, but who’s to say a small and cute one can’t be scary in it’s own way?
EAT ON DECORATED PLATES | Shops will more than likely have a few Halloween party plates left over (and likely on sale today too). Why not have your dinner on some spooky themed plates tonight instead? Bonus points if you also pick up decorated paper cups. We’re using pumpkin trick or treat buckets as bowls for crisps tonight…
BINGE WATCH A SCARY SERIES | Stranger Things all the way! There’s also Black Mirror, iZombie and Scream.
EAT SOMETHING SPOOKY | Which brings me onto my next point: theme your food! Mini cocktail sausages in pastry can easily be made into mummy-themed snacks and carrots can be made to look like fingers = just add a side of hummus. These are just a few ideas that can be easily done, but I’ve heard places like Tesco also have some great recipes for creepy slimy cakes.
HALLOWEEN COCKTAILS | You really can’t go wrong with cool looking cocktails that are too pretty to drink but then get you tipsy when you do. Most can be made with the alcohol you already have at home as well: just add food colouring.
WATCH A SCARY MOVIE (OR TWO) | This one is obvious. And yes, Netflix has tons of picks to choose from.
STREAM A SPOOKY PLAY LIST | There’s tons on spotify, including music by the likes of MJ and Backstreet Boys. Take your pick. Note; this also works very well with Halloween cocktails, even if you are alone 😉
TRY SOME SCARY MAKEUP | Even if you don’t have plans to leave the house, you could always practice your makeup skills and will have that sh*t down ready for Halloween 2018. Go all out with a clown or doll face, or just incorporate some dark glitter and gothic lipstick into your everyday look for a seasonal edge. 
GO TRICK OR TREATING | I bet it’s been years since you’ve left the house dressed up to knock on other people’s doors. Get into the Halloween spirit by borrowing a small child (preferably one you’re related to or know like a niece or a friends kid!) and enjoy an Halloween tradition. Or decorate your front porch/door and buy some sweets to welcome any trick or treaters that might operate in your area, especially if in previous years you’ve drawn your curtains and pretended to not be home.
And if you don’t have any costumes in for any of the ideas above? When in doubt, always use loo roll and make yourself into an Egyptian mummy! Just make sure you use safety pins so it doesn’t all unravel minutes after leaving the house like what happened to me when I was younger…
You can also find me on

Oh, email inboxes. 

I have such a love/hate relationship with mine.

When I first upgraded from my 13-year old emo email address (which was something along the lines of suga371 – god help me) and chose a more professional address (, I felt super sophisticated and having a near empty inbox with nothing marked as unread was really satisfying to me.
Over the years though, this has changed a lot. I get so much junk email that just looking at my inbox gives me anxiety. Luckily I do still get some good emails like blogging opportunities or, um, packages being sent out, but as a whole, apart from these, there didn’t used to be a whole lot else.
Until I decided to up my email game and sign up to some semi-decent email newsletters. Nothing amazing, of course, but just a few to give me something interesting to read or to brighten an otherwise boring day.
Here are my favourite newsletters.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | 5 useful newsletters to brighten your inbox | LuckyTrip | Time Out London | The Lineup | Travel Zoo | Emerald Street

I love Emerald Street, a bite sized daily email curated for savvy young professionals. The newsletter covers lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food and more and also includes restaurant recommendations, book reviews and discounts. There’s also a small round up at the end of each email with more professional reads; think current news, thought provoking features and interesting articles that are worth creating conversations over.

C’mon, there needs to be at least one wistful bargain related email subscription, right? I may have never actually booked anything though travel zoo but I still scroll through wishing I was on holiday rather than stuck in the UK reading emails…

Time Out London is my go-to place to what’s going on in London and it’s usually via this newsletter that I get updates about some of the coolest pop-ups in the capital. There’s usually exclusive discount if you’re a member too.


For those who like their email newsletters to be a little on the spooky side, The Lineup is the newsletter for you. The content varies from addictive and unsolved murder crimes, bizarre Halloween costumes and creepy ghost stories. I love reading this when I haven’t felt creeped out in a while and it often leaves me in an internet black hole for a few hours, reading all about the paraformal. It’s perfect for Halloween too!

Even if you don’t have the app, the Lucky Trip newsletter is definitely worth subscribing to. Each email is jam-packed with travel inspiration and most recommendations have a theme, too. For example, the latest newsletter included a list of bone churches around the world for Halloween and focus on an abandoned doll factory. There’s also the ‘LOL FLIGHTS’ segment which includes deals on flights ‘so cheap it’s almost a joke…’

These are just five of my favourite email newsletters, but it has taken me a while to find ones I love! Even now I get bombarded with many I forgot I signed up for and have to unsubscribe but these ones have stuck. Do you have any email subscriptions you think are worth signing up for? Let me know!

You can also find me on


Last night I was lucky enough to head down the road to Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard (practically on my door step!) to check out and review their Halloween scare attraction, The Howl Scream Park.
I love anything scary and have been to similar things in the past, such as Dr Fright Night’s, so I had high expectations of this place and was really looking forward to it.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Halloween | Tulleys - The Howl Scream Park @ Mead Open Farm | Tulleys | The Howl Scream park | Mead Open Farm

Upon arrival, it was clear to see a lot was going on, such as a bonfire, actors roaming the park/farm area, a bar and even a live band. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to check out much else other than the actual attractions which is a huge shame because as well as being scary, the whole place had a really laid back and seasonal vibe. I’d have loved to have stayed and checked out the band and even had a few drinks – but there’s always next time!
Still, there was of course plenty of time to scare ourselves silly and so we braved the five scare attractions/mazes/walkthroughs on offer: Hotel de Basquervilles, Topper’s Twister, House of Hounds, The Shed and Squealers Yard.
I will try my best to avoid spoilers here but if you have yet to go and really want to be surprised, I’d stop reading here. Still, I cannot quite describe the tension and the fear factor we felt going through each attraction so even if you do read on to discover what some of them have to offer – set wise, anyway – there’s still lots to anticipate.
Each attraction had it’s own unique storyline and was rather different from the last; no two felt the same and I thought this was done really well. There’s only so much you can do with these type of attractions and although the set’s and theme can be different, often scares are the same.
This wasn’t the case here though. Yes, essentially people jump out at you but scares and jump tactics actually varied per walkthrough which was really good. In one, we found ourselves exploring a bright white room filled with smoke and fog, making us unable to see or anticipate what was coming for us. This really built the tension in a way I hadn’t felt before. In another, we had fun finding ourselves disoriented with a rotating tunnel, which meant I had to try and concentrate on staying on my feet and try and avoid getting too scared!
The attention to detail in each attraction was amazing. I particularly loved Topper’s Twister, which had a real twisted circus theme to it, with fake slides coming out of the walls and giant toy blocks. There was also a small ball pit, but I was rather disappointed to learn we were not going to go through that, haha. 
How fun/scary would it be trying to escape a clown whilst wading through a ball pit?!
But my hands down favourite had to be Hotel de Basquervilles. This spooky haunted hotel had so much to see and offer in each individual room, from a creepy white static TV to clothes and material hanging from the ceiling. It was really cool and I liked that there were a few less actors in this particular walkthrough as it instead gave us the chance to really notice each room and for the tension to build too.
In terms of scares: I certainly jumped and screamed a lot. Some attractions had more ‘jump’ scares than others, but I liked that it wasn’t too over the top. Some places go overboard with scaring their audience, meaning the audience doesn’t have the chance to really enjoy themselves or take in anything. This was just right.
Overall, it was so much fun and I actually want to go back again to explore each set in further detail and experience those scares again! The Howl Scream Park is definitely one of my favourite scare attractions yet and I’ll no doubt be returning next Halloween.
If you haven’t yet popped down, make sure you do. It’s a great night out to get scared and then have a laugh with friends and family afterwards with a cold beer at the bonfire or with some warm food listening to live music.

You can also find me on


Becoming vegan is certainly a journey – and a tough one at that. 

Deciding to take the plunge to give up meat and dairy may feel like the hardest part – and in some ways, it is a big decision from the reasons to doing it to whether or not you feel like your body can handle it – but what comes after is tough too, no matter how much research you do.
At first it’s very daunting: learning how to read labels for what not to eat, bombarding yourself with recipes and studying other ways you can get the protein and nutrients you’ll no longer get from meat.
Then there’s the food part. It’s tough knowing you’ll be giving up some of your favourite foods. What I have found hardest is giving up McDonalds and things like a Saturday night curry or Sunday roast dinner with my family. This has been tough because things like a Sunday roast are less about the taste and more about being with family and sticking to the tradition of that certain meal on a weekend.
Luckily, there are so many alternatives out there for all sorts: milk, butter, meat and chocolate – but finding what alternatives are best for you/which taste you prefer takes a lot of time. It takes months of trial and error – in fact it was only when I met my boyfriend did I finally settle on an alternative milk that makes tea taste like tea!
I’m going to share my favourites for you all – although it’s worth noting that just because I like it, it doesn’t mean you will! Still, it’s always helpful to be faced with more options as there may be some alternatives you might not be aware of already.
Here are my favourite vegan products and vegan alternatives.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Food | Vegan | My favourite vegan products | Vegan alternatives
Cheese is a tough one for me: I was never a huge lover of cheese or never paid much attention to different types of cheese, but I love things like cheese toasties and a simple cheese and onion sandwich. My favourite vegan go-to cheese is definitely Violife’s original flavour block: it does the job for things like pizza bases, being grated on most meals and also is nice for in a sandwich. The only thing I would say is that it’s a tad rubbery when grating and doesn’t have a ton of flavour, so if having it in a sandwich, it definitely needs some onion or pickle too. Violife’s ‘halloumi’ Mediterranean block has mixed opinions: it’s great in my take of a grilled cheese and chorizo roll, but I wouldn’t say it tastes of halloumi. It’s definitely got tons of flavour and has the right consistency though. Also from Violife: cheese slices work well for basic recipes like burgers or rolls. Mozzarella is great for a pizza topping and in sandwiches, and I can also recommend Tesco’s Free From Original Style Spread for when you’re feeling posh and want a decent cream cheese.
Luckily, most coffee places like Starbucks and Costa now stock Soya milk and other milk alternatives but my favourite milk is hands down Oatly’s Oat Drink. It’s the closest thing to milk I’ve tasted and is perfect in a cuppa or with cereal. The Chocolate Oat Drink is lush too.
I’ve actually found that most vegan alternative meat tastes just like meat when you put it together in a meal, which leads me to think the whole eating meat thing is more to do with sight and presentation. I had vegan hot dogs recently and because I presented them in an actual hot dog bun with onions and ketchup and such, I actually forgot they were meat free. Still, some of my favourite alternatives include Fry’s chicken style strips (great for stir fry’s and curries!), Fry’s chicken style burgers and Fry’s pepper pies and country mushroom pies. Pretty much anything Fry’s! I’m not a huge fan of Linda McCartney’s range but OH MY GOSH her Mini Pork & Apple Sausage Rolls are AMAZING. Seriously. If you love mini sausage rolls at Christmas like me, you’ll be pleased as punch. Just note – these are stated as vegetarian in the name, but are actually vegan too, despite being called vegetarian mini pork and apple sausage rolls.
But seriously though.You gotta try them. I was legit like this when I first tasted them:
OREOS! Oreos, Oreos and nothing else. I joke. But seriously the fact that Oreo’s are vegan is the best news ever. Ben & Jerry’s vegan range is lush too, but some other treats I really enjoy are: Pot Noodle Beef & Tomato flavour, Asda’s Onion Rings (currently munching on these as I type), Chopstix, Walker’s French Fries Ready Salted, Original flavour Pringles, (can you tell I love my crisps?!), Original Hobnobs, Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar flavour, Love Hearts, Nākd bars and many more to discover.
I’ll also say it’s worth checking both Tesco and ASDA for their dedicated Free From sections. Though not all products are vegan in these areas, a majority are and once you’re comfortable understanding labels, you’re bound to find tons of yummy items you didn’t realize are vegan. Luckily, Tesco’s Free From products are really easy to understand – just look out for the label that includes Free From Milk (but obviously check the back too in case it includes egg).

Also, Tesco do a very delicious hummus and falafel wrap as part of it’s lunchtime meal deal!

These are just some of my favourite products that I have discovered over the past few months; every time I shop however I come across new things to try and to add to my favourite shopping list. It’s amazing how easy being vegan can be once you’ve got a set list of products and vegan alternatives for basics like milk, meat etc.
Do you have any go-to vegan products you can recommend? Let me know with a comment!
You can also find me on


Halloween can be tough when you’re an adult.

You’re too old to go trick or treating, usually you’re working over Halloween so dressing up, going out and getting drunk is often out of the question and if you’re anything like me, you’ll leave plans until the last minute and then end up doing…nothing.
Halloween can often be overwhelming with the older you get, but there are small ways you can pay homage to the celebration without going over the top. One way is to succumb to all those odd areas of the internet and see where it leads you.

Here are some of my favourite creepy finds on the internet; may you end up spending hours scrolling through google and message boards by researching such oddities.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Halloween | 5 creepy internet finds to google this Halloween | Elisa Lam | The Tamam Shud Case | the Mystery of the Somerton Man | 11B-X-1371 |

Hold onto your socks because this mystery is a big one. The Tamam Shud case is also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, aka an unidentified man found dead on Somerton beach back in December 1948. Four months after his death, a piece of paper was found in his pocket and written on it were the words tamám shud, meaning ended or finished. The book which the paper was torn from was found later, and in the book police found a local telephone number, another unidentified number and a text that resembled an encrypted message. This is just the beginning though and there are unanswered questions about what was found with his body when it was discovered, who the telephone number belonged to, the discovery of a suitcase apparently belonging to the man and the lead up to his death. The case – still unresolved all these years later – is a fascinating one and you’ll certainly find yourself falling down a rabbit hole reading up about it all.

There are many a great thread surrounding all the creepy stuff that has come out of children’s mouths, from the oddly hilarious to the down right bonkers. These are great to read regardless, but if you really want to be creeped out, focus on things said from kids all about the paranormal and past lives. There have been stories of kids seeing spirits belonging to relatives long passed before then (and often before having even seen a photo of said relative), and spot on ‘memories’ from past lives, including the process of ‘choosing’ their new mum and dad. It’s often said that children’s minds are more vulnerable than ours – therefore making it easier for them to see ghosts as adults tend to disbelieve in the paranormal once they grow up – which makes it even creepier. If you’re a strong believer in the paranormal, you won’t be sleeping tonight after googling creepy stuff said by children – trust me.

You might remember this creepy video going viral a couple of years ago. In the video, a man is shown wearing a plague doctor costume in an abandoned cabin. He says nothing, but the soundtrack is creepy enough. There’s also a whole bunch of hidden images within the video which are both encrypted and gory. At the time, people suspected it was an advertisement for a creepy video game or that it was even a terrorism threat. But, this one you don’t have to fear about for long: it was later debunked to be a piece of art. Still creepy though.

I’ve actually blogged about this one before, but it’s still really disturbing, even if you do chalk it all up to Elisa Lam having mental health issues. Elisa was somebody who went missing and the last found footage of her showed her running into a lift at the Cecil hotel and acting strangely – almost as if she was scared of someone. Her actions almost look like she’s possessed, and you can still view this footage online (although there are theories that part of the footage has been cut out). She was later found dead in a water tank on the roof (with no plausible way of getting there), and even with the suggestion that perhaps her bipolar disorder led her to suicide, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions, such as changes in the autopsy report, how she got into the water tank without anyone elses help and the strange instances in the lift. This is definitely one to read up about online – I’d love to hear your theories – and you can go as far as to finding her old blog entries. As a bonus, the Cecil hotel actually has a gruesome past of it’s own – with many deaths and suicides having taken place there.

Thinking about going on a cruise this summer? Perhaps think again. Did you know there’s a large number of unsolved causes of death on cruise ships, as well as many deaths covered up? From what I know, the laws about dying on a cruise ship are a little less straight forward when you’re sailing the sea’s and between countries, so it makes sense that many have been covered up. One of the most popular cases, however, is that of Rebecca Coriam – who disappeared on a Disney ship! Though she was last seen alive in March 2011, the case still remains under investigation, and it’s rumoured that Disney have failed to handle the case properly to avoid negative press. There are accounts of crew members being told to cover up and lie about her death, further evidence regarding what happened that has yet to come to light and the theory that despite there being cameras everywhere on the ship, there is no proof that she ‘fell’ overboard as previously suggested.

I write about these cases respectfully and I am the first to admit how tough and hard it must be for the family and friends of people like Rebecca Coriam or Elisa Lam to not know the entire truth; however there’s no doubt that cases such as the ones mentioned above clearly need looking into further. Sadly, there are a lot of conspiracy theories and mysteries that may never be resolved.

What are your theories on the above cases? Are there any other creepy internet finds you believe should be on this list? Let me know…

You can also find me on