I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is officially my 1,000th post! 1,000 posts doesn’t seem like a lot when you think about how long I’ve been blogging or compare it to content other bloggers produce but it’s something I’m pretty proud of regardless!

I started my blog back in January 2011 – such a long time ago now! – when I was a student at uni. I was already familiar with the idea of blogging then but set up the blog – then named Inspire Magazine Online – to coincide with my dissertation. Back then, I had a dodgy fringe, dodgier ‘outfits of the week’ and often blogged about absolutely anything – like three paragraphs on how TK Maxx had nice scrapbook stuff in stories or how Lush had been hacked!

Since then, I like to believe my content has improved. I now write about fashion (less, but with better content), food, veganism, being eco, books, entertainment and creepy stuff too. Over the last 1,000 posts, I’ve managed to pair up with so many amazing brands too, from fun days out to finally bagging my own blogging desk.

I don’t often celebrate blogging milestones, so this was one I had to acknowledge. To celebrate, I have decided to start blogging a little bit more about blogging and share my limited knowledge on the subject. No, my blog isn’t the most successful but I’ve been running it for seven years now and have just hit 1,000 FREAKIN’ POSTS so I’ve got some tips to share!

If there’s anything you want covered, let me know!

There’s not really much else I want to say here except YAY ME for hitting 1,000 posts. Here’s to the next 1,000 more.


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 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.

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.

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…

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.

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!



Even though January is now long gone, I’m still settling into the new year and taking time to plan ahead. One of my main focuses this year is obviously going to be this blog, but as we always come into a new year, I start looking into more ways to improve and grow Formidable Joy. Here are my blogging goals for 2018.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Blogging | My blogging goals for 2018 | Blogging goals

This one is an obvious one but this year I really want to focus on getting my content out there. In 2017, I was guilty of sharing my posts on Facebook and Twitter only – and occasionally Google plus. I stuck to three tweets per post and one Facebook update. This is not enough, despite me thinking so at the time. In 2018, I want to think outside of the box in terms of sharing my content and also share on social media more in general. I’m getting back to tweeting a lot more – but Instagramming less. It’s hard to find the time and it feels weird sitting down scheduling non-blog post content in advance (since I don’t know what I’m going to be thinking about in the week or what weird stuff is going to happen to me to share on Twitter!), but a staple schedule of at least the basics is a must.

I want more blogs to follow and I want to support more blogs with comments, likes and shares. I feel like in past years, blogging has become a habit for me to do. I’ve always enjoyed it of course but I focused so much on my own blog that I often forgot to read other blogs. I want to turn that around this year. Oh, and if you have any blogs to recommend, do comment below!

I’m in the process of saving money currently, so this one is well on it’s way to being completed. I’ll either be putting my money towards a proper camera, or be upgrading to a phone that has an excellent camera – or both! The next step is to get more creative with my flatlays in general, but luckily, I have always had an interest in photography so this shouldn’t be too hard.

I’ve started a blogging Facebook group and I think the next step for my blog is to start my own newsletter. This is only something I’m thinking about at the moment and it’s only something I’ll do if I feel I push my content and improve my readership enough – there’s no point starting a newsletter that no one is going to read! – but it’s another goal, if perhaps for later in the year.

I’ve also vowed to relax and enjoy blogging more. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it – because it’s one of my favourite passions – but I want to take the guilt out of not being able to stick to a rigorous every-other-day blogging schedule or not being as good as other bloggers I see. Basically, I want to improve my blog, but not at the expense of my mental health. Blogging is a fun hobby and even if I do want to turn it into a business, I need to remember to not let it stress me out too much either.

Do you blog? What are your blogging goals for 2018 or what would you like to see on Formidable Joy this upcoming year? Let me know!


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!


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
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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!