And So She Returns…

Well hello! It’s been a while. Almost three months, in fact, since I last sat down fingers to keyboard to write up a blog post. The intention was never to take such an elongated hiatus, but taking a step back while I acclimatised to a new working week was the best thing I could’ve done – both emotionally and physically.

For eight years I worked to the beat of my own drum: my own schedule, my own priorities and my own choice work-life balance; the ability to say yes or no to opportunities that came along, rather than feeling backed into a corner or withholden to corporate tape and process. But over time, inevitably sped up by the unpredictability of a global pandemic, the freedom I so thrived upon became more and more claustrophobic – because the control I once had was completely removed and left my head in a constant spin, thanks to the lack of clarity, certainty or stability I craved.

And so I started to think it was the right time to jump back into a full time position – albeit one that offered the flexibility, autonomy and entrepreneurial spirit I knew I would flourish in. It took a while (almost a year in fact) to find the perfect role, but I finally did… And honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Over the last three months I’ve had to adjust quickly to no longer having the time to nurture this blog and populate my channels as frequently as I once did, for they’ve had to take a backseat while I settled into the day job. I fully intended to take a temporary step back (juggling a new job, a part time client and an online presence is too much for anyone!) but those first few weeks snowballed into many more, and before I knew it it’d been three months.

But you know what? It’s been a blessing in disguise, to take an unintended break, for now I’ve rekindled my passion and rediscovered my love for a space that has grown and evolved over the last eleven years.

It no longer feels like a chore, to open my laptop screen of an evening or weekend or take photos of products I’ve been loving, which is honestly what it had evolved into over the last few years. When a hobby transforms into a career there are so many amazing positives, but when you put monetary pressure upon something that was previously driven only by the need to be creative the edges become more than a little fuzzy. I felt I *had* to write, I was *obliged* to take photos, and the pressure was always on to find new revenue streams.

For all the collectives and groups out there telling you to stop making money for other people and follow your dreams – I get it, I support it and I encourage it. But also, there’s no getting away from the fact it’s not a lifestyle that works for everyone and it’s not always sustainable in the long term. There’s no shame whatsoever in giving it a go for a while, and then changing your mind down the line; it’s braver, in a way, to admit when things aren’t quite working out and you’d rather have the stability of a monthly pay cheque.

I gave it eight long years, and they were wonderful. But the time was right to take a step in a different direction – for my own mental wellbeing as much as my bank account.

For the first time in a long time, I’m excited about breathing life back into this site and to create content just because I want to. No pressure to be ‘commercial’ and no accountant niggling in the background asking if this year’s profits will be up or down; just me, my laptop and an empty screen.

I’ve got a lot to say. I hope you’re ready.

Photos from one of my favourite shoots last year – in a sunflower field near my house.


Monsoon Floral Midi Dress | £99.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Kurt Geiger Pearl Sandals | £35.00 | SIMILAR HERE



  1. June 26, 2021 / 9:08 am

    I cannot wait to see more posts from you sweetie!

    Danielle |

  2. Annette Lanham
    August 3, 2021 / 1:36 am

    Hayley I’ve been reading your blog from the start when it was London Beauty Queen! I was blogging at the time too but quit in 2014 after my dad passed away. I remember the Twitter chats on Sunday nights used to about ‘how many Doritos can I stuff in my mouth before this Edward Bess lippie wears off’. Influencers back then weren’t what they are now. I always trusted your and Jane’s (BBB) opinions when you wrote a review because you bought the product yourself or always said ‘sent to me for review’. No one was afraid of giving actual criticism to a product if it didn’t work. I could tell that heart hasn’t been into blogging for a while now so hopefully with your new found freedom you can just be yourself again. Looking forward to your new chapter!

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