One of my New Year’s Resolutions – and blogging goals – was to focus on my blog’s Tumblr a little more. Only, of course, a lot of you may not even know what Tumblr is. Do you use Tumblr?

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Do you even Tumblr though? | Tumblr |

The creative photo sharing website is much like WeHeartIt (oh the good old days of WeHeartIt!) or Pinterest, where people share their photography, videos, writing, art and more. Overall though, it can be incredibly inspiring. After five minutes of scrolling through, you could find yourself facing beautiful photographs of nature, stunning makeup art and bang on trend outfit details.

Therefore I set up a Tumblr a long time ago to coincide with the blog – and took time to carefully tag each image I reposted so that along the top you could click on what you wanted to see for inspiration, whether that be makeup, accessories, fashion etc.

Currently, it’s primarily geared towards fashion and beauty, but in future I might use it to share quotes, travel photos etc.

I used to link to the website with every post on this blog but when I stopped using Tumblr and reblogging (and forgot my log in details!), I fell behind. Now I’m back posting again however, so if you’re looking for beauty or fashion based inspiration, have a look and give me a follow! Drop your links below and I’ll follow you back too. I would definitely love some new people to follow.

You can find the Formidable Joy Tumblr at www.formidable-joy.tumblr.com!

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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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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.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Home | Desk update with Kit Out My Office | Kit Out My Office | Blogger Space | Desk | Review
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.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Desk update with Kit Out My Office | Kit Out My Office | Blogger Space | Desk | Review
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.
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Are you sick of blogging in front of the TV, or even from your bed? Here are some of the best ways to create an inspiring blogger workspace in your home.

As a blogger, you can probably be found hunched over your laptop at the kitchen table most days, or maybe you have to work from a coffee shop as you can’t concentrate sitting on the sofa. If so, then it’s time to set up your own blogger workspace! It’s so important to have a creative and inspiring space you can dedicate to blogging and escape the distractions of home.
FINDING A SPACE
Not everyone has the luxury of an office at home, but if you have an occasional guest room think about using it to create an inspiring blogger workspace as a multipurpose room. Pinterest has so many great ideas on creating a home office which doubles up as a guest room (this also gives you the option of a sneaky work-time nap!).
Even if you live in a studio flat, you can be creative with your workspace. Find a corner and some wall space – it’s all about how you zone your room with clear boundaries between work and home.
If you want a long-term solution, look at installing a garden studio. This way you can really separate home life and work life. With so many options available at different budgets it might be more achievable than you imagine – and let’s face it, a garden office is the absolute dream! 
DÉCOR
If you’re a blogger, it’s probably fair to say you’re a creative person. Décor is so important when it comes to putting together a space that’s going to encourage your creativity and inspire you. Whatever your budget, you can create a workspace you love. 
Candles, cushions and decorative throws can make it an inviting space that you want to work from. Fill it with motivational wall art, a pin board so you can create mood boards, fresh flowers and little trinkets – all of the things that make you happy! Treat yourself to some fancy stationery so you can be practical and stylish at the same time. Pinterest really is your best friend with ideas for every kind of blogger work area.
STORAGE
The downfall of anyone who works at home – clutter! Invest in good storage solutions that hide your paperwork and keep your desk looking tidy. This doesn’t have to be a boring corporate filing cabinet; think outside the box and look at more attractive storage solutions, go vintage or see what you can find on eBay and upcycle. The space you work in should match your personality and fit well with your home décor.
NOT JUST A PRETTY OFFICE
It’s easy to get carried away with making your workspace look pretty, don’t forget this is somewhere you might be working a full day, so make sure you are going to be comfortable. 
That cute vintage kitchen chair might look great on Instagram, but you can’t sit in it all day. If this is a full time job for you, find a chair that supports you and make sure your workstation is set up correctly. 
Think practically about what you do on a daily basis – do you photograph? Do you need an area for flat lays? Do you need natural light? Do you vlog? Plan your space around your needs, not the other way round. 

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Have you ever spotted an item and fallen in love with it so badly that you can’t stop thinking about it? 

I was in TK Maxx recently and came across the most sweet and beautiful unicorn year planner – it was pastel pink and colourful and filled with inspirational quotes between its pages. I didn’t really need a planner per say – but I was in love. And the moment I left TK Maxx I regretted not getting it.
So a few days later, my boyfriend and I took a two hour journey into St Albans for a day out, lunch at a cool restaurant I’d found and, mostly, to get my damn planner.

It was still there thank god, although something was off. It wasn’t as pretty as I remembered but it was okay. Until I spotted the planner next to it.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

The planner was sleek, sophisticated and totally Instragram worthy. And that’s when I knew I’d made my decision. I’d fallen in love with the unicorn planner and thank god I came back to St Albans to get it – only to walk away with another.

So it has the basics – a notes section, a month and week view; oh, and did I mention stickers?! It’s totally Instagram worthy too. The only problem is, it’s so pretty that I’m actually too scared to write anything in it yet. Oops.

Boy I love my new planner.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Planner | Stationary | Mara-Mi | Roobee | Roobee by Mara-Mi

Isn’t it damn cute?

What do you think?!

Not bad for a tenna, eh?

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