When I was first contacted about Flyte energy drink, I thought this opportunity was made for me.

Anyone who knows me knows how much of an addict I am when it comes to energy drinks, which is odd because I don’t like coffee. Energy drinks are a lifesaver for me because I always have trouble sleeping and getting up for early mornings. Because I’m not a majorly experienced driver either, I always worry about driving early in the morning in the dark when I have my delivery shifts at work, because I’m so scared of falling asleep at the wheel!

So of course I was really excited to try Flyte – the latest energy drink on the block.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Review | Flyte Energy Drink | Natural Energy | Energy Drink | Health

To first tell you a bit about Flyte, it’s important to know that it’s an entirely clean energy drink, meaning it’s sourced from nature, powered by organic caffeine, non-GMO and has absolutely no added artificial ingredients or added sugar like you’d find in most energy drinks.

On paper, it sounds like just a fizzy fruity drink and in some ways, that’s exactly what it tastes like, but it has the added bonus of being an energy drink too.

After reading all about the product and receiving it to my door, I’m instantly sold. Before trying Flyte, I was a total Red Bull addict (how I haven’t had a heart attack before, I don’t know…) but knew it was incredibly unhealthy for me. It gave me an energy boost, sure, but at the cost of feeling a comedown afterwards and putting unnecessary artificial ingredients, it just wasn’t worth it. So I was really excited to hear about an energy drink that does the complete opposite of that whilst also giving me a boost.

I also love the packaging – it’s so sleek and sophisticated with each flavour showcasing just the right amount of colour for each bottle. Each is a durable glass bottle too – though is carbon positive – and just genuinely has a really nice look to it.

The ingredients don’t just offer an energy boost though. The ingredients include 100mg organic caffeine extracted from green coffee to keep you alert, 100 mg maca root – a super ingredient to improve focus, 330 mg Shizandra – a super berry for your blood oxygenation and 100 mg gryffonia – for serotonin lovers to lift mood and bring positivity – so all round a great uplifting drink!

But does it do the job and how does it taste?

I’m not a huge fan of fizzy water/fruit drinks and I do like drinks such as Coke and Dr Pepper etc with tons of  flavour, but I was pleasantly surprised with the four flavours Flyte offers: Red Berries, Green Mango, Citrus Lemon and Orange Clementine. Each has a delicious flavour which isn’t too overbearing and genuinely tastes great.

I found myself feeling an instant boost during my first few sips of Flyte. It wasn’t an overbearing boost which rushed to my head, but I can honestly say that after a few minutes I felt less sleepy, my eyelids didn’t droop into closing so much and I felt refreshed and energetic. In fact I was actually surprised at how well it worked and how long it lasted.

What’s better though is that I haven’t felt guilty drinking Flyte. Other energy drinks I’d pick up to drink with my breakfast, on the road, or have sips throughout the day when I needed a boost. With Flyte, I can drink it at any time of day and not worry about the effect it has on my body or anything like that, which is really great.

Flyte has become my staple drink – I always have one in my bag, in my car and in the fridge at work (causing colleagues to ask curiously about the new drink!), and have yet to grow bored of the flavours. It does the job and makes me feel great too – so it’s a win win, really.

Currently, Flyte can only be purchased online – a six pack costs only £12.00, making each drink a mere £2 each – cheap as chips. I’m totally honoured to have the opportunity to review and help get behind a brand that is really all about being healthy and good to your body though, and it’s clear to see the team behind Flyte are really passionate about a healthy and natural lifestyle.

Will you be trying Flyte any time soon? Let me know!

*Please note, although I received this product free in exchange for a review, all opinions are honest, unbiased and entirely my own.

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It seems odd to write about my previous year in blogging at a time when my blog is going through an upheaval and going through many changes. But, it’s always a good idea to look over your year in blogging and evaluate what went wrong and right. I did a similar post last year and it was such a motivation booster for me as I found it really inspiring to go over what I was particularly proud of and the like, so it seems like a no brainer to sum up Formidable Joy in 2017!

I know in the past year (well, last year now, but you get the point) I’ve slacked a little when it comes to blogging every other day sometimes and growing my social media channels, but, on the other hand, I feel that I’ve slowly started to improve my involvement in the community and engagement on my posts as a result.

Here’s some things in particular I’ve really been proud of this year.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Blogging | Formidable Joy in 2017
FOOD
Since dabbling in veganism, I’ve featured food a lot more on my blog and have had a lot more opportunities to feature recipes. I never ever pictured food being featured on my blog and yet they are some of my favourite posts, so that’s interesting. My Red Thai Curry was a hit – pre-vegan, although I’ve re-created it a few times since without meat! I visited an amazing fully vegan restaurant in Blackpool, spoke about eating vegan in Romania, I finally got to visit Purezza and I also reviewed a vegan Katsu Curry with Yutaka. I’m hoping to feature food even more on my blog next year, sharing some of my own recipes.

TRAVEL
One word: Mexico. I don’t think I’ll ever stop talking about that one time I finally got to properly travel, even if it was on an amazing TrekAmerica tour rather than entirely alone. Pro tip: if you’ve always wanted to travel but may be slightly scared, definitely consider booking onto a tour. You get the best of both worlds. Anywho. On my trip, I visited Chichen Itza and Merida, the ruins of Uxmal and Campeche, Palenque, Bacalar, Mahahual and Tulum/Playa Del Carmen. This led on to tons of other content too, and I also blogged a lot about my visit to Romania. Travelling was a huge benefit for me personally too, not just in terms of blogging. Getting out of my comfort zone was a great move.

WORKING WITH BRANDS
This year I’ve felt that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really great brands! It still amazes me when a company gets in touch to ask me to collaborate with them or review a product on my little blog that’s so small compared to some others! Still, it gives me faith in the fact that a lot of companies and brands choose to favour content over follower count/fame. Some brands I’ve loved working with this year include (in order of post appearance): Thai Taste, Ballie Ballerson, Hard Rock Cafe, Kit Out My Office, AB Music Academy, Tulleys – The Howl Scream Park, CabinZero, Yutaka and JD Williams – lucky me! It’s a funny thing, working with brands. Obviously they think your blog is good enough to approach you and work with you, but you still feel under pressure to make sure you do a good job. You put off taking photos until you have time to take them in natural daylight, you encourage as many comments as possible once the post is live and you do have that small doubt at the back of your mind that the company meant to approach another more successful blog!

MONTHLY ROUND UPS
I don’t actually think my monthly round ups of what’s on or what I’m looking forward to are that popular. They’re one of the posts that take a fair bit of research and yet I don’t want to let it go. I enjoy sharing something that’s more on the ball; especially when it comes to film, TV and music. I’m super proud I managed to keep this up this year just gone and will be continuing it well into 2018, but perhaps it’s something I’ll look at migrating into a newsletter.

FINDING MY PLACE IN THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY
Let’s face it, I’ll never be great at being an out there blogger. I always forget to take part in twitter chats and when I remember, I hold back out of fear of flooding people’s timelines with my rambling tweets. I’m not big on attending blogger meet ups (unless there’s free food and/or alcohol #sorrynotsorry) and I still only comment on blog posts that genuinely interest me instead of commenting for the sake of commenting. But I’ve found my own way to network. I take part in an Instagram pod, set up my own comment pod and have also set up a close-knit but very laid back Facebook group recently. This has been so helpful in terms of not only sharing posts and supporting other blogs, but getting advice on everything blogging. It’s my way of contributing to the community without overbearing myself and it works for me. PS – If you’d like to know more about the Facebook group/comment pod, do let me know.

…AND EVERYTHING ELSE
I’ve loved including fun days out on my blog – sometimes it’s nice to just talk about having a good time and sharing those memories rather than attending something and reviewing it as a blogger. Waddesdon Manor was fun, as was a visit to Xcaret Park, ABQ London and BallieBallerson, of course! Okay, so BallieBallerson wasn’t a day out and was actually a press evening but it was so much fun that I couldn’t not include it. That said, there were a few things I chose not to blog about too, like my birthday surprise to Winter Wonderland. It was one of my best birthdays ever, but it was so special to me and close to my heart that I didn’t want to share it with the world or on this blog. I think it’s important to find that balance when it comes to blogging and I think I began to get a feel of that balance in 2017.

I’ve also tried to vary my content a little, which has resulted in more ‘Lifestyle’ posts than ever. But in 2017, I tried to focus on things like new fitness classes, shows to binge-watch and, um, the not-very-successful-but-still-my-favourite – nine step guide to becoming a twenty one pilots fan. Ahem. Hey, not every blog post needs to be successful or written with the reader in mind!

FINALLY, WHAT I LACKED
Considering it’s my favourite holiday, I let myself down with Halloween. Although I did a great round up post about what’s going on in London – and around the UK – for Halloween, I hadn’t planned or done half as much content as I did the year before. I put a lot of work into my blog last year and in some areas I exceeded – working with great brands and getting my comment engagement up – but I still really need to nail down on getting more followers and encouraging people to comment not just because of a comment pod or because I’ve commented on their blog.

But, overall, for my seventh year of blogging, I think 2017 was a good one. I kept in check with regular posting, I became a bit more involved in the community and I worked with some great brands. Here’s hoping 2018 is just as successful – if not more!

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Happy New Year! This 2018, I’ve decided to do the usually avoidable for me by making (and sharing!) some New Year’s Resolutions. I often have a few ‘new year’ plans when the 1st Jan hits, but it’s very rare these days that I actually make a physical list or actually blog about it. Maybe having an actual list will help…?

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | 10 of my somewhat achievable New Year's Resolutions | New Year | New Year's Resolutions
GIVE MY EYEBROWS A MAKEOVER

Yeah, this one is easy. My eyebrows need styling/tinting and I really, really need to learn how to do them properly like a proper woman.

KEEP MY PMS IN CHECK
It’s safe to say I go batsh*t crazy when I’m PMSing. I’m lazy, I lash out and I want to eat allll the junk food. Normally these aren’t huge issues, but when I’m snapping at people around me and taking it out on others, it’s probably time to find a solution.

TRAVEL MORE
Whose New Year Resolution isn’t to travel more?! Some places I have in mind for 2018 are Dublin, Edinburgh and Iceland. And maybe somewhere sunny too..

GET UP A WHOLE HOUR EARLIER EVERY DAY
I want to stop pressing snooze on my alarm five times before I finally get up, roll out of bed, get ready in a rush and head to work. I want to wake up peacefully, have a cuppa in bed and actually have breakfast for once. So far I have failed at this resolution every morning this week but, y’know, there’s still 360 days left to get this resolution down.

LEARN ROMANIAN
I’m getting there. So far, in Romanian I can say:
– Milk
– Tea
– I love you
– You are a child

and that’s about it. But these things take time!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | 10 of my somewhat achievable New Year's Resolutions | New Year | New Year's Resolutions

LISTEN TO A PODCAST OTHER THAN MY DAD WROTE A PORNO
2017 will always be known as the year I finally delved into the world of podcast’s and binge-listened to My Dad Wrote A Porno for five hours straight as my boyfriend and I road tripped across Romania. Good times. But this year I will expand my podcast knowledge/listening and try a few new ones. Podcasts I currently have my eye on are: Ctrl Alt Delete, The Last Podcast On The Left and, of course, Serial. Any other recommendations would be welcome though.

GET A NEW HAIRSTYLE
I’ve been ombré blonde for sooo long now and although it’s a smart and failsafe look, it just makes me feel like I’m blending into the background. I’d love to go for a drastic look or colour but I’m thinking shorter, a bright colour and then, when that fades/grows out, back to a trusty chocolate brunette shade. I’m not sure when exactly, but it’s definitely time for a change.

OWN THE SH*T OUT OF MY BLOG
I’ll obviously be doing a proper post on my 2018 blogging goals, but I’d like to raise my DA score, successfully migrate to WordPress, build a better relationship with brands and be all round more successful in general.

DRINK MORE WATER
Obvs.

SPEND LESS
I really began to get a grip on my savings towards the end of last year and this year I want to continue that and save more. I’d like to save enough to get out of my overdraft and to be able to afford my own place. This seems absolutely impossible right now, but every little step helps!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Let me know!

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If you’ve chosen to try Veganuary this year then a massive well done to you. Not only is it a great step for both animals and the environment, but the health benefits of going vegan and cutting meat and dairy out of your body are insane.

For example, did you know that ‘studies show that cholesterol levels are lower in vegans than in the standard population’? [Source].

Despite this, many people see making such a huge change as daunting, even if it is just for a month. When I first pledged to try it, many family and friends told me I was crazy and that going from one extreme to another would be bad news – I was told I should have gone vegetarian first and then vegan.

Although it worked out great for me, there were many times I wanted to pack it in. It has got easier over the years, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. I’d struggle with meal planning and giving into temptations and I didn’t do half as much research as I should have done.

I’d recommend visiting the official Veganuary website for professional advice, but for those of you who might be struggling mentally – wondering how the hell you’re going to get through it – I approached Nicki Kelly, the founder of Nicki’s Vegan Weight Loss Cafe on Facebook.

Nicki knows her stuff. She has achieved several nutrition related diplomas, ran her own large weight loss business in Australia for 25 years and now offers private coaching. She also launched Nicki’s Vegan Weight Loss Cafe where she supports women by showing them how to balance meals using vegan whole foods without oil or sugar and shares other top tips and advice on being vegan.

I asked her to share some tips with me when it comes to keeping a level head during Veganuary and here’s what she shared.

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
I’ve also said this a million times before but Nicki cannot stress enough how important it is do research before switching switch to a vegan diet. She states that it’s not done simply by omitting animal based foods. It’s a bit more involved than that. Read up about why you want to do it and how you’re going to plan ahead. Research more into the meat and dairy industry to understand why people choose this way of life. Think about what this is going to do to your body. Which brings us to..

MAKE A LIST OF IMPORTANT ‘MUST HAVE’ VITAMINS
One of the most popular arguments meat-eaters give vegans is that they miss out on essential nutrients and vitamins by not eating meat. Well, yes. Which is why we refer to other sources to get these essentials! Nicki suggests adding easy to obtain supplements like B12 and vegan D3 vitamin supplementation to your list, then learn how much protein you should consume for your unique needs and what other nutrients to look out for. Not everyone is the same, but it’s definitely worth understanding what needs to be supplemented when not eating meat and dairy. My boyfriend and I take all round Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral tablets, which consist of vitamins A, D, E, C, B1, B2, B6 & B12, calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid and other minerals. It’s our go-to supplement and stops us worrying about anything we might be missing out on by not eating meat and dairy.

LOW STARCH VEGETABLES ARE YOUR FRIEND
Taking part in Veganuary is going to make you super healthy of course but if you really want to lose weight or tone up, Nicki recommends stocking up with low starch vegetables on your plate (think kale, spinach, courgettes, broccoli, rocket salad, cucumber etc) with all other plant foods being the supporting factor. This is great, as things like rocket salad go with most meals, whereas spinach always works well with rice, pasta and inside stuffed mushrooms. And why are they good for you? Low starch vegetables are low in calories, but are rich in vitamins, minerals and sometimes fiber too.

GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN
It’s super important to not be too hard on yourself this month. Going vegan is a huge change on your body, so it’s important to stay in a healthy place mentally too. You probably will slip and mess up – whether that’s giving into a meat craving or misreading ingredients and accidentally eating something with dairy in it. It happens. Write it off and move on. Being vegan isn’t just about strictly cutting out meat and dairy – it’s about trying your best, even if that means just starting with Meat Free Mondays! To make it more fun and less of a challenge, Nicki suggests enjoying vegetables and fruit with a variety of colours and textures – rainbow pizza, anyone?! Not only does this tip ensure you have a variety of plant based foods, but it also looks great on your instagram.

COMMUNITY IS KEY
Finally – if I had to add one tip, it would be that you don’t have to take on this challenge alone. There are plenty of online forums, websites and Facebook groups to check out, such as Nicki’s Vegan Weight Loss Cafe and Veganuary and they’re super helpful. Although they’re great for finding recipes and advice, it’s always nice to have someone to talk to (or a whole community to talk to!) when you’re feeling frustrated. Many people log onto these Facebook groups to vent about cravings or family members not supporting them – the amount of posts I’ve seen asking for proof to prove someone wrong that you can be vegan and still get necessary nutrients is crazy! – and each is all round really helpful.So there we have it. With it now being my third year of taking on Veganuary, I can safely say that going vegan isn’t just about cutting out meat and dairy. One of the most important factors of making this change is to stay healthy mentally and not put too much pressure on yourself – I hope this post has helped!If you’d like any further tips, recipes or advice, visit my Vegan tag here.

Are you trying Veganuary this year? Let me know!

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Well, 2018 has arrived and it’s officially the 1st January. We’re welcoming a new year – some of us may be nursing hangovers, others may already be well into their new year’s resolutions and me? Well I’m off to go shopping and try and shift some of my birthday and Christmas money on a new pair of decent quality jeans. Fun times. Wish me luck.

January can often bring the arrival of mixed emotions – many people feel deflated that Christmas is over for another year or that they haven’t achieved the dreams they wanted to in 2017. But there’s a lot of things to look forward to this month, too.

If facing the gym five times a week or giving up caffeine is too much pressure, here’s five reasons why January is still going to rock.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Hello January | Maze Runner: The Death Cure | Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet | Fall Out Boy | Fall Out Boy | Veganuary

THE MOVIE
Maze Runner: The Death Cure arrives on our screens this month and if you’ve watched the two previous movies – or read the books – you’ll be just as excited as I am. If you’re not up to speed, the whole series begins with a boy called Thomas waking up in a maze with just boys and having no memory of who he is. I’d suggest catching up on the other two films about the dystopian world before watching this final one, because it’s definitely a story worth reading (or rather watching. Or both. As the books are amazing too). Starring Dylan r Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangste (the now grown up cute kid from Love Actually), this film is one you won’t want to miss.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure will be released on the 26th.

THE BOOK
In a month where everyone is skint and oh-so-serious, a lighthearted book like Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet is just the ticket. The book is a collection of short stories all about “how they met” (aka the meet cute!) by popular Young Adult authors of today. Though some are dubbed to be heartbreaking, some stories such as two teens hiding out from the police at a house party and a magazine intern meeting a rock star will surely put a smile on your face. The short – but sweet – tales will be a nice way to set the scene of 2018.
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet will be released on the 2nd.

THE ALBUM
I haven’t listened to Fall Out Boy in a long time – at least not their recent stuff – but I don’t need to to be excited for their upcoming album, M A N I A. Everything they do is amazing. Still, I decided to finally catch up and listen to a few of their singles from the new release and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely a huge step away from their classic sound, but it seems they’ve experimented more and more with each new album and this isn’t a bad thing. Patrick’s voice still sounds amazing, the lyrics are still bangin’ and the music is still good – if different.
M A N I A will be released on the 19th.

THE EVENT
Today marks the start of Veganuary 2018! I’ve spoken about this in previous years, I know, and blogged about it a lot but if you haven’t already, you should totally try it. Here are some reasons why: The lives of 3.8 million animals were saved by people participating in Veganuary 2016, you’ll feel so helpful taking part, you’ll likely lose weight, you’ll become more creative with your food and, finally, a challenge is always fun, right?! I went from being a Mcdonalds addict/meat lover to a full on vegan in the space of one day back in 2015 when I first tried it. Since then, I’ve done Veganuary twice, dabbled in being vegan throughout the past two years and finally committed to becoming a full on vegan recently. Give it a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Veganuary starts now and runs until the end of the month!

ANYTHING ELSE?
Two years ago today, I started looking at my blog in a different way and re-launched the entire thing with a new name, layout and own domain. Now, it’s time for another change. I’m currently in the process of migrating my blog over to WordPress (god it’s scary!), trying to mix up my content and taking on a few other smaller changes (like more specific and catchy blog titles). It doesn’t look like much right now, but over the next week or so, hopefully it’ll all be up and running, complete with a shiny new sophisticated layout. Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly, anyway..!

What are you looking forward to this month? Let me know!Also, can I just praise how damn satisfying it is to start the new year on a Monday?!

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