I’ve always wanted to travel and earlier this year, during my first time travelling in Mexico, I knew that that trip wouldn’t be the last one. I fell in love with discovering new cultures, exploring thousands of years of history and travelling different landscapes, from sandy white beaches to plush green jungles. 

During my trip, I travelled with a backpack I’d hastily ordered from Amazon just a week before. I wasn’t sure what type of luggage to go with and although I loved my backpack, I do wish I’d picked something more ideal for travel. It was a good size for my day-to-day activities – as I also brought a suitcase – but wouldn’t have cut it for long term travel. One of the straps also broke within the last few days of my trip too.
So I was delighted when CabinZero got in touch recently and asked me if I’d like to try out one of their specialized travel bags (how ideal would this opportunity have been back in April!). I had a look at the brand before choosing my bag and was overwhelmed with how ideal this company is when it comes to what they’re selling.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

CabinZero are actually avid fans of travelling – just one look at their blog will tell you that. Posts range from their favourite travel instagrammers to guest blogs about America’s best cities for fall travel. Basically, they know exactly what they’re talking about and what exactly a travel bag or backpack needs.
I picked the Classic CabinZero which is ideal for zero-hassle travel – perfect for a new traveller like me! I ordered it in Lipe Blue and the website states that backpack’s colour is inspired by the sea’s reflection of the last rays of a stunning Thai sunset – how inspiring is that?
My first impression of the bag is that the colour is beautiful. It’s bright and eye catching, meaning there’s little chance of it getting lost, but the colour is also slightly subtle too. It’s not too bright or in your face and I think it’ll go with anything.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

The bag is super spacious inside with smaller zipped compartments for things like toiletries and important documents, and another large elasticated section which fits my laptop nicely. On the front of the bag there’s also a zipped area which works for bits that need to be accessed quickly.

It’s also very sturdy and a good size. It’s more square than anything, which works really well, and as well as a zip to get inside, there’s also four clips you can use to be extra safe if you so choose. My favourite part, however, is that there’s also a handle down the left side of the bag. This means you can wear it as a backpack as normal, or you can carry it as you would a briefcase.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

This is such a genius idea and one I haven’t seen before. I’m used to backpacks with one small handle at the top and I always worry the handle will break with how much I’ve overpacked. So with a larger and more sturdy handle on the side, it also means when you pick it up you’re lifting where most of the weight is, rather than the empty area/gap at the top of your luggage/items if you haven’t packed to the brim.
I have yet to ‘travel’ with this bag (but keep an eye out as we’re heading back to Romania after Christmas!), but so far, I use it when travelling between my boyfriend’s flat and home. Normally I shove all my stuff into my day to day bag (which I take to work with me), which means it’s heavy and weighs me down, or just in a plastic bag with my laptop in its separate bag.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review

Lately, I’ve been able to keep everything in CabinZero’s classic travel bag and it’s perfect for that use. Of course it will obviously be perfect for travel – weekend, week or longer – but for the meantime, I’ve been getting plenty of use out of it.
Additionally, the bag is water resistant, designed to be the perfect cabin size, has a ten year warranty and has a lost and found tag built in – how nifty is that?!
Overall, I don’t think I would pick anything else for a travel bag now. It’s light but durable, it has all the compartments you need, it’s got extra safety additions and it’s really bloody stylish too.

What do you think? Would you benefit from a CabinZero Classic Travel Bag on your adventures? Let me know!

P.S Interested in purchasing your own CabinZero bag? You can use promo code CZLOUISEJOY for 10% off your entire order until 7th Jan!

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As you know, I always like to have my fingers in a lot of different pies (as dodge as that sounds!).

That’s probably why I’m always so tired! As well as working full time and blogging, I also like to take on extra stuff whether it’s for fun, for exposure or just to try something interesting.

Therefore I thought it would be nice to give you all and update on what other projects I’ve been up to lately.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Recent Projects | The Growing Up Guide, Betamax Video Club, M.O.S.H
So in the summer I began working full time again, at H&M (again), but this time in St Albans. In my short time there I’ve been told I’ve made a good impression so far and although it’s not ‘official’ so to speak, I am responsible for the accessories in the store. It started out with all ladies accessories – scarfs, shoes, hair bands – most cute stuff really. After Christmas, I’ll hopefully be responsible for all accessories in store. At the moment, I mostly do delivery shifts (which means early mornings but early finishes too) where I help process delivery, however my main priority is processing the accessories. This sees me unpacking them, often checking if they are on offer or on delivery and taking them down to the shop floor and finding a place for them. It might sound easy but it’s not really when you take into account how many accessories go on the shop floor with so little space. Often I have to move things around, put up and take down shelves, fill up the A area etc. It may not seem like a lot but it’s really nice being responsible for my own (often stressful!) area in the store. I’m hoping to eventually become an official extra responsible (which means I’ll officially be in charge of accessories but will also be a senior member of staff to some others), and then, in the long run, either department manager, a visual merchandiser or something press related. 
I’ve recently began to contribute to the sleek but really modern website/publication, The Growing Up Guide. The website focuses on some great stuff – namely serious issues and things people want to really read about and acts like some sort of online guide to young women. But of course it’s helpful for people like me and you too, as who can honestly say they have their shit together?! You can read some of my contributed posts here if you want to and I’ll also be doing an Instagram takeover on their account on the 16th December. I’ll be attending a quirky party in London that evening (part of my birthday plans) so make sure you check it out!
I’m a huge fan of 80s movies and I’ve recently really been getting into podcasts, so I found it really fun appearing on Rich’s podcast recently – a homage to all the best movies from the 1980s (ish). We chatted about the epic Tim Burton classic that is Beetlejuice, and in the upcoming weeks I’ll be appearing again to chat about another amazing 80s movie, Lost Boys. Give it a listen if you’re so inclined, but I apologize for the way my voice sounds. I sound like a boy. I know.
I’ve also begun contributing to M.O.S.H, which is part of the Hit The Floor network! It’s very early days yet but I have a couple of reviews submitted and I also like the range of feature ideas on here too. I think the key with music journalism is to just write as often as you can for as many eyes as you can. I still struggle a bit with writing reviews and using the proper technical terms for things, but I’m getting better.
Okay, lets face it, I’m no business woman. But I have had a somewhat unique fun idea which I’ll be exploring more in the run up to Christmas and hopefully sharing in the new year. So keep your eyes peeled – especially if you like music and, er, cross stitch…
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Back in October, I was lucky enough to receive my own desk from Kit Out My Office and it’s still one of my favourite blogging perks ever!

Having my own space and desk to blog at is such a great thing, I really appreciate having somewhere to call just mine at my boyfriend’s place so I’ve been over the moon with this desk.

However, when the desk arrived, I obviously wanted to get a review post up as soon as possible so back then, the desk wasn’t as personalized (or looking as pretty!) as it is now. Therefore I thought I’d do an update post (as I said I might) to show you all what it looks like now and to also talk about how it’s held up.

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So because my boyfriend lives in a shared flat with some of his colleagues, we (well he) was moved to the smaller room recently, which has actually turned out to be a good thing. We’ve moved some furniture around to make more space, and I have the perfect little corner for my desk – plus a wall!

I have yet to get something sturdy enough to attach my board to the wall so for the meantime, this cute little wire board from Primark just leans against the back wall. I only have on it one postcard from Paperchase so far, and I have left the others that came with it as they’re cute. This will be updated with inspiring prints and photos soon, hopefully.

Above that and to the left is a hanging bag set I got from Wish, which we both use just to store small bits and bobs like my hairbands, his vape stuff etc. Next to that is a sticker I stole from him, ha.

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On the desk, I still have my week planner and my magazine holder, which is now filled with recipes, magazines, notebooks etc. I’ve added a fake succulent plant (also from Primark and just until I can trust myself to keep a real one alive), another cute (currently unopened) candle from Vinegar Hill and a jar full of gold paperclips from Wilkinson’s. I don’t use them, they just look stylish.

I picked up this colourful pencil case from TK Maxx and I finally have a chair! It’s just one from the kitchen that will make do for now but I’ll get my own chair likely when we move into a new place. I’m on the lookout for a nice stylish cushion for it – perhaps a seasonal one.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Home | Creating my own blogging space with Kit Out My Office | Kit Out My Office | Blogger Space | Desk | Review
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Desk update with Kit Out My Office | Kit Out My Office | Blogger Space | Desk | Review
The desk has held up exceptionally well – proving that despite being my first bit of DIY, I did do it properly and it didn’t just collapse a few weeks in. We moved the drawer across a little in the end to give me a little more space when I have my legs crossed and my only qualm is that when the cat comes in and walks all over it to get to the windowsill, he always leaves lots of hair so I’m often having to wipe it down, ha!

Overall though, I’m still really pleased with it. It actually gives the whole room a more stylish but homely feel to it and being that it’s such a small room that doesn’t even belong to me, it’s really nice having my own space and a desk of my own.

It seems so long ago that I went on my trip around Mexico with TrekAmerica; my first time travelling, my first proper adventure and my first tour with Trek America. I’d wanted to travel with them for a long time so when I finally got the guts to take my much awaited Mexican trip, there was no doubt I’d go with TrekAmerica.

TrekAmerica offers many other tours though – including road trips – to and around places like the USA, Canada, Central & South America. In fact, there’s almost too many tours to choose from, many more varied then the last.
Since I’m looking ahead to my travels and adventures next year, I thought I’d compile a list of TrekAmerica tours I’d like to try.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | 5 TrekAmerica tours I want to try | TrekAmerica | Adventure | Mexican BLT | Mountie | Best Of The East | Hawaii Big Island | Mexico City To Playa Del Carmen BOLT | The Great 48

I’m not a huge fan of the outdoors but I could definitely wear in my walking boots if it involves a trip like this. This eleven day tour involves exploring British Columbia and Alberta in the Canadian Rockies – can you even imagine the photos and views you’ll end up with?! Highlights include a stay at a rustic guest ranch, relaxing in hot springs and a visit to Lake Louise – well, visiting this lake has always been on my bucket list (a lake named after me, ha!). Let’s not forget the amazing alpine scenery and entry to national parks too.

This tour offers an in depth look at the East Coast, with travels to New York, Nashville, Chicago and Niagara Falls to name just a few. Each visit to New York is different too, with the tour leader sharing their favourite places – recommendations straight from a local! Highlights include a bike tour of Chicago’s highlights and a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. So though you’ll be visiting a lot of cities, there’s some nature and outdoorsy stuff thrown in too just to keep it varied.

For those of you who like your adventures short and sweet, Hawaii Big Island is a big favourite. This tour mixes the right amount of plush scenery and adventure; it offers an island cruise and snorkelling, hiking trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and camping by remote beaches. If you’re new to the idea of travelling – or looking for your first TrekAmerica tour – perhaps this is it. It’s not too long and isn’t too much to take on for the first time.


I’ve obviously done a Mexican tour with TrekAmerica – and cannot recommend it enough – but when I chose to do that tour, it was actually a close choice between the Mexican BLT and this one. Mexico City to Playa Del Carmen involves seeing more of a range of Mexico and includes a visit to Mexico city of course. The tours are quite similar in content, but this one includes a visit to a Mexican market and San Cristobal de las Casas. If I were to do another Mexican tour, it would be this one to coincide with visiting Mexico city during the famous Day Of The Dead celebrations.
And, of course, I can’t not mention The Great 48. Anyone who is anyone has a full American road trip on their bucket list – myself included – and this tour makes that dream a reality. Visiting 48 of America’s 50 states (you’ll have to look for yourself to see which two are missed off!), this tour offers pretty much everything. The highlights are amazing: a party bus tour of Las Vegas, seeing the famous faces of the presidents at Mount Rushmore, watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon…need I go on?

If you’ve ever felt tempted by the idea of travelling, I can only recommend a tour with TrekAmerica. They’re perfect for first time travellers or adventures wanting to really get a feel of a place – and the tours are so varied too.

Would you ever (or have you ever?!) gone on a tour with TrekAmerica? Let me know!

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If you’re considering booking a tour with TrekAmerica after reading my recommendations, you can visit their website to see the full variety of tours on offer.


Yes, I am well aware of the fact that we’re still only in November but if you’re anything like me, you’ll already be looking ahead to the new year and what 2018 will bring.

It’s scary to think that 2018 isn’t far off but if you are planning to start some big new projects once 1st January hits, chances are there’s going to be one or two you’ll want to start prepping for now.

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I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a bullet journal for a while now and it’s taken me a good few months to even get my head around the idea of it all and the system it uses. I’ve also spent around six months pinning beautiful images for inspiration. The thing is, a bullet journal is no longer just a system people use to sort their sh*t out. A lot of people get hella creative with it. I get really anxious staring at a blank page I need to fill in creatively and I know that pressure is going to be massive on 1st January. So if you’re planning to start a bullet journal in the new year, you should choose a notebook now and do a few practice pages. Practice your system until you get used to it and until you get used to how much upkeep it needs. Have a go at layouts and designs so that come 1st January, you don’t mess up your first proper layout.
It’s not to everyone but if you’re thinking of going vegan or even just tempted to try going vegan once or twice a week, you’ll want to start your research now. Get book smart now about where you’ll be getting your vitamins (and weekly shop from!), bookmark some recipes and get your online order in stat. Don’t do what I did and wake up really hungover and unprepared on 1st January and end up eating ice and rice for your first day of being a full vegan. Not good. Also consider checking out my vegan starter kit.
I actually wrote a post about this for The Growing Up Guide, but if you’re set on overhauling your fitness goals in the new year, start as you mean to go on: now. Make a timetable of all your favourite local fitness classes or any you’d like to try (so if you ever get the urge to go after work one day you already know when and where you can get your sweat on: there’s nothing worse than really feeling a workout class and then realizing there’s none to attend that evening), buy some cute workout gear and maybe even purchase a health planner.
Scrapbooking can be started whenever but even if you just want to scrapbook your year, it’s best to get your supplies in early: a decent scrapbook, cute stickers, washi tape and the like.
Whether you’re looking to go travelling or just want a nice holiday, it’s best to do your research now. Start looking at places you want to go and when obviously, but once you’re set on these things, you’ll hopefully be ready to get your flights whenever they come up cheap – perhaps even in the January sales. You can also start budgeting now or putting money aside bit by bit so by the time the holiday comes around, you’re not going to be out of pocket!
By the time January hits, this should be easy, but if you want to save money in 2018, I’d suggest starting to track your finances now. By the time Christmas rolls around, hopefully you’ll have a better idea on your spending which you can use to then create a budget.
My goal next year is to create a staple wardrobe. For anyone else wanting to do this, it’s going to take time. It takes a while to find that perfect fitting pair of jeans, to create your ideal style and, well, to buy everything. But there are ways you can prep now; sort out what you don’t wear and get rid of it (Ebay it, head to a car boot sale or drop a bag full of clothes to H&M to get a £5 off voucher), start compiling a list and add things to a wish list in case they pop up in the January sales. Also think about sorting out your wardrobe and putting summer stuff away for winter. This will also free up space for new stuff.
So if you’re planning to really get your sh*t together in the new year, start prepping now. I mean, totally spend some time binge watching Christmas movies and being lazy too, but don’t wait until 1st January to start these projects and then fail immediately because, y’know, you don’t have the supplies for a bullet journal or no vegan food at home.
What other projects can be prepped now? Let me know!
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