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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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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2017 has been a simple year – no ‘major’ changes have occurred, but it’s been a good one! It’s been a mix of little (and big, I guess!) adventures here and there, as well as lots of chilled nights too. I’ve grown up a lot this year and have become more independent, deciding to start looking towards my future more.

It seems like this year has passed by in a blink of an eye and it’s going to be fun looking back at the year in review.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | My 2017 in review
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
I travelled! It was one of the scariest but most rewarding experiences of my life, booking onto a tour with TrekAmerica and then travelling around Mexico. Even now I still can’t believe I did it! I also finally got taken to Winter Wonderland.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Hmm. These were last years resolutions, and I only stuck to three. I did start watching Black Mirror (but didn’t watch all of it), I began Pound Fitness classes (super fun) and saved money. That’s about it really – although I did take one drumming lesson, ha.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My bestie Amy!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
We had to put down my dog, Jasper, earlier on in the year. It was heartbreaking but he was just so old, he’d lived a good life and lived longer than we imagined he would. He just didn’t have much quality of life anymore so at least he’s at peace.
5. What places did you visit?
Mexico! Romania! Also Blackpool.
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
I’d like a new phone or a proper camera for blogging. I’ll start researching options soon and maybe grab something in the January sales. I finally got a rockstar boyfriend though! Well he doesn’t play any instruments but he dresses like a rockstar. I’m a lucky lady.
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched in your memory, and why?

So many memories from travelling, like getting on the plane at the airport and when I woke up the next morning in Mexico and opened the curtains to see the sights of Cancun. It was such a unique feeling that I’ll never forget. Meeting my boyfriend too. It was a very laid back simple date which turned into something amazing. Oh and meeting his family and seeing his hometown in Romania. It’s funny how a family who don’t even speak the same language as you can make you feel so welcome.

8. What was your biggest achievement this year?
Finally going travelling.
9. What was your biggest failure?

Nothing, really.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
That old TrekAmerica tour 😉 and my new car!
12. Who’s behaviour merited celebration?

Ah it’s got to be my boyfriend. If I’m upset, he’ll do the sweetest things to cheer me up, like go out in the cold to get my favourite food and sit down and watch corny movies with me. I also know I annoy the sh*t out of him a lot of the time and he still puts up with me. My sister, too. My niece is growing fast and my sister has been an absolute amazing mum.

13. Who’s behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Apart from a lot of harassment and drama from my boyfriend’s ex (I was certainly appalled at how long it went on for, even well into our relationship), no one has irked me this year really.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travelling. My car. Food. Haha.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Mexico. Romania. Blackpool. Christmas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Ride by twenty one pilots because it’s the song that help me turn my boyfriend into a fan and we listened and sung along to it constantly. I especially remember driving down country lanes in the summer with the windows down and this blaring loud out of the speakers, singing at the top of our voices.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you :

a. happier or sadder? Happier. Any guesses why?
b. thinner or fatter? Thinner. Going vegan does wonders for your weight 😉
c. richer or poorer? Richer. I’ve finally began to save more this year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Nothing!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Nothing!

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my sisters house. It was the first time in a good few years that I really felt the Christmas spirit.

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?

I did indeed.

22. What was your favourite TV program?

Stranger Things, obvs.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

Nah. I’m over hate.

24. What was the best book you read?

I Heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk or, more recently, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. There’s probably others but I can’t remember.
25. What music did you get excited about?

Well when my sister and I went out for my birthday, there was a secret set by this amazing band called Dat Brass. They were so energetic and charismatic, we were moshing right down the front! I had a listen on their Spotify and it doesn’t do them any justice to how amazing they are live, but they were one of those bands that grabbed my attention instantly. I’ll definitely be checking them out live again.

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted a new bag and some perfume – perfect.
27. What did you want and not get?

Nothing!

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (I’m Mary Poppins, Ya’ll!) or Thor: Ragnarok which was insanely funny. I’m not even a fan of the Thor movies but this was a good one.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 and spent the morning with my boyfriend, worked, then had the family round for a curry. Simple, but exactly what I wanted.
 
30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Getting a job more related to my degree, but at least I see a future where I am now.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Stylish. Slowly getting there since starting at H&M again, buying staple pieces etc. I still have lazy days though.

32. What kept you sane?

My boyfriend!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably either one of the twenty one pilots boys still. #SorryNotSorry Or Sam Thompson!
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Nothing, really!
35. Whom did you miss?

My mum and Jasper. There’s still points now where I catch myself and forget they’re not around anymore.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My amazing, thoughtful, kind, hard working boyfriend.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Appreciate the little things. Adventures are fun, but so is just spending time with the people you love.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I really don’t know! I’ve loved so many songs this year.
How would you sum up your 2017? Let me know!
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*sounds klaxon* Christmas is next week. ARGH. Well, it’s more like this week really, since Christmas Eve is on SUNDAY. How bloody scary is that?!
Anyway. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been working tons in the lead up to Christmas and have been stressing and dropping money left right and centre for last min gift ideas for family and friends.
But do you know who really deserves some gifts this year? That’s right. You.
So check out my one and only gift guide of 2017 and see what small stocking fillers you can still treat yourself to this year. They might not be grand and expensive. They might be pretty and never used again after Christmas. But hey, treat yo’ self anyway, am I right?!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Stocking fillers from you...to you | Christmas | Stocking Fillers | Gift Guide

ONE
Well everyone loves unicorns and everyone loves facemasks, am I right? To be honest, I couldn’t give a crap at how well a facemask makes my skin look – as long as it’s a relaxing process to wear it and it’s super cute and funky like this one.

TWO
I love this iPhone projector – and how cheap it is. It’s a really quirky but sweet stocking filler, perfect for watching videos on your phone. To be honest, I don’t know anyone who has enough space on their phone for a full movie, but I think it’ll be great to use to watch things on Youtube or scroll through holiday photos.

THREE
You can never go wrong with a pair of soft, fluffy socks, let’s face it. Perfect for lounging around the house in and also venturing outside and wearing with a pair of winter boots. Being an adult is all about losing matching socks and never getting around to buying any new ones, so why not treat yourself to a cute pair now?!

FOUR
Candles for everyone! This is a little generic as you can buy candles pretty much anywhere but I love this particular brand from TK Maxx. They always smell lush and they look super cute and stylish in a home too. Perfect for warm cosy nights spent inside this winter!

FIVE
I actually picked up one of these sweet four piece lip kits recently and can’t believe that they’ve got TopShop stuff for sale in TK Maxx. This set is so cute; it includes lip liner, lip paint, lip mattifier and lip glitter. It all matches too which is great as I find it super hard to find a lip liner that matches my lipstick. It’s available in a few different shades also.

via GIPHY

So there we have it. Five cheap as chips ideas for little stocking fillers for you and only you this Christmas – enjoy! 😉

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I’m afraid I’ve jumped onto the latest bandwagon and that is the #2017bestnine – aka your nine most liked photos on Instagram in 2017. Of course it’s always fun to see what content people have liked the most and it’s nice to look over old photos and memories from throughout the year.
Mine told me that I received 8,665 likes across 124 posts in 2017 – I thought I posted more than that! Anyway, here’s my top nine and a sum up of what each photo is. 
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | #2017bestnine | Instagram | Year In Review
ONE
So from top to bottom, left to right. My first photo is a veggie haloumi burger from a place called Relish Real Burgers in St Albans. I’d met my brother after work one afternoon, having not long started my job in H&M. The burger was delicious, if a little messy! 
TWO
My second photo was my first full vegan lunch from Prets. I do struggle with Prets because I find they have a lot of choice but some of it is so varied and out there – to be honest more often than not I’m just happy with a vegan alternative to a cheese and onion sandwich! But this falafel salad was surprising and I actually really liked it, despite the beans in it. It filled me up too.
THREE
Next up is a smoothie I made back in January when I was on a health kick. Despite actually losing weight and getting healthier that January, I can safely say I did not keep up with my smoothie obsession. Mainly because I can never be bothered to buy all the ingredients and then I get really excited to see the ‘four ingredient’ smoothies which actually just don’t taste of anything. I even brought enough fruit for a few more servings of this particular smoothie and I froze it all and labelled the bag. That bag is still at home in my Dad’s freezer…hey, maybe next January, eh?
FOUR
Fourth is a fairly recent photo of my desk set up at my boyfriend’s flat! There’s not much to say about this really – it’s an inspiring space with a beautiful desk from Kit Out My Office and I actually feel really grown up and sophisticated having my own ‘blogger space’.
FIVE
Following on from that photo is a quick snap I took of/at the Milton Keynes Christmas display. It’s only a small one but it’s ever so pretty and means a lot to me as I’ve visited every single year since as long as I can remember. Going with my family used to be a huge highlight for me at Christmas and my parents used to often surprise me by taking me there. These days I tend to go with friends or my boyfriend but it always brings back really nice memories – I’ll always remember going there to meet Santa with my cousins or, when I was older, doing Christmas shopping too with my parents.
SIX
OH MY GOD VEGAN PIZZA. This pizza from Purezza in Brighton was soooo good. My boyfriend and I popped down to Brighton for two days/one night for a gig and to just visit the seaside and of course made a visit to the heavily recommended restaurant. They’re about to (or maybe just have, I can’t quite remember) open another branch in London, too. This makes me both happy and sad because it’s great that it’s nearby but it means I can no longer talk my boyfriend into a trip to Brighton just to visit. Still, the food was AMAZING and I’d definitely recommend everyone visit (vegan or not).
SEVEN
Ahhhh, fond memories. Here’s me standing in front of a pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico and CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE I ACTUALLY WENT TO MEXICO AND HAVE THIS PHOTO?! I still can’t believe I had the guts to book onto my Mexican BLT trip with TrekAmerica, let alone actually go on it! Still, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I feel so lucky that I managed to go on such an amazing tour.
EIGHT
Another one from my Mexican BLT trip! This is a beautiful sunset taking place in Campeche – what a wonderful experience to have.
NINE
And, my last most popular photo of 2017 is me posing with a ‘unicorn’ of course. This was at a really fun event with Bompass & Parr where I got drunk in a hot tub, slid down a waste chute and peed in a park on the way home – and that’s just what I remember. Classy as always.
So there we have my top nine. They seem to mostly focus on food, fun events and travel but I’m surprised no photos of my boyfriend and I made it up there nor more photos of my time in Mexico! Still, it’s nice to look back and see a snapshot of how I spent my 2017. 
Have you seen your #2017bestnine yet? Let me know with a comment! Oh and by the way, if you’re interested in my 2018 adventures, you can follow me on Instagram here 😉
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