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!


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!


March is upon us although it definitely doesn’t feel like spring, what with all this terrible weather and snow. Oh, and of course ‘The Beast from the East’. Am I the only one who finds the names of storms and the dramatic nicknames absolutely hilarious? This one just reminds me of The Chase for some reason..

Anyway. Here’s what’s in store for March.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Hello March

Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew sounds amazing and right up my street. It talks about growing up and uses illustrations to capture the feeling of becoming an adult but not knowing what the f*ck you’re doing – or what you’re supposed to be doing. Totally different but totally instagrammable at the same time.
Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood will be released on the 27th.

Though Angelina Jolie’s performance of Tomb Raider was certainly a massive success – the series has been booted again and the first film is Tomb Raider. The film follows the storyline of the 2013 game and generally serves as the introduction to Lara Croft, who is on a mission to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. The action looks amazing, the stunts are impressive and I’m more than sure that Alicia Vikander will fill the shoes of Tomb Raider perfectly.
Tomb Raider will be released on the 16th.

Ghost Wars appeared on my Netflix just yesterday and though the name intrigued me, the trailer itself hooked me right in completely and made me eager to begin another series binge. It’s about ghosts being unable to move on and therefore terrorizing the town – but it looks genuinely really scary, with a good few jump scares and squeamish moments too. It’s an interesting one as I’m always really wary about horror being made into a TV series – it’s not easy and often works so much better as a movie – but I’ll be honest with you: watching the trailer has given me high hopes for this show.
Ghost Wars is available on Netflix now.

Another one based at The Vaults! This month, I’m eyeing up RUCKUS, an immersive celebration of St Patrick’s Day. I’m not one to celebrate the day itself – unless you count drinking – but RUCKUS may be changing my mind. The event will see The Vaults turned into a turn of the century London for a gangster knees-up – think smugglers hiding in secret tunnels, attendees dressed in braces and fur and a hell of a lot of whiskey. Like most experiences at The Vaults, there will be immersive storylines to follow and games to play – or you could just turn up in costume and dance the night away (dancing on tables is encouraged).
RUCKUS takes place on the 17th March.

Over to my personal life – I’m moving! Soon. Ish. I’ll be moving to Wellingborough as soon as convenience allows and as soon as I find a job there. It seems bizarre announcing this on my blog before everything is final but the reason being is this: although I’m working towards a lovely part-time role specifically related to what I want to do with my life, there’s still a few other days of the week I’ll want to work and, well, I’ve never lived alone and/or in Wellingborough before. So if anyone is based in the area and can recommend places to go or knows of any admin/PR/media related roles going, do hit me up! The flat is there and ready for me to move into so if all goes to plan, I’ll be there by the end of March. It’s just the job part which is tricky – but I’m staying positive as something will become available sooner or later. In the meantime, if anyone would like to hire me, you know where to find me…

What are you looking forward to this month? Let me know!


I haven’t been shopping in so long so that when I picked up a few bargains at TK Maxx this week, I couldn’t help but do a mini TK Maxx haul post!

I’ve been trying to save money and only really shop at work (in exchange for using a £5 off voucher by handing in a bag of old clothes – so throwing out old stuff to buy new stuff!) but it’s pretty hard to not mooch into TK Maxx when I work right next door to one. Normally I’m okay since I’ve been so skint lately but I was bored on my lunch break so I gave in..oops!

Still, I got a fair bit for only £15 so I can’t really complain…

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Mini TK Maxx Haul | Shopping | TK Maxx | Notebook | Health Planner

First of all I’ve picked up this sweet Max Studio nude palette. I do have a W7 palette at home already, but on a day to day basis I only use a few staple colours (which therefore run out pretty quickly) and I’ve been tempted to be a bit more creative with my daily look lately. This palette offers a whopping 24 natural shades which I can’t wait to play around with, although as the squares are pretty small I’m a bit worried it won’t last long – we’ll see. The set also comes with a double ended eyeliner (I’m forever running out of eyeliner so this helped sway my decision) and a little brush, but I don’t like using those types of brushes so will use my own. This palette was only £4.99 which I thought was a total bargain – I was expecting it to be at least ten quid!

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | My Mini TK Maxx Haul

I also picked up two mini W7 Blush With Me kits, which come in a really cute tin. I picked up two different shade sets – the first is Honeymoon, which offers four dainty and feminine rosey/natural shades, and Getting Hitched (I just realized both are related to weddings…) which shades include really natural almost-not-even-there colours, which is ideal for me as I’m quite pale. Each tin comes with a little blusher brush too, and each cost £2.99.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | My Mini TK Maxx Haul

Finally, I also picked up a Daily Health Tracker. I didn’t find much in my favourite asile (the stationary one), but luckily spotted this at the till. It’s small enough to fit in my bag and each page is really simple and straight to the point. In the book, you can record a mini to-do list and your schedule, but health wise you have areas for goals, fitness, water intake, mood and a sleep tracker. It’s simple but meets my needs, especially as I’ve been after some sort of health tracker for a while now. This was just £3.99.

So I got a fair bit for just £15 (okay, £15.01 for those of you who might have realized it didn’t quite add up!) and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of each item. I needed a proper blusher and I’ve wanted a health tracker for ages now. The palette I didn’t need desperately, but it made sense because I’d be replacing my current one soon enough and since I want to change up my makeup a bit now that we’re in the new year, the timing is right.

What do think about my mini TK Maxx haul? Let me know!


One of my favourite things about having a smartphone is all the amazing apps that are available; from budgeting to finding the nearest public loo, apps are a lifesaver more often than not. I last wrote a post like this in 2016, so I thought it was time for an update to share what my favourite apps are in 2018.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Tech | My favourite apps for 2018

This app is still in its beta phrase – and I’ve been helping to test it out – but so far, it’s been super useful for me when I’m in London. Relying on locals, the app lists all cool and quirky events going on in the city and is really great if you’re in London at a loss of what to do and need to find something pretty damn quickly. You can also ask questions or ask for recommendations, and the app shares blog posts like where to celebrate pancake day in London or free things to do in the city. Keep an eye out for this app for when it launches properly.

I recommended this app in 2016 but still find it totally relevant. With this app, I have my own (funky pink!) prepaid card to help me budget my money. Whenever I get paid, I now top up the card with whatever essentials I need to spend money on that month; petrol, parking, food shopping etc. Anything left over in my bank account I try to save. It’s useful because the money I need is already set aside so if ever I’m skint, I don’t have to panic about important things like that. It’s really popular too – I see people coming into work and using their own Monzo cards all the time!

Paired with taking up Pound Fitness again, committing myself to the simple 30 Day Squat Challenge will ensure that I will have the best bottom ever pretty soon..! (Hopefully)

The satnav in your pocket! I adore Waze, a cute satnav driving app. I still use my actual satnav for long journeys but Waze is ideal on a day to day basis as it updates as you’re driving to reflect traffic and suggest other routes to take, you can send ETA’s through it (quite possibly my favourite part), ‘bib’ your friends when they’re online and earn points with the more you drive. So useful. Plus the avatar’s are really cute. Mine is a little zombie because I’m forever doing early morning delivery shifts at work and therefore driving half asleep in the morning looking like a zombie.

A new year means a new you, but for those of us who don’t bullet journal, keeping a level head and remembering all our new year habits is hard. I’ve started using Strides, which is a basic little app that records your new habits. It’s very satisfying to hit seven days in a row or being able to look at the calendar to see more green (completed) than red (failed) dates. I use mine to track eating vegan, learning Romanian, doing exercise, hitting my daily water intake goal and not speaking to my ex, ha. It has really helped to motivate me and for anyone struggling in the new year, even beginning to record one small habit can help anyone keep a level head or routine when everything feels too much.

Another money saving app is Chip – something I’ve blogged about so many times because it’s just that amazing. Since using downloading it, I’ve saved nearly £300 without even realizing it. The app links up to your bank account and judges your spending to work out what can be saved each week – so it will vary from a couple of quid to £50! And, if it’s too much, you can cancel the withdrawal. It’s such a smart app and it’s the only way I’ve ever managed to properly save. If you’re interested, you can use my referral code JLB3BY to earn 1% interest on all your savings. 1% might not seem like a lot, but every little helps. Plus, since you save so regularly, the interest will soon build up. You can read about the app in more detail here.

What are your favourite or most useful apps? Let me know!