Festival season is finally upon us which means I’m over the moon with my new boho/gypsy embroidered midi dress from Fashion World. When they got in touch recently asking me if I wanted to visit a couple of their products, it was a no brainer!

The plus size brand stocks clothing in sizes from 12 – 32 with products that are actually stylish! Though I’m actually an average size 12 myself, I nearly always have to go up a couple of sizes in most shops because I find the fits are usually really funny. I loved browsing through Fashion World and seeing that everything would fit me easily and I wouldn’t have to faff about with sizes.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

The main item I chose was this beyond beautiful Monsoon dress. As soon as I saw it, it just screamed boho at me and I knew it would be perfect for my upcoming Boomtown experience! Saying that, it’s also very versatile in that I’ve worn it on a day to day basis too.

I absolutely love the colourful embroidery. I paired the dress with basic sandals and a bright and bold floral crown.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

Also, major props to my friend Nicki who not only took and edited these beautiful shots during a mini lunch break photo shoot, but who also styled my hair! How talented is she?!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

I really love how lightweight this dress is too. Considering how long it is, I was convinced it would stick to me and leave me feeling hot and bothered on a summer day. But the material was soft against my skin and the entire dress was ever so comfortable.

Because of the cute detailing, I didn’t feel the need to add any accessories really – apart from my flower crown obviously!

As well as this stunning dress, Fashion World also sent me this gorgeous playsuit. I thought this would be perfect for work in the summer as it’s fashionable but also quite smart. Unfortunately, I went a size up for this as I cannot stand playsuits being too tight and clingy – but the fourteen was overly large on me. Luckily they’re going to send a new one in my size (and I’ll be sure to pop up another post when they do), but of course I still had to show you it regardless!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look
Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fasion | You can bring the fire, I can bring the bones | Fashion World | Festival Look

What do you think of the midi dress and playsuit I received? Aren’t they beautiful? I can’t wait to re-create this look for Boomtown in August.

Let me know your thoughts!

*Please note, these items were gifted to me in exchanged for a review but all views and opinions are entirely truthful and unbiased.

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I don’t know about you but I’m a little bit weird when it comes to dipping my toe into the world pool of dating again after a break up. I like to sit and mope for ages and, because I tend to fight for things to the end and struggle to let things go, I’m definitely not the type of person to just go out and date/have fun right away (so to speak).

I spend a long time worrying about whether or not dating and sex has changed since the last time I tried it (haha) and, when the time feels right, I’ll generally try a half assed attempt at dating again before getting bored and giving up.

Whilst most people tend to jump into bed with someone the moment they become single (because it apparently helps with the moving on process) I do the complete opposite. I know, for me, that when that time comes for me or said ex, it’s all over for good. Once you sleep with someone else, you cannot take that back. That’s the cut off point for me so that’s perhaps why I don’t do this.

Still, whether you take your time like me or you jump straight into it, it can still be tough to start actually dating again. Whether you’re scared, worried it’s all changed, have lost all confidence or simply don’t know where to begin, there are some small steps you can take to ease yourself in.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | 5 ways to get back on the dating horse | Love | Relationships

GET A MAKEOVER
First and foremost, take care of you. After any break up, I always focus on self improvement – not that I think I need a makeover, but because I crave change and because any break up leaves you feeling a little low in confidence. If a full on makeover is too much, try a new haircut, getting your eyebrows waxed and tinted or booking in for a massage. The most important person in your life is you again, so make sure you really look after yourself before doing anything else. This also counts for emotional self care too – write down your feelings, learn a new language or start bullet journaling.

START GOING TO GIGS ALONE
Ever missed out on seeing a great band live because none of your friends like them? The key is to start going alone. You can get there as early (or as late as you like), you can get to the front easier and it’s another great confidence boost. No one cares or even notices if you’re at a gig alone. And there’s plenty of opportunities to start chatting to cute guys, whether that’s at the bar or in between sets in the mosh pit. Plus, there are tons of chances to flirt using body language; you’re constantly standing close to one another.

ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO SET YOU UP WITH SOMEONE
Yes, it may be a disaster. But it also might be a lot of fun too. If you’ve never tried this, now is the time. No matter what the outcome is, you’ll also soon realize what your friend thinks of you when you discover who they pick!

GET ON THOSE DATING WEBSITES
If you can’t beat em, join them. 50% of people suffer at the thought of online dating whereas the other 50% have taken it in their stride. It’s the absolute norm now. I know no one likes to say they met their significant other online, but remember, at this point in time, you’re not looking for a significant other. If you’re just looking for fun, for company or looking simply out of curiosity, logging onto some dating sites will, at the very least, give you a confidence boost as you indulge in some flirty fun.

DON’T PUSH IT
Finally, some of the best advice I can give you is to just not push it. You may want to go out and sleep with everyone or you may want to hold on tight and lock down the next person that gives you attention but don’t do this just for the sake of it or just to fill a hole. Yes, this might be how your ex moves on and they might act and seem happy and make you feel like crap. But is it really healthy to jump from relationship to relationship or sleep around? No. Just remember, deep down, they’re probably feeling as sh*t as you are but are going one step further by either sleeping around and creating a reputation for themselves or jumping into a new relationship and inevitably hurting someone else.

You are better than that. If it feels right to sleep with someone, go for it. But don’t do it just because you think it’ll help because in actual fact you’ll just feel worse the next morning and regret it. You might meet someone who sweeps you off your feet, but be sure to separate your feelings of lust and being wanted again before you make a commitment. They may only be filling a temporary hole your ex left behind and you’ll only hurt yourself and them when you come to this realisation.

Do you have any tips for dating again after a long term relationship? Let me know..

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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I cannot believe it’s been over a year since my big Mexican BLT trip to Mexico with TrekAmerica. Having seen so much of Mexico by visiting places like Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Palenque, Bacalar, Mahahual, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen to name just a few, I think I definitely discovered some hidden gems during my time travelling.

Here are some awesome alternative things to do in Mexico.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Mexico | 7 unique experiences to try in Mexico

JUNGLE TREKKING IN PALENQUE
Want to feel like Indiana Jones? Here’s your chance. In my opinion, the ruins at Palenque are the most beautiful we visited in Mexico – even though I’d still suggest visiting Chichen Itza. But the views of Palenque are exactly the kind of views I dreamed of when I first decided I wanted to visit Mexico. There’s lots to see and do, but for a real unique experience, book a guide to take you off the beaten track to explore an actual real life jungle. It was mega fun.

PARTY ALONG THE RIVER WITH A XOXCIMILCO TOUR
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to try this but essentially you jump on an uber colourful boat with some alcohol in tow and spend the next few hours stopping at different ports along the river for food, drink, games and entertainment – without even getting off the boat! There are a few of these about but the one with Experiences Xcaret looks the best in my opinion (and was the one I wanted to try). I still regret not being able to do this – so a return to Mexico is definitely on the cards!

HAVE A TRADITIONAL MEXICAN NIGHT OUT AT DON MUCHOS
I loved this gem of a place, also in Palenque! Don Muchos is a really cute traditional Mexican restaurant in the jungle – to get there, you have to walk a path through the trees, tread over wooden boards balanced over the mud and even walk over mini bridges over small streams – it’s half of the adventure. Once there, you find a small cluster of businesses – a small community bustling in the night. The food here is lovely – and you must order a tequila shot – and most nights you can watch traditional Mexican entertainment with your food. Afterwards, get up and dance on the small dance floor until the early hours of the morning.

GET YOUR CREEP ON AT THE ISLAND OF THE DOLLS
A visit to Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) is an absolute must if you like to get your creep on like me. Although never intended to be a tourist destination, the story says that a girl drowned on the island and, when a caretaker later saw a doll floating near the canals, he hung it from a tree as a sign of respect for the drowned girl. Legend says that the caretaker became possessed by the girl and hung more and more dolls to rid her spirit. He was later found dead in the same spot the girl drowned. Now, the island is filled with creepy deteriorated dolls hanging from trees and tourists bring their own dolls when visiting. Who knows how real the legend actually is but there’s no doubt that the island itself is beyond creepy…

PARTY HARD AT COCO BONGO
Coco Bongo isn’t necessarily a hidden gem but it is a totally unique night out. It’s cabaret/show meets club, where you join in with half the fun. I won’t reveal all, but you can expect superhero dance offs, the opportunity to dance on your seats and so, so much confetti. It’s a whole lot of fun and definitely not to be missed.
Top Tip: it is expensive, but to get the most out of your night, I would recommend getting a VIP table as it’ll include free drinks all night, a waiter just for you and somewhere to sit down (and you’ll want this, trust me) and party right in the heart of the music. It works out cheaper than buying your drinks all night, especially if you chip in and get a table as a group.

VISIT A REAL NATURE THEME PARK AT XCARET
Xcaret is one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited; it’s a natural theme park meets nature reserve in one. You can swim in underground rivers, visit flamingos, take relaxing boat rides, visit a traditional Mexican burial ground and then, when night falls, watch the mindblowing Xcaret Mexico Espectacular. A day at the park is so varied with so much to see and even though I visited Xcaret alone, it was hands down one of the best days of my life.

SCUBA DIVE TO CANCUN UNDERWATER MUSEUM
Another one that is already quite well known but still extremely unique – I mean where else are you going to visit an underwater museum? True, you can easily see most of the artifacts by Googling but that’s just not as fun..

If these seven unique experiences don’t convince you to book a holiday to Mexico right now, I don’t know what will. Still, may I also add that Mexico is filled with stunning beaches, amazing weather and tons of quirky bars?!

Would you ever visit Mexico? Let me know…

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One of the best things about having my own place is without a doubt being able to decorate it however I want and buy homeware items. I’m a huge fan of homeware accessories from places like TK Maxx and Primark, so when I visited Primark for a mooch one evening after work lately, I of course made a beeline for their home department.

Well, I actually planned to go in for a specific pair of pyjamas – which they didn’t have – and walked out with about £20 worth of other stuff – such is the way it always goes in Primark!

Here’s what I picked up.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Mini Primark home & beauty haul

How cute/glam are these little cat ears? I’m actually not really one for this trend but these caught my eye and I just had to buy them because I think they’re actually quite sophisticated and glam with all the gems. I’m heading to Boomtown in August so these will be perfect for then.

I’m curious to try the lip kit out. The colour is gorgeous but being only £3.00 from Primark, I’m not expecting too much. I have heard good things about some of Primark’s makeup range though so maybe it’ll surprise me!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Mini Primark home & beauty haul

I also picked up some mascara, just because I saw The Dana Edit talking about how good some of Primark’s makeup is. I wanted to pick up the mascara she recommended but totally forgot what one it was, unfortunately. I do need a new mascara but don’t have a lot of cash to splash so this will do in the meantime.

At the till point, I also grabbed some hairbands and fake eyelashes.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Mini Primark home & beauty haul

I also picked up these basic but cute baskets. I haven’t really jumped on the copper trend yet either but I couldn’t say no to these as they were so cute – plus for some reason the basket was down from £3.00 till £1.00 despite having nothing wrong with it. I don’t know where I’m going to put these though – I thought the copper basket would be good in my bathroom but there’s not really any space aha.

All this came to £17.00 – what a bargain! I got the basics (lipstick, mascara and headbands) and more, so all in all I think it was a pretty successful trip.

What do you think of my Primark haul? Let me know!

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One thing I always struggle with when eating vegan is lunch ideas. In the past, I’ll always have such simple lunches – a cheese and onion or ham and tomato sandwich with a packet of crisps and that was it really.

When eating vegan, I have to really get creative with my lunch ideas. I can still have a cheese and onion sandwich for example but vegan cheese isn’t that great for flavour when just in a sandwich, so this is usually a last resort for me.

Therefore I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourite vegan lunch ideas.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Food | Vegan | 6 easy go-to vegan lunch ideas

VEGAN BURRITO BOWL
I’m not a lover of burritos/burrito bowls or even black beans but I loved this burrito bowl (taken from one of Pound Fit’s meal plans). It’s another one that looks super impressive with minimal prep. All you need to do the night before is cook and drain the black beans, then pack an avocado, chopped tomatoes, rice and a slice of lime. You can cook the rice the night before and have it cold with your burrito bowl, or grab a microwavable pack to scoff it warm. It’s another idea great for summer.

TOMATO MEZZE
This is a massive favourite of mine taken from The Debrief back when it was still a thing (oh how I miss it!). It’s great because it’s cheap to make (all leftover ingredients are totally versatile to use in other dishes), it’s easy and it looks a lot more impressive than it actually is. All you need is hummus, rocket salad, a bread roll, tomatoes and smoked paprika – probably everything you already have anyway. Basically you make a smokey tomatoey sauce using the smoked paprika and tomatoes and a little water in the microwave, sprinkle some smoked paprika over the hummus and divide it onto your plate to pile onto your bread. It’s lightweight too but a great alternative for a warm-but-not-heavy meal in summer.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
This one needs some prep the night before (or the day before – I tend to cook it in the slow cooker throughout the day) but my god its tasty. Ingredients and recipes vary – I tend to just blend some butternut squash and an onion before seasoning it – but you can pile in as many vegetables as you like. Pick up some delicious bread rolls or sourdough bread with lashings of vegan butter, microwave the soup and you’ve got a stocky lunch to keep you full throughout the day.

AVOCADO ON TOAST
Super simple, super easy. Definitely a Friday lunch when you can’t be bothered. Still feeling hungry? Grab some plain Doritos (or nacho crisps) and use any remaining avo as an easy alternative to guac.

ITALIAN RED PEPPER HUMMUS SANDWICH
This sandwich is a firm favourite from Euphoric Vegan. It’s asbsolutely delicious as it is, but to save time and money, I usually swap the red pepper hummus for normal hummus (also used in the tomatoe mezze recipe)!

ON THE HIGH STREET
Can’t be bothered to prep or really running late and forget? There’s actually tons of vegan choices on the high street if you know where to look/what to look for. My favourites are the falafel and hummus wrap or the falafel red pepper and tabbouleh salad (which isn’t marked as vegan but is vegan as long as you remove the spiced yogurt dressing provided with it) as part of the Tesco meal deal (both Walkers ready salted crisps and squares are vegan). Tesco also stocks the WICKED range, most of which is microwaveable. Pret’s has tons of vegan options too – though a little pricey. You can see a full guide of vegan goodies to buy along the high street here, for those days when you’re caught out.

If you’re vegan, what do you normally eat at lunchtime? Let me know!

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