The weekend has been absolutely beautiful towards the end of this week and damn am I feeling it. I’ve swapped my jeans for skirts, my scarf for sunglasses and have generally just been feeling those summer vibes. Luckily, TOBI were kind enough to send me some products to help keep me on trend for summer 2018.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Yours Truly Tassel Earrings | Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt | Sonya Strappy Skater Dress

The first thing I chose was this edgy Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt. Though not summery, I thought it was the type of item that is pretty versatile so could be dressed up with some feminine accessories and maybe a floral top to help transition it to a summer skirt. Likewise, the bold buttons and length of the skirt make it ideal for winter too, albeit with a thick pair of tights!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Turn Up The Night Pleather Skirt |

The moment I laid eyes on this skirt I knew it would be ideal for my upcoming Fall Out Boy gig. I chose to pair it with a thin, off the shoulder top I bought when in Mexico, and dressed it up with appropriate accessories and a pair of biker boots. Above, I re-created the outfit with more versatile sandles (firstly because I was super drunk at Fall Out Boy so didn’t manage to get any decent photos and secondly just to show how it can work for a day time look too).

I don’t own many skirts so this is perfect due to how versatile it is.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Sonya Strappy Skater Dress

I was also lucky enough to receive this beautiful Sonya Strappy Skater Dress which has the most stunning shape to it and is perfect for summer. I love the way it hugs my curves and the fact that it’s just the right length too. The back is what makes the dress though, making it very flirty. Though you wouldn’t be able to wear a standard bra with this, it’s ideal for hot days when you don’t really want to.

The material is super soft and overall it’s just a really lovely dress that may look basic from the front but has that extra oomph from the back. It’s available in a few different colours but I chose this beautiful bright blue as, again, it’s really versatile. I love how it looks with the sandals too.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Fashion | Prepping for summer with TOBI | Clothes | Summer Fashion | TOBI Fashion | Yours Truly Tassel Earrings

Finally I also received these lovely Yours Truly Tassel Earrings – aren’t the pastel colours beautiful?! I’ve worn these so much since receiving them as as great they look with the above dress, they really spruce up any basic outfit. Many a times I’ve gone into work with jeans and a t-shirt but felt really fashionable and on trend with these.

Overall I’m over the moon with my goodies from TOBI. From the strappy skater dress ideal for hot days spent in the sun, to the plush and edgy skirt which works great in winter too, I couldn’t be more pleased. Although I will admit it was very hard to narrow it down to these few items – there is so much beautiful stuff I want from the website!

Do you like the items I picked? Do you shop with TOBI? Let me know!

“Please note, although I received these items for review purposes all thoughts and opinions are entirely honest and my own.

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Today on the blog I have something a little different and that’s a review of a sweet little short film called Uncle Marty.

It’s actually produced, written and directed by my talented friend, Thomas Young, who I once met drunk on a night out years and years ago but who has done so many talented things related to film over the years.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Movies | A review of short film Uncle Marty | Uncle Marty | Short Film | Thomas Younge

In fact, Thomas and the team behind Uncle Marty have even entered the short film into film festivals Drunken Film Festival, The Shortest Nights and Bedford Film Festival.

Uncle Marty sees a brother and sister travel across England to say their final goodbyes to their Uncle Marty, but, of course, not everything goes to plan. With the two characters being pressed for time and rushing across the country to reach the funeral in time, we see the siblings react to the possibility of missing the funeral but also the realisation of losing someone so close to them and someone they look up to.

Though the film is short, it packs a lot into the ten minutes or so of viewing time, and Katie Queue and William Lester genuinly draw the audience in and offer a lot of emotion. Their excellent performances bounce well of off each other – Tim, played by William, offers a humorous character you can’t help but love, whereas Penny is worried and tense at first but entirely relatable as the more serious of the two siblings.

I have to mention the locations too. The opening shots take place at Leagrave train station (somewhere close to home for me!) but later scenes take place in the breathtaking New Forest. What a beautiful place!

The whole piece has some real beautiful camera shots, courtesy of Daniel Read as the cinematographer, making it more than just a movie and much like a work of art too.

Uncle Marty is a really short but sweet film that will make you laugh but will also get you thinking about the memories left behind by someone once they’re gone.

Here’s hoping the film does well at the festivals – it certainly deserves it.

Check it out and let me know what you think with a comment below.

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I’ve found that since going vegan, I’ve become a lot more creative with my food but one thing I don’t have much of anymore is a curry. So when I was asked if I wanted to try some Yutaka products to make a Katsu vegan curry, I was right on board!


Unfortunately it took me a while longer than I hoped to get this curry made. First of all our flatmates stole some of our ingredients (by accident, of course) and second of all I waited until a day I could make the curry early on in the day so I could take some decent photos in a natural light. Oh the woes of being a blogger.
I finally got around to making it today, although with the snow, the natural light wasn’t amazing. Still, what’s important was the curry.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Food | Vegan Katsu Curry | Cooking | Vegan | Katsu
I was sent Yutaka Panko (bread crumbs) and Yutaka Japanese-Style Curry Cube to create the dish. The recipe advised me to use either vegetables as the base (an aubergine and a sweet potato) or tofu, and I chose tofu simply because I’m trying to experiment more with it in cooking.
The recipe – which I’ll post below – was easy enough to follow, although the only issues I had was that not a lot of breadcrumbs stuck to the tofu – normally when you cover something in breadcrumbs, you use egg yolk to help them stick but obviously I couldn’t do that. My boyfriend advised me to use a little oil and this made a lot of difference, but overall it would have been better if it was more ‘breaded’. This didn’t defer from the taste though!
The second issue was – and I always struggle with this, so this is through no fault of the products – is that the sauce came out more like a watery sauce then a thick one. I didn’t mind one bit because it was still packed full of flavour but, next time if I want it thicker, I’ll remember to add some flour.
I quickly realized (after some research) that I was actually making a traditional katsu dish – which differs from what we know as a curry. It was delicious. The dish overall reminded me of food I used to always get from my local – breaded chicken with a thick curry sauce. This definitely rivaled it and the sauce itself had tons of flavour without being too spicy.
I added some vegetable samosas too!
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Food | Vegan Katsu Curry | Cooking | Vegan | Katsu
It was so delicious and we were actually left with lots of sauce left over which I think will go great with some vegan chicken nuggets and perhaps even pies at a later date. 
I’ll be honest though: when serving up with the less-than-thick sauce (due to me never being able to make a thick sauce) and slightly breaded tofu pieces instead of a curry, I wasn’t expecting much. 
But it was amazing. I’d somehow managed to re-create one of my favourite pre-vegan dishes and the whole thing was super filling and filled with flavour. My boyfriend absolutely loved it too and has already asked me if I can buy a few more products and make it again next week.
Which I definitely will. Because I’ve fallen into the trap lately of just shoving frozen food in the oven and not actually cooking, and making this has reminded me that proper cooking doesn’t have to be long or inconvenient. 
Here’s the original recipe:
INGREDIENTS
· 1 Large Onion
· 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
· Water 800ml
· Yutaka Japanese-Style Curry Cube 100g
· 1 large aubergine
· 1 large sweet potato
· Plain flour 100g
· Salt & Pepper
· 50g cornflour mixed with water
· Yutaka Panko 200g
· Olive oil
· Steamed White Rice
SAUCE
Chop onion into small pieces. Add a little oil to the pan and gently fry chopped onions on low heat until lightly browned. Add 800ml of cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 7 minutes. Then let the sauce cool down for a few minutes. Add 100G of Yutaka Curry into the sauce. Stir until fully dissolved. Simmer on low heat and stir until sauce thickens.
VEGAN KATSU
Cut the sweet potato and aubergine into half cm slices and season with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour then dip into the cornflour mixture and coat with Yutaka Panko. Add oil to pan and once hot, cook the slices on each side for a couple of minutes or until golden brown. Leave to drain on a paper towel. Serve with boiled rice and add the sauce.
The whole dish took around twenty minutes to make. My tofu was quite crumbly so I had to abandon some and there was a lot of sauce left over so this would have easily have served between 3-4 people. I will note that the sauce came in one big chunk divided into six, so next time I’ll ensure to only use what I need when just cooking for two.
Overall, my first vegan Katsu curry exceeded my expectations and even now I’m wishing I made enough to go back for seconds! It rivaled my favourite pre-vegan dish and will serve as the perfect week night dinner.
Have you ever tried any Katsu products? Would you try this curry/dish? Let me know!
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Last night I was lucky enough to head down the road to Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard (practically on my door step!) to check out and review their Halloween scare attraction, The Howl Scream Park.
I love anything scary and have been to similar things in the past, such as Dr Fright Night’s, so I had high expectations of this place and was really looking forward to it.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Halloween | Tulleys - The Howl Scream Park @ Mead Open Farm | Tulleys | The Howl Scream park | Mead Open Farm

Upon arrival, it was clear to see a lot was going on, such as a bonfire, actors roaming the park/farm area, a bar and even a live band. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to check out much else other than the actual attractions which is a huge shame because as well as being scary, the whole place had a really laid back and seasonal vibe. I’d have loved to have stayed and checked out the band and even had a few drinks – but there’s always next time!
Still, there was of course plenty of time to scare ourselves silly and so we braved the five scare attractions/mazes/walkthroughs on offer: Hotel de Basquervilles, Topper’s Twister, House of Hounds, The Shed and Squealers Yard.
I will try my best to avoid spoilers here but if you have yet to go and really want to be surprised, I’d stop reading here. Still, I cannot quite describe the tension and the fear factor we felt going through each attraction so even if you do read on to discover what some of them have to offer – set wise, anyway – there’s still lots to anticipate.
Each attraction had it’s own unique storyline and was rather different from the last; no two felt the same and I thought this was done really well. There’s only so much you can do with these type of attractions and although the set’s and theme can be different, often scares are the same.
This wasn’t the case here though. Yes, essentially people jump out at you but scares and jump tactics actually varied per walkthrough which was really good. In one, we found ourselves exploring a bright white room filled with smoke and fog, making us unable to see or anticipate what was coming for us. This really built the tension in a way I hadn’t felt before. In another, we had fun finding ourselves disoriented with a rotating tunnel, which meant I had to try and concentrate on staying on my feet and try and avoid getting too scared!
The attention to detail in each attraction was amazing. I particularly loved Topper’s Twister, which had a real twisted circus theme to it, with fake slides coming out of the walls and giant toy blocks. There was also a small ball pit, but I was rather disappointed to learn we were not going to go through that, haha. 
How fun/scary would it be trying to escape a clown whilst wading through a ball pit?!
But my hands down favourite had to be Hotel de Basquervilles. This spooky haunted hotel had so much to see and offer in each individual room, from a creepy white static TV to clothes and material hanging from the ceiling. It was really cool and I liked that there were a few less actors in this particular walkthrough as it instead gave us the chance to really notice each room and for the tension to build too.
In terms of scares: I certainly jumped and screamed a lot. Some attractions had more ‘jump’ scares than others, but I liked that it wasn’t too over the top. Some places go overboard with scaring their audience, meaning the audience doesn’t have the chance to really enjoy themselves or take in anything. This was just right.
Overall, it was so much fun and I actually want to go back again to explore each set in further detail and experience those scares again! The Howl Scream Park is definitely one of my favourite scare attractions yet and I’ll no doubt be returning next Halloween.
If you haven’t yet popped down, make sure you do. It’s a great night out to get scared and then have a laugh with friends and family afterwards with a cold beer at the bonfire or with some warm food listening to live music.

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The last couple of posts I’ve enjoyed writing sat at my own desk in my very own blogging area – which is a far cry from where I normally blog (in bed, usually!).

I’ve wanted my own desk for blogging for a long time now but unfortunately lack of space in my room just hasn’t allowed it. Likewise, at my boyfriend’s place, I’ve wanted my own space in general, especially as I spend more time there than at home. Therefore, when Kit Out My Office got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try out a desk, I jumped at the chance.
The only thing is, I didn’t realize quite how tough it would be trying to decide on the perfect/right desk for me. Being that my boyfriend and I are looking to move in together, I wanted something that would last and that I could take to the new place, not just a desk that looked pretty now.

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Firstly, I wanted a typical all white desk, much like most bloggers. But as I scrolled through, I just wasn’t sure. I wanted a drawer with the desk, but the all white desk and drawer just didn’t seem ideal for me; nor did a white desk with a natural oak drawer.

In the end, I decided on an all over natural oak finish with one drawer, put in my order and tried to stop myself buying everything office/stationary related at TK Maxx until the time came. (I failed. I bought a few things, but just a few!).

I also chose the size W800mm which was the perfect width when there’s not a lot of space. I did like how I had the option of two different sizes though. There’s also a lot of variation on the website too; there’s desks with drawers either side, desks with cupboards above and much more.

My only worry was the drawer really, as I thought with the desk being smaller in width, my legs would end up hitting it. This hasn’t been a problem at all, however, if it had been, the drawer can easily be removed or moved further over.
Speaking of which…I put the desk together myself (my first attempt at DIY!) and I am very proud of myself.

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

Anyway. Once the desk was set up, I couldn’t believe how sleek and sophisticated it looked. It’s ever so lovely, the natural oak finish is a really durable but versatile colour and the finish is so smooth.

Since getting my desk, I’ve slowly been personalizing it bit by bit. It has a way to go yet – currently it overlooks either ASDA out the window or some dark curtains but I’m hoping once we move the room around, I can set it to face a wall and exhibit some cool and inspiring graphics above.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up a lot from TK Maxx. The year planner and matching desk planner I already had, and I also picked up a gold magazine/folder rack and some cute sticky notes that also match the whole theme I have going on. I picked up a candle too and I currently display a little snow globe from our time in Romania. There’s also a cute coaster for my cups of tea and now I’m on a look out for a small desk lamp and a cute Halloween decoration for the upcoming season.

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 | Home | Creating my own blogging space with Kit Out My Office | Kit Out My Office | Blogger Space | Desk | Review

So it’s still looking very simple (but clean, which I like!) but it’s nice because it’s all mine; my own little feminine and sophisticated area.

But I think the best part about it is just having my own space; especially to blog. The drawer is spacious for things like my spare notebooks plus some extra bits like my laptop charger and such. I’ve also been using it for different things like doing my makeup (carefully as not to spill any on my shiny new desk!) each morning and just in general.
Beforehand, I’d either blog in bed or on the sofa, or try and make some space on my boyfriends desk (near impossible as he has two PC screens, a keyboard and lots of random junk) but now I have my own area where my laptop can be kept at all times. It’s great too because obviously when my boyfriend is home and gaming, I can really focus on getting stuff done which is hard to do when you’re lying in bed, half slouched down and sleepy. Sitting up at an actual desk gives me more motivation and helps me do what I need to.

Overall, I’m really pleased with my desk and love it’s look overall – as well as how I’ve personalized it. It’s a real investment as I feel this is going to last me for years and years to come and is probably a desk I’m going to take with me as I move into our flat and hopefully one day a house soon.

What do you think? Let me know!

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