How Life Has Changed This Year

Just gonna cut straight to the chase on this one. No ‘building the scene’ paragraph to ease you in because I have a feeling this post will be a rambling one. One that also may never actually be posted, like 6874848 others sat there, lurking in my drafts folder.

This month marks the anniversary of me deciding to leave my job as a night shift care assistant with the elderly. My job was making me unwell. A mixture of long hours, difficult relationships with colleagues and limited childcare meant that after 5 years I didn’t have much choice but to start thinking of other career options.

I had been starting to grow my Instagram and blog following in the year prior to making this decision and had started to receive the odd collaboration with brands. Mostly in exchange for product rather than paid collaborations. Si had been encouraging me to leave my job for about six months (because I was a tired bitch on the days running up to and following my shift) but the fear of being self employed and the ‘what if I never get any work again’ was crippling me.

I sheepishly left the resignation letter on my managers desk and literally skipped about work that night. In those initial few minutes I knew I was making the right decision. Admittedly I miss working with people, both colleagues and I actually genuinely did love working as a carer. I never know how to put it into words but when people are their most vulnerable and sometimes feeling ashamed with themselves, to be there to help and lift their spirits was such a magical thing to be able to do. It is such an intimate job to have and the bonds you sometimes form are so precious. (Sometimes form, but also sometimes they were dicks, no one turns into an angel just because they age so those precious moments weren’t everyday let me tell you)

I went into panic mode in the January and started contacting brands about collaborations, but because I had contacted them instead of the other way around I ended up being too shy to ask for payment. Meaning most work initially was on a gifted basis. I had cushions coming out of my ears and my stress levels were rising. Fortunately the rooms were becoming rapidly more and more padded.

As the year went on I started to form relationships with other bloggers. Sharing contacts and getting an understanding of what they typically were charging for campaigns. It was this that made me realise I needed to start to realise my worth as I was massively undercharging. Trying to overcome my fear of asking for payment one step at a time. I am getting better at it but I know that mostly I am still asking for very little compared to other bloggers. I think its because I am still very new to blogging and imposter syndrome comes knocking on my door more often than not.

This year has been one massive learning curve. There have been moments when the trolls have made me cry for days at a time, but the good always always outweighs the bad. I am now able to work from home. (the reason for this years weight gain) I am able to go to every one of the boys football games, I am no longer tired. I am so much happier and the feeling of learning something new has given me so much self belief. I am not computer minded and as I have mentioned before, learning about coding, widgets and affiliate links was such a headache! But I bloody did it, with no help and I am pretty proud of that.

I am now in a position where I actually turn down more work than I accept. Sometimes I regret the jobs I turn down. One I really regret was for a years campaign with a make up brand but I just didn’t feel good enough to do it. Maybe next year my confidence will grow and I won’t be so self critical.

Ultimately I am not here trying to be the best of anything. I just want to be a mum and earn a part time wage. I don’t want to take any of it too seriously. However, the dream would be to work with a brand to collaborate on a product. From start to finish. Something to put my name to. I’m pretty sure if I get to that point I will have completed Instagram! (haha).

Not the soppiest person on the block admittedly but I do feel so grateful that you have supported me over this year. I hope that I give back as much as everyone has given me.

Thank you from he bottom of my heart. Thank you for every like, every comment, every post you have read and for every person who sent me shoes that they think I should definitely be buying. It has been the best decision.








  1. Kelly
    November 28, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Hey, I’ve actually bought things you’ve worn or recommend, I like your style and your blog and your ‘im only human attitude’ while still appreciating pretty picture and having high aspirations. 😊

    • Cara
      November 29, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Thank you!

  2. November 28, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    So interesting to learn more about you! I’m here mostly for your Instastories. I love snooping your home and fashion as well! Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out there! 💕

    • Cara
      November 29, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Thanks Danielle x

  3. Alicerose
    November 28, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    Love this and love your blog. I think your brilliant, your funny, gorgeous and very inspiring. Well done and congratulations on becoming self employed and a great blogger. You should be so proud of yourself! I have followed you for a while now and love reading your blog and Instagram. Your fashion is great which doesn’t help my bank balance but great to see normal people modelling high street clothes. I wish you every success for the future. Much love Alice xx

    • Cara
      November 29, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Thanks Alice, thats lovely to hear! x

  4. Jan Willey
    November 28, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    How lovely to read a bit about your background. I would never have guessed your previous job! But what a demanding and valuable thing to take on, I would never be able to do that. Love your honesty and humour on IG, stories and blog. Don’t let those awful trolls get to you, they’re not worth a second of your time. Just block and ignore, bet they hate that! Good luck with everything and to your lovely family. X

    • Cara
      November 29, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Thanks Jan x

  5. November 28, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    You are one of my favourite Insta accounts (particularly stories!) & I think you’re really inspiring! I’m leaving full time teaching to become a part time carer after a massive work/life balance overhaul so I’m looking forward to those magical moments (maybe not the cranky moments!) you’ve described.

  6. Nina
    November 28, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    Really enjoy looking at your Instagram. Love your humour and style, even if I am a little bit jealous if your 🏠. Well done x

  7. Charlotte
    November 28, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    You know what you don’t have a fake posh voice, pretend to be the best mum or have your shit together! Oh and you are bloody funny! I say that’s worth a follow and a like or two 🙌🏻

  8. Sophie
    November 28, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    I love having you on my insta feed,I did message you a few months back on the topic of how to get into working with brands but I don’t think you’ve read it hate pestering people either 😂🤦🏽‍♀️ My working back ground is pretty similar I worked with adults with learning disabilities for 6 years then finally grew some balls not to return after my second maternity leave and now work for a company called cook making desert puddings but childcare is a nightmare one in school and the other only just about to start preschool. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  9. Emer
    November 28, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    Love all your blog, instastories and instragram! Keep going…your doing great 👍🏻

  10. Helen (Little Lavender Room)
    November 29, 2017 / 9:02 am

    What an honest post Cara. Sometimes, as followers, we need to see the heartache behind the polished image and not all bloggers offer this. It’s nothing to do with wishing the heartache on you (quite the opposite) but more to do with keeping those little confidence knocking demons away and the realisation that none of what you do has come easily. There is so much unfair criticism of this newly established career and I believe many wouldn’t dare open their mouths if they had actually attempted it for themselves.

    Well done on a brave decision and on your success!


  11. November 29, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I love your stories / insta / blog .. you’re a total inspiration .. I was lucky enough to get tickets to your Cowley Manor event .. It was brilliant .. I learnt a lot .. Thank you .. x

  12. November 30, 2017 / 11:30 pm

    Absolutely loved reading this, I think I must’ve started following you about a year ago (following a recommendation in Baby London magazine) but I can remember you talking on stories about your last shift. I though you were hilarious when I was up to my arms in baby poop with a 6 month old – and you made me realise that my house could look nice again! I had no intention of ever starting a block back then, but 12 months later, I have my own little space and think you were one of my biggest inspirations for that. I’d love to think that in 12 months time I’ve given up work too and am managing to earn a living from this – although I seem to be working for children’s books at the moment as apposed to cushions! Anyway rambling post, its late just wanted to say thankyou, and pay no attention to the evil trolls! x

  13. Amy
    December 3, 2017 / 8:36 am

    As always cara, so honest and true! Well done to you and you deserve the success after a big year! Love your blog & insta!! Xxx

  14. Sarah R
    December 3, 2017 / 9:28 am

    I literally couldn’t love you more! You are honest and normal, and real. Such a great post – so if your other 6874848 posts are like this you’re going to be s busy lady as you should def getting posting! Your my fav – your insta feed makes me smile every time I see it and I have two great new jumpers curtesy of your awesome style inspo.
    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been trolled – unfortunately you can only ever sometimes avoid the cray-crays in this world – sometimes you’ve just gotta square right up to them and… poke them straight in the eyeballs 👉🏻👀 Lol! Haha, I’m joking of course (well, maybe a little anyway!) I mean confront them by remaining you and carrying on. Sticks and stones my lovely – those ppl are clearly jealous and spiteful.
    You are awesome and from what I can tell so are your friends and family. That’s all that matters. Just be you – you’re the best person for the job! Sarah x

  15. Laura
    December 17, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I actually think it was pretty brave what you did and to take the “plunge” is a massive step. I love your account, honesty and your home inspo is probably about to drive my other half up the wall as I want to change certain aspects in all of our rooms (he doesn’t know it yet!).

    Anyway, I wanted to comment as I’m a budding photographer and you blog post has really resonated, OK I read it late (been on holiday).

    I say budding photographer loosely as I still see it as a hobby but I’ve been going on courses and reading books and trying to get as much practice as possible to try and overcome that wacking great big lack of confidence. My closest friends and hubby keep telling me I need to charge something to help cover my overheads (photo editing etc but more importantly my time) but like you I’m not sure I can. It would be good to figure out what changed your mind? When did you feel that you could charge – even if it isn’t as much as the bloggers? I know its slightly different but you’re still asking someone to pay you which feels a little strange and you seem to be growing ever more confident!

    Sorry if I’ve waffled as I said, something clicked.

    Keep doing what you’re doing and I look forward to seeing what 2018 brings for you!
    Laura x

  16. Lauren
    January 4, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    My job has been wearing me down for the last 10 months I feel as though I’m drowning and there’s no way out. Your story gives me hope and I love your beautiful images and personality. Inspirational lady! You deserve all the confidence and self belief you can get x

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