I can’t believe Substance is three today! And what an amazing three years it’s been (thanks to you!!).




It’s been a very disrupted week. I have spent more time in bed, than out. I am not used to being unproductive, so it has been a struggle to relax and let go.

I get really bad migraines at this time of year – it all started back in 2009/10, actually, I can’t quite place the year. When they return each year, they happen in clusters. Sometimes I am bedridden for two days, at other times it has taken up to two weeks to properly shake it. It’s the most uncomfortable feeling and it’s the only time I feel like I don’t have control of my body.

When I wasn’t sleeping, I was thinking. It gave me time to reflect on the first three months of the year. As soon as 2016 rolled around JD and I started working – it almost felt like Christmas hadn’t been. This week was the first week I had off to do nothing, and it wasn’t even planned.

When you’re sick and you have things you want to complete, it’s so easy to spend hours focusing on the things you haven’t done – which in turn just makes your immune system stress out, and your recovery time a longer process. At times like this, you just need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and get to things when you are able to. There will always be something that feels urgent, but you should always put your health first.

Today marks three years of me having my blog.


On April 9th 2013 we officially launched Substance and it has been such a creative journey. From writing, to art direction, to working on collaborations and campaigns with brands, it has been such a great outlet and learning experience. If blogging has taught me anything about creativity and the creative process – you can get better at anything.

I have loved being able to share all the things that I love and find inspiring with you, as well as my personal experiences along the way.

Today, I am also sharing a recent collaboration with Samantha Wills. Funnily enough, I noticed a happy coincidence when composing this copy. Samantha Wills was the first brand to graciously have me into their showroom when I began blogging three years ago (view post here) – I was so nervous I made JD come with me.  Just before we walked down their street, my vintage dress which had buttons on the back decided to burst open at the butt, so I am thankful they’ve wanted to continue to work with someone who waddled their way around their office.

It also happens that Samantha Wills was the first fashion event I ever attended with my friend Kelly (view post here), so this post today brings so much more meaning to my blog than I can put into words – what a fortunate happenstance.

After a terrible start to the week, JD and I stopped to smell the roses, as it were. We frolicked on the beach down south, our gadgets stowed far away – mine because I chose to switch off, JD, because he didn’t have a choice. He dropped a heavy weight on it at the gym this week, so he has been sans phone ever since. It was the perfect way to celebrate three years of hard work.

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support over the past few years, it really means the world to me. So, thank you.

Shot by JD Hayward, styled by me in collaboration with Samantha Wills. (This is not sponsored, just a creative collaboration). This is my Summer Solstice.


“Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us.” – Anne Frank








Samantha Wills Rose Gold Round Glasses 1, Samantha Wills Black Aviators Glasses 2, Samantha Wills (similar)Glasses 3



Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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