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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Well that’s it – we’re officially half way through the year. And what have I achieved so far? I’ve moved into my own place (even though I’ll likely be moving back home again), and got my foot in the door by bagging an amazing job. I’ve had my heart broken twice (by the same person!) and have failed on the fully vegan front. But apart from making the mistake of going back to my ex, I’ve learned to look after myself more which is the most important thing. I’ve learned to look after my mental health and let go of things that are not good for me; I have learned to drink more water and exercise my mind more and I have began to travel more – alone.

I wonder what the second half of 2018 has in store?

In the meantime, here’s what June has on the cards.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Hello June

THE MOVIE
Deadpool 2. It looks amazing and I still can’t believe I’ve not got around to seeing it yet…
Deadpool 2 is out now.

THE TV SERIES
The Handmaid’s Tale is finally back on our screens and I am such an addict. It’s such an intense show – so it’s not for everybody – but I’d recommend watching at least one episode of the first series and catching up if you like it. Without wanting to give any major spoilers away, series two approaches what’s in store for Offred now that she’s with child. I’m most excited to see Nick on my screen again though because I definitely have a huge crush on him.
The Handmaid’s Tale is currently showing on Channel 4 on Sunday evenings – and you can catch up on More4 now.

THE WORKOUT
We’re about two weeks into the new fitness pledge with Pound FItness – but there’s still time to join and catch up. Pound Fitness have launched the One Beat World Tour, where you pledge yourself to work out throughout the month with new workout routines, eat healthier with recipes sent to you and do things to take care of yourself too. You can learn more here, but basically if you want to try something new or mix up your workout routine, check it out and sign up.
The One Beat World Tour is available to join now.

THE EVENT
Miss those epic adventure playgrounds/play areas you used to go to as a kid? Well now you can relive your childhood and go back AS A CHILD. WITH A BAR. KB02 Venue Hire are throwing an Adult Throwback Night in a three story high adventure playground (slides, swings, ball pit – the lot) as well as beer pong, table tennis, old school music and more. I’m so damn excited – I’ll see you all there!
KB02 Venue Hire’s Adult Throwback Night takes place on the 9th.

ANYTHING ELSE?
I am massive on self help/mental health apps right now. If there’s one goal you should have this June, it should be to take care of yourself. Daylio is an app that allows you to record your feelings and mood on a daily basis, and SleepTown encourages you to put your phone down at night and have a decent night’s sleep (it creates buildings the longer you stay off your phone). Likewise, InnerHour creates plans to help you improve different areas of your life with various tasks such as meditation and guided imagery.

What are you looking forward to this month? 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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At my new job, there’s a lovely lady who runs a pantry on our estate. She offers a vegan menu, does food plans on the side and also dabbles in numerology.

Fascinated by discovering this hobby of hers, I swiftly expressed my interest and she offered me a quick reading. I don’t know much about numerology but things like horoscopes really interest me so I was intrigued to find out what she had to say by adding up my birthdate and creating my number, which was the number 8.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | My numerology reading | Numerology

So the number 8 is all to do with karma and what goes around comes around. This is reflected in the shape of the number 8 which is almost like a ying-yang infinity sign. The number 8 is a balancer but it’s also a very powerful number.

An 8 can easily get what it wants in life through a number of different ways. A top eight – like me – gets what it wants with love and working hard, ie making friends, staying determined and passionate. A lower eight gets what it wants by taking. These are the kind of people that walk into a room and are very powerful and intimidating. Luckily I’m a top 8!

An 8 can also be very emotional – and that is me all over. I take things to heart and I am easily swayed. For example, I could be having an amazing day but then I can burst into tears if I see a sad advert on the TV!

I also take on a lot of other people’s problems and worries and this is a typical thing for an eight to do. I will agree to do this thing for one person and another thing for another because I want to help and cannot say no – until it gets too much for me and brings me down.

In terms of my life right now and what is coming up: the last year or so was a time for suffering for me which sort of makes sense with me. I was very lost last year before I met my boyfriend at the time and didn’t see my life going anywhere. I wasn’t in a great place. This improved when I met Vincent, but when we broke up, I took it super hard and felt like I was back at square one again.

According to my reading, what is coming up for me is a year which will be a bit more spiritual (makes sense as I’m planning to do some travelling!) and after my next birthday I’ll also become quite focused or obsessed on something. This can be anything from food, travel and even sex, but the lady recommended I try to become focused on something more positive such as exercise.

This is quite an interesting look at my possible future. I’ve been told to focus on myself right now whilst I’m still young and single again and hopefully this will go hand in hand with wanting to become a bit more fit and healthy. Although she also said to me that if I do end up becoming obsessed with sex, it’s going to be some real nitty-gritty out there sex, which is…interesting!

Overall I found it really interesting and the qualities behind a number eight really resonated with me. I don’t think I’m a powerful person – I’m definitely not the type of person to stand tall and walk into a room to demand something – but I do believe I’ve gotten where I am in life by being headstrong, approachable and friendly. Many jobs – and amazing opportunities – I’ve gotten in the past have been through friends, so that’s an interesting comparison.

Of course, not everyone believes in numerology but considering I am fascinated by most things like astrology, I think I would definitely look into going along for an actual reading with this lady. The taster was beyond interesting to me.

Have you ever looked into the numerology behind your birth date? Let me know!

 

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