It’s a known fact that if you are a blogger you need a million and one notebooks. Whether that’s for blog planning, bullet journaling, as a diary or just a notebook – in fact, we often keep at least five lying around entirely empty.

So in celebration of Notebook Day, I’ve decided to share some of the best notebooks for all bloggers that can be purchased right now.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Blogging | The best notebooks for bloggers | Notebook Day

THE BASIC ONE
The Blogger’s Journal from Paperchase is great for any starter blogger who might not know where exactly to begin when using a notebook for blogging. Some bloggers start with just jotting down their notes, whereas those who have been blogging a while may record their stats, social media, income, contacts and more. This notebook has just enough to get you started with space to plan your social media growing, put together your posts and reach your goals.

THE LIFE PLANNER
I absolutely love Ban.do products and treated myself to a planner for my last office job. It was pricey but well worth the price and was hands down one of the best planners I’ve ever owned. Not only are the daily entries very spacious (perfect for post ideas and to do lists), but the planner is also filled with inspirational quotes and gorgeous stickers! I had so many compliments on my planner and because there was so much space it could easily be decorated and personalized like a bullet journal.

THE PERSONALIZED ONE
A personalized planner is every bloggers dream, especially when it’s a life planner and whatever-you-want-planner in one. These super cute planners from Plum Paper are not only really pretty but you can choose a variety of add ons such as blog planning, fitness tracking and budgeting. You can use it simply for blogging or you can use it as a life planner too – the choice is yours. It’s rare to find a planner/notebook where you can pick and choose whats inside as well as the cover being personalized, and you can choose what month you want to start it from – so no buying a 2017/2018 planner and only using half of it…

THE SUPER SAVVY ONE
For the bloggers that love to plan ahead: this simple looking (but extremely detailed) planner Amazon does the job. EPIC BLOG is a year – yes, an entire year – long editorial planner. Which means you can really look ahead in terms of things like monthly posts, seasonal content and even writing based around certain days of the year (like this one!). The planner also includes a business plan, ideal reader survey, progress trackers and more. This one is definitely on my wish list.

THE PLAIN ONE
Finally, if you want a simple notebook for more than just blogging purposes, this one’s for you (or anyone from TK Maxx really!). It can be used for post ideas (a page a post), to do lists, tracking or even as a bullet journal. The opportunities really are endless.

It’s funny how blogging is entirely done online yet more and more of us find ourselves reverting back to pen and paper for the planning aspect of running a blog – it’s interesting, isn’t it?

Do you use a notebook to help run your blog or do you stick to an online system? Let me know!

 

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It might sound boring, but I’ve settled into my own little routine since moving into my own place. I do try and mix it up a bit but on a weekday I tend to get in from work, have dinner, play some Xbox then settle down to watch an episode or two of some of my favourite shows on Netflix.

Although it takes me a while to jump onto the bandwagon of what’s trending, I also tend to have quite a varied taste in TV so thought I’d share with you all some series I’m addicted to right now.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | TV | Lifestyle | 5 Netflix series I'm addicted to right now | Neflix | 3% | Riverdale | Friday Night Dinner | iZombie | Ghost Wars

3%
The second series of this Brazilian dystopian thriller has just dropped, meaning it’s not too far gone to catch up on but there’s enough episodes to watch to keep you entertained for a good few weeks. The show is set in the future and is based around the fact that the world is divided in two; a poor and rundown side and a ‘better’ side called The Offshore. Each year, those who are twenty years old have the opportunity to go through ‘the process’ to reach The Offshore, but only 3% make it. It’s a bit like The Hunger Games meets Lost and will draw you in, especially as you start to wonder if you could pass the tests of the process yourself!

RIVERDALE
Riverdale is ever so corny at points but it gets away with it given the fact that it’s a teen drama. I am a 28 year old who is addicted to this show and I have no shame – it’s hard to not end up liking this show. The first series is based around the disappearance of high schooler Jason Blossom and from the get go you realize this show which includes everything you’d expect from a teen drama (parties, sex, drinking etc), it’s actually got a mysterious twist too!

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER
I’ve been a fan of this show since it first aired but being that season five has just began airing on TV, I’ve been re-watching old episodes and they’re just as hilarious as ever. The premise is simple: every Friday night, brothers Adam (Simon Bird) and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal) return home for a Shabbat dinner (aka a Friday night dinner) with their parents. Hilarity often ensues with the two brothers playing pranks on each other, their slightly deaf and often daft father and their somewhat other bearing mother – and an annoying neighbour from next door too. The episodes are short and sweet and I’ve got friends and even my dad watching now too.

IZOMBIE
It’s taken me a while to get into IZombie, which is unlike me considering it’s based on an uber cool comic book and is all about zombies. It’s probably because their idea of how zombies came about is more or less the same thing that happens in my novel..grr. Even so, it’s a lighthearted take on the genre though the show has plenty of gore and mostly takes place in a morgue. Main character Liv (played by Rose McIver) gets turned into a zombie and to help stop her cravings for brains, she begins to work in a morgue. Only eating the brains of the dead gives her flashbacks of their lives, which means she quickly becomes involved in solving crimes. It’s lighthearted but with a twist – so don’t knock it until you try it.

GHOST WARS
I really like this supernatural show. It’s not as scary as I thought it would be but it has its moments. It’s quite unique in regards to anything else on Netflix right now. It’s based around a remote Alaskan town that has problems with the paranormal. Outcast Roman Mercer (Avan Jogia) – who can communicate with the dead – must try and help, despite pretty much the whole town thinking he’s a freak. The show is gripping – and gory at times – but isn’t too heavy either.

Have you seen any of these shows? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!

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I love a good independent brand so when I got a little Twitter follow from Pic ‘n’ Mix, I knew I had to feature them on my blog. Pic ‘n’ Mix feature pre-made festival kits – offering all the basics and more – to stop you worrying about what to pack for your upcoming festival.

Some people (me) may say that shopping for a festival is half the fun – buying the mini 3-for-2 toiletries from Boots, purchasing beautiful accessories that you’ll probably never wear etc – but there’s always a guarantee that something will be forgotten.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Brand Crush | Pic 'n' Mix Festival Kit | Music Festival | Lifestyle | Pick 'n' Mix

Pic ‘n’ Mix takes this fear out of the equation and also provides you with a pre-made kit for half the price. What’s even better is that you can choose a fully eco kit with eco products such as biodegradable chewing gum, toilet seat covers (definitely a must which I’m surprised most people haven’t thought about until now!) and a stainless steel reusable straw!

I can’t tell you how cool I think it is that you can get your own reusable straw. Not only is this super great for the environment (so many festivals are choosing to get rid of plastic straws now), but it’s also great for safety reasons too. I daresay most people would keep an eye on their drink more if they’ll be reusing the straw, hopefully avoiding less instances of drinks being spiked.

Even the glitter is biodegradable!

Currently on the website are four pre-packed kits: a day festival kit, an essentials festival kit, a glam festival kit and a VIP festival kits.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Brand Crush | Pic 'n' Mix Festival Kit | Music Festival | Lifestyle | Pick 'n' Mix

Each kit is super affordable too. The VIP festival kit, for example, includes:

  • Anti-bacterial hand gel (30ml)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Torch
  • Tissues (10 pack)
  • Ear plugs
  • Poncho (red or blue)
  • Toilet seat covers
  • Deodorant (50ml)
  • Toilet tissue wipes (42 pack)
  • Lip balm
  • Chewing gum (10 pack)
  • Wet wipes (12 pack)
  • Glow sticks x 2
  • TravelJohn resealable disposable urinal (3 pack)
  • UV face and body paint (Green)

And this is all for £25.45 – all in a cute bag too. This would cost you £50 upwards when buying separately!

However you can also choose bespoke kits or just pick and mix products too, meaning you can mix essentials with some glam bits like glitter, gems and hair chalk. I’ve spent a good hour or so trawling through and there really is everything you can think of. I couldn’t think of one thing I’d take to a festival that is missing from the website!

Overall I simply had to write a post about Pic ‘n’ Mix because I love the idea behind it all – even if I am surprised no one has done anything like this before! But the best bit is how green and eco this company is and pretty much everything you buy from the website is good for the environment.

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Living alone is no easy feat.

Since moving into my own place, I have:

  • Taken half an hour to work out how to use the cooker (even with instructions from my brother)
  • Taken an hour to work out how to switch the fridge on
  • Cried, on average, at least once a day about how I miss my ex and wish he was still choosing to come with me
  • Spent more money on alcohol than actual food
  • Used a footrest to reach the fuse switch and used the step stool as a foot rest

And I’m still learning and adapting to living alone every single day. I still find it hard to believe that I finally have my own space. I have these moments of proudness – like when I set up the TV/internet all alone, or changed a whole bed set by myself (I have done this before, obviously, but this time it was extra hard because it’s a double and the quilt is so damn heavy). And in these moments I almost have to pinch myself.

How did I find the guts to do this alone?

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Personal | How I found the guts to live alone

Well, truth be told, I didn’t. The moment I saw my brother’s flat for the first time, I fell in love with it. I thought how perfect it would be for me and how it was just the right size. The first time my ex and I visited the flat, I thought about how perfect it would be for us. But when my brother chose to move out, I just couldn’t find the guts to move in myself.

I was petrified – but also kind of excited – of the idea of living alone and was convinced I could never afford it. So when my ex and I got back together and agreed to have a fresh new start, it felt like all my problems had answers. I could finally have my own space – well, with him – and move out of home. I could finally get on with the next part of my life. I was slightly sad I’d never get the chance to live alone entirely – just because I’d always wanted to nail that down and prove that I could – but the idea of waking up to the person I love every morning made it all worth it.

We went up to the flat, one day, when he had an interview in the area. Afterwards, we grabbed a vegan pizza from a takeaway and ate it on the floor of the flat talking about our future. It was like all of those movies when couples move into flats and have no furniture. They sit on the floor and eat. The mattress is shoved in a corner on the floor, with piles of DVD’s around them. It was all so romantic. It felt so right.

So, of course, when we broke up again, I was devastated. The future we had planned was gone in an instant and my whole world came crashing and tumbling down. At 28 years old, I was so ready to move out of home and become more independent and the idea of that not happening just made me feel like I was moving backwards. I was so angry at my ex boyfriend for taking that away from me; for not only breaking my heart but for taking away an entire future. Not just his future and our future but my future too.

But as time went on, I turned that anger into determination. I’d already told my brother we were moving in, so the flat was still available. I’d already gotten a job nearby, which meant I could commute from my home or from the flat. I just didn’t know if I could do it alone.

So I forced myself to. I didn’t want him to take away my future too. I didn’t want to move backwards and put my life on hold just because of him. I didn’t want to miss such an amazing opportunity. I wasn’t going to let him ruin my future as well as his.

And so I did it.

It may have happened bit by bit, but in between nursing a broken heart and beginning an entire new career, I moved to a whole new town and into my own place. Without him. Not alone, entirely, as I had family to help me. But I was the one who unpacked. I was the one who did the first big shop (even if it did consist of mostly alcohol). I was the one who sorted out all the bills. Who set up the internet and TV. Who sat in that living room, moments after my dad had left, alone and petrified about this journey ahead.

But I did it.

And I guess if he hadn’t come back into my life – ever so briefly – I would have never had the guts.

So thanks, to him, I guess.

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I’ve really been trying to save my pennies lately, but a girl can still lust after things, am I right? So I’ve put together a Wednesday wish list of homeware items I really cannot wait to get my hands on. I figured if I put them in a list, I can keep an eye on them and buy them when they go on sale or a discount code pops up, therefore saving me money! Smart, eh?

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Wednesday Wish list

First of all, I’ve got my eye on one of these adorable vegan lunch bags. I actually have a really cool, um, My Little Pony lunchbox (I use it ironically and because it’s vintage, alright?!) but it’s pretty small and I actually need a bag to put it in. So when I spotted these I thought they were perfect! The bags also use recycled cotton and eco friendly ink, so you know as well as your lunch being vegan, the bag itself is super great for the environment.

I love this edgy but glam skull cup and saucer set. I mean it is pricey at £38 so I probably won’t end up parting with my hard earned cash for it but it is on my wish list now meaning hopefully someone will buy it for me as a flat warming/moving in gift. Plus all my plates and bowls are black (excellent choice from my brother) so this set would totally match everything else.

How cool is this bath mat?! I spotted it on the Urban Outfitters website (the last place I’d expect to find cool homeware) and fell in love with it immediately. I don’t even know if it would fit into my tiny bathroom but god help me if there’s a way I will find it, even if it means trimming/cutting the bathmat down. Plus I do actually honestly need a bathmat. I swear. My nan would totally hate it. But that’s the benefit of having your own place!

These tall moroccan candle holders are really edgy and cool. I’ve blogged about my love for Little Lies before but have yet had the chance to buy something from their website. They’re only £9 each which makes them a total steal, and I know a tall black candle from Tiger would look ace in one of these. I say this because I always buy black candles from Tiger (it’s the only place I know that does black candles) but never buy the tall black ones as I never have any holders to put them in. Problem solved.

Finally, I’ve had my eye on these milo deer heads for what seems like years now, ever since I spotted one for sale during a trip to Amsterdam. I love them and think they’re so funky – they’re really pretty and the fact that they’re cardboard and not actual deer heads is even better! They come in so many beautiful designs (and sizes) I kinda want them all. I think I’ll get this one first and stick it above my bed..

What do you think of my wish list? Would you buy anything from it for your own place?

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