Lately, I was ‘lucky’ enough to discover a very old online diary of mine, which I used to write in daily religiously from the age of sixteenish onwards. It was a real eye opener, reading what I got up to on a day-to-day basis at those ages: the people I hung out with, the jokes we had and the many, many boys I claimed to be head over heels in lust with.

It may have sounded dramatic – I went into painstaking detail about a lot of my dates – but then again, I was a wannabe emo kid at that age. So I decided to share some of the most embarrassing entries with you all today because, well, who doesn’t like laughing at that type of thing?!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | Confessions of a 17 year old wanna be emo kid | Online dating

He started calling me everynight. He gave me his braclets to wear. He put my picture as his phone background. He put me in his myspace top friends before I put him in mine…

Oh the woes and dramas of Myspace. I wrote this when I met and started seeing a guy (who I’m actually still friends with to this day) and who at the time led me on before getting a new girlfriend. I wrote about the things he did to lead me on; how he was the one putting out all the stops and pursuing me. But the worst part was that he made things almost official by adding me to his top 8 friends on Myspace. FIRST. I only followed suit once he did it, and almost immediately I was replaced by his new girlfriend, my top 8 status long gone. I was so angry. It was like a slap in the face and we all know that being taken out of someones top 8 Myspace friends is the equivalent of blocking someone out of your life entirely these days. I laugh about it now of course but there’s still a bit of aghast there when I look back…ha!

Boys confuse me. B****, this fittie from college, ive spoken to him a few times on myspace and he’s always pretty friendly. I commented his pic and he commented mine back saying ‘You look nice in that dress love x’ and usually I mail him first on there but the other day he emailed me first. But anyway I see him in college, only plucked up the courage to say to him Hi once, but I see him a lot. The other day apparntly at lunch he was proper staring at me and turned right around in his chair to do so at one point. Hmmm confuses me.

There was this guy who went to my college who I was always too scared to strike up conversation with in real life. We occasionally said hi, but as a whole, college was two years of us flirting timidly on Myspace but never making any effort to speak properly. It was a confusing time.

She’s his best mate and he’s in love with her but she doesn’t like him like that..he told me he was nearly over her but. Anyway she got with his mate at the weekend and its caused loads of issues between them so we went downstairs and J**** went upstairs again to talk to her (for about 2 hours :|) and then she came down the stairs and left the house crying.

What even? I had a date with a boy, a girl he was in love with turned up and he left me to have a two hour serious talk with her which resulted in her leaving in tears. AND YET I STAYED. Why did I not just leave? Why the hell would I honestly think it was a good idea to wait or that it was an okay thing for that boy to do that to me?? I hate that boy to this day and still curse him for breaking my heart ladyboner.

Then on the way to reception I was by myself and so was B**** and he saw me and looked away shyly and looked back and smiled and said hey and I was like F*CK YES GET IN THERE lol. Then mamaw was here and he walked out behind me and shimmyed off to look on/investigate the minor crash that had taken place in the car park to which I replied ‘Students’

I tried to act aloof and sophisticated, shaking my head in dismay at bad student drivers. It was also in this entry that my friend claimed the male above watched us play table tennis, laughing when I missed a shot and staring on at my cookies in jealousy/lust. No, cookies is not a enthusiasm. I actually did have cookies.

Hearing from a friend that J**** was seeing someone (b*stard, she’s already number 1 in his top friends. I was in his top friends for what, a day? And I was still the last one and I still had to put him in mine first)

Did I not learn the first time?! This time around, J**** from above (the one who was in love with his best friend) angered me by getting a NEW girlfriend and putting her at NUMBER ONE in his top friends. Blasphemy.

Then I woke up to find SOMEONE had eaten my crisps I bought Monday especially for a crisp sandwhich and there was no dog food so I rung mamaw then rung Janine..she bought the dog food but not the crisps. Nevertheless this put me in a bad mood.

I know this isn’t about boys and actually, looking back, it’s not really over dramatic because I react the same way now when someone eats my food but lolz.

Although I clearly loved the drama at the time, I can’t help but read over (and laugh and cry at) these entries and count myself lucky that I don’t have to deal with this type of sh*t anymore. I mean, sure, up until I met my boyfriend I still used to meet tons of pr*cks that acted like the boys above, but I like to think I’m now a lot wiser to that type of behaviour.

I’ve also learned how to spell properly. Go figure.

Wiser than me and looking to put your practices into motion? Why not try online dating? Free dating sites such as are a great way to meet potential dates.

Just remember remember the five golden rules:

  • I know Myspace doesn’t exist anymore but DO NOT GIVE A CRAP about online stuff/the modern equivalent of top eight friends. If you’re together and he aint willing to show you off online, he aint worth it.
  • If you speak to someone online but not when you see them in real life, GROW SOME BALLS.
  • Don’t fall in love with boys who are in love with their best friend. No good will come of it.
  • Acting aloof sometimes works, but also don’t take the p*ss out of student drivers who crash, especially if you can’t even drive yourself!
  • Hide your treats.

Do you have any embarrassing memories from being a seventeen year old wannabe emo kid? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.


Sometimes it’s just nice to make a list of happy things. It’s lovely to write, it’s lovely to look back on when you’re feeling down and it’s a great personal touch to any blog. So, to celebrate the fact that today is International Day Of Happiness, here is a list of just some things that make me happy.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | What makes me happy | International Day of Happiness

MUSIC | No matter what mood I’m in, music can cheer me right up. Some songs make me dance around like a lunatic. Some songs make me think of happy memories. Other songs I enjoy moshing to at gigs, and some I sing at the top of my voice when driving along.

LONG SUMMER EVENINGS | In summer, days seem to last forever because it gets dark so late. I love that moment in the day when it’s late afternoon – but it feels like much, much later – and you’re outside nursing a beer or spending time with friends. You can hear that summer sound – someone mowing their garden in the distance and maybe the low rumble of relaxing music somewhere else. You think the day is almost over but when you check the time you realize that you’ve still got hours before you even have to move a muscle.

CHILDHOOD MOVIES | Some all time favourites that never fail to cheer me up are The Mummy, Three Men and a Baby, Father Of The Bride, Look Who’s Talking, Ferngully, Hercules, Thumbelina…there are many more but stick any of these on and I guarantee you I’ll be right as rain.

MY BOYFRIEND | My boyfriend drives me crazy to the point that no other can. If I didn’t love him so much and know that it was all in good will, I would say it was on the verge of bullying because he just gets some sick kick out of annoying me! But, that being said, he makes me so happy as well. Whether that’s planning our summer adventures together or having a quick snuggle before work – there’s not one moment (for the most part) that he doesn’t make me happy. He can make me laugh so hard that I snort or cry tears of happiness and being that humour is such an important thing to me in a relationship, it works out pretty damn well for me.

AVOCADO | #Sorrynotsorry. I just love it. On toast. In guacamole. By itself. It’s just so damn good that I even want an avocado tattoo one day.

LAZY SUNDAY MORNINGS | On the rare occasion that I have a Sunday off work, I like to have breakfast in bed with a cuppa and catch up on New Girl and Made In Chelsea. I also read some blogs and genuinely stay in bed for as late as I like – hey, that’s what Sundays are for though!

MY FRIENDS & FAMILY | Obviously. I can always rely on them; my family look after me and look out for me in ways I couldn’t even imagine, and my friends are always on hand to cheer me up when I need it.

AMARETTO | This stuff is lethal because it’s so tasty that it makes you get drunk very easily, but it has been my drink of choice for many years now. I love it with coke…

A COLD BEER AT A GIG | ..but saying that, there really is nothing better than a cold beer at a gig. Heck, even a warm beer at a gig is okay. I can’t drink anything else when seeing live music (except maybe a jager bomb or two if I’m planning a wild night…)

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | What makes me happy | International Day of Happiness

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE | One of the best parts of a big night out is conferring with your friends the next day. You discover what stupid sh*t you got up to drunk, they tell you things you forgot happened…and the drunken pictures. Oh the drunken pictures.

PARTY SAUSAGE ROLLS | They were always the sole reason I’d go to any most family parties when I was younger but now I even adore the Linda McCartney vegan ones. You just can’t go wrong with mini/party sausage rolls…

OFFBEAT INDIE MOVIES | Don’t get me wrong, I love popular blockbuster movies too, but I absolutely love stumbling across indie gems that I end up loving so much. In the past, I’ve discovered movies such as In Search of a Midnight Kiss, The Pill, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Like Crazy, A Long Way Down, Nesting and Obvious Child. Plus I guess finding these unique relatively unheard of films makes me feel really cultured..!

CUTE NOTEBOOKS | With pretty prints or inspiring slogans…I don’t have any use for half the notebooks I already own and yet I continue to buy them.

MY BLOG | It’s my baby…!

MY BED | Yep.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into some things that make me happy: what would be on your list? Let me know!


Today on the blog I have something a little different and that’s a review of a sweet little short film called Uncle Marty.

It’s actually produced, written and directed by my talented friend, Thomas Young, who I once met drunk on a night out years and years ago but who has done so many talented things related to film over the years.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Movies | A review of short film Uncle Marty | Uncle Marty | Short Film | Thomas Younge

In fact, Thomas and the team behind Uncle Marty have even entered the short film into film festivals Drunken Film Festival, The Shortest Nights and Bedford Film Festival.

Uncle Marty sees a brother and sister travel across England to say their final goodbyes to their Uncle Marty, but, of course, not everything goes to plan. With the two characters being pressed for time and rushing across the country to reach the funeral in time, we see the siblings react to the possibility of missing the funeral but also the realisation of losing someone so close to them and someone they look up to.

Though the film is short, it packs a lot into the ten minutes or so of viewing time, and Katie Queue and William Lester genuinly draw the audience in and offer a lot of emotion. Their excellent performances bounce well of off each other – Tim, played by William, offers a humorous character you can’t help but love, whereas Penny is worried and tense at first but entirely relatable as the more serious of the two siblings.

I have to mention the locations too. The opening shots take place at Leagrave train station (somewhere close to home for me!) but later scenes take place in the breathtaking New Forest. What a beautiful place!

The whole piece has some real beautiful camera shots, courtesy of Daniel Read as the cinematographer, making it more than just a movie and much like a work of art too.

Uncle Marty is a really short but sweet film that will make you laugh but will also get you thinking about the memories left behind by someone once they’re gone.

Here’s hoping the film does well at the festivals – it certainly deserves it.

Check it out and let me know what you think with a comment below.


In our society, it’s super easy to feel popular with instagram likes, hundreds of Facebook fans and an audience at your fingertips on Twitter. But we all know just how lonely this can make us too – people often choose to whatsapp instead of meeting for coffee in real life and although blogging has an amazing community, sometimes you just want to step away from the screen and hang out with these people in real life. This is where the app Hey! Vina comes in.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Introducing: Hey! Vina | Friendship | App Review

Hey! Vina describes itself as Tinder for friendship and it follows the same routine – you download the app and create a profile, you join a few communities and when it’s time to look for a friend, you’re faced with basic profile cards where you can swipe left or right to match. Better yet, people actually use this app. I’ve already matched with many lovely sounding girls living local and I’m hoping to take the friendship non-virtual soon.

The app is a great way to meet new people and make new friends – as we all know it’s not easy. The older you get the harder it becomes to make friends in real life – often the closest you’ll get is declaring new best friends in the ladies toilets on a night out only to never see the girls again! So this laid back app takes all that fuss out of it and allows you to chat and mingle with people from the comfort of home.

Of course the next step to actually arranging to meet in real life is a little scary and I have to admit, I’m yet to find the courage to do so. But does it actually work? Do people actually make friends in real life via this app? It turns out they do, as a few girls have told me – so the app definitely does the job.

You can join little groups/communities based on your interests and circumstances too – such as Yogis, Expats and SciFi Sisters – although so far, other than seeing other peoples communities on their profile, I don’t quite understand what the communities are for yet as there’s not really a page or message board for each. Still, it’s a great way to easily see at a glance whether or not you have things in common with someone.

The app is absolutely beautiful too and filled with cute and quirky illustrations. It looks so sweet on my phone and I have to admit, the look of the app is part of what drew me in to download it and try it (as I’ve tried similar friendship apps before but they’ve never really lived up to my expectations).

So overall, it’s a great app for whatever your circumstances. I’ve spoken to girls just moved to the area and who don’t know anyone yet, ladies who are recently single and people who just want to make new friends – like me.

And if you’re scared about starting the conversation first, you don’t have to worry. As soon as you match with someone, an automatic message from VINA pops up, prompting you to talk and creating a chat stream. So cool, and almost impossible to ignore (in a good way).

So if you’re feeling lonely or like you need to meet new people in your area, I’d definitely recommend Hey! Vina. It’s an app that I feel is really needed right now as I know first hand how hard it is to meet new people and make new friends, so I really hope more people become aware of it and start using it soon.

Would you ever try and app like Hey! Vina? Let me know!


Recently, I went for a social media related job I thought I was perfect for. Being a blogger – and part of a generation obsessed with social media – it’s safe to say I live and breathe what this role entails. I’m always brainstorming and researching new ideas to get my blog content out there and if I’m up to anything remotely cool or interesting, you can bet I’m talking about it on Facebook. But – and this is seemingly a big but – I work in retail.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Career | Blogging | CV | Creative Industry | Is it really bad to have career gaps on your CV?

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to break into the industry of journalism or at least get a job somewhat related to my degree. I’ll admit – there are some times I try harder than others. There are also some times where I’ve been happy going with the flow – my role at H&M Luton was one of those times. I’d only planned to stay there until I found another job, but being my first proper full time job, I enjoyed being on a somewhat decent wage and loved my colleagues so I found myself staying for around two years, not really focusing on any long term career prospects.

Now that I’m full on job hunting again though, I’ve noticed one thing. My CV is very varied. I have lots of experience but when you really look closer at the experience which is made up of internships, freelance roles and contributing roles, it’s hard to say whether it’s real experience or not. In between this experience has been the jobs where I’ve earned money – in retail, in admin and one extremely fun but brief season of being a scare technician!

This is why I was a little disheartened during a job interview lately to be told what I thought was five years of experience actually really adds up to around two years – which I totally get, of course, because essentially, I’ve only really worked and been paid for working in an editorial role for one year altogether.

I never saw this as much of an issue, despite my sister telling me so. Trying to break into such a tough industry like journalism (or any creative industry really) is super hard and these days not only do you need to really stand out, you most definitely need the experience (as there’s always someone with just that bit more experience than you) and often you need to know the right people too.

So where I saw my CV as trying my best but still being motivated – I work in retail because I still need to earn money and during this time I am constantly getting other experience like blogging for Metro or helping out with Invicta Magazine’s social media), I’ve realized that potential employee’s see it as a little worrying.

Why haven’t I broken into the industry yet? Why do I flit from promising internships to basic wage retail jobs? Wouldn’t it have been better for me to take on internship after internship instead of internship-retail role-internship?

And don’t even get me started on travelling. On one hand, I believe that travel and life experience is essential for creative roles, especially if you want someone who thinks outside of the box. But what if you’ve spent years travelling and arrive home without any actual industry experience and find yourself unable to find a job?

It’s extremely hard to find that balance between getting as much experience under your belt and, well, actually earning money. I will take any job to keep my head above water – I am not a snob when it comes to jobs that may pay less or may require less challenging work than what I do now. I see it as hardworking to sometimes choose a secure job over a ‘maybe’ internship that will give you experience. It’s entirely true that sometimes you should take a chance on a maybe if it’s really what you want to do. But it’s also important to think long term and logistically – if you cannot afford to live on a non-existent internship wage, then choosing a secure job where you can earn money may be the right answer.

Now that I’m nearing 30 years old, it’s time for me to find a career choice and not just a job. But looking over my CV and seeing what once looked like someone with lots of varied experience who is willing to try anything once now looks like someone who realistically cannot catch a break to break into that industry.

So, how do we fix this? It’s the age old debate – internships provide a wealth of knowledge but even with too many internships and no actual career under your belt you can come across as unreliable – and now skint too.

In my opinion, the best thing for me – and others like me – to keep doing is to simply carry on with what we’re already doing. We may work in retail or admin instead of our dream jobs in London. But do we go home after our 9-5 shifts and switch off? No, we don’t. We blog. We share content. We research SEO. We teach ourselves code. We write for websites and publications for free because it gets our names out there. We job hunt. We photograph. We begin side hustles and look into new business ideas for a little extra cash. We network.

So although a quick look at our CV’s may look like we can’t get our dream job, if you look closer, you’ll see that we’re taking on anything we can to fund the careers we want. We earn money but we rarely ever switch off because we’re always doing something to further ourselves and better ourselves towards that end goal.

We just need to hope that sooner or later someone will take that chance on us.

What do you think? Do you think varied experience and CV gaps are really as bad as they seem? Or do you think it’s just our generation? Let me know!