42 In Style/ Substance/ Wellness

Show Up and Shine Up


A wise woman once said (ok nevermind, it was only me), ‘You can’t have a bad day in sequins.’  On a windy and cold London day, I decided to test my own theory.

Why?  Well, today was just another day in a recent string of days where everything that could have possibly gone wrong, did.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve had unexpected financial pressure, some worries about my son, a cold and flu filled house, and of course a big skin breakout so that my stress was visible for all to see.  To top it off, during the food and booze filled holidays I fell completely off of my usual no sugar and no flour wagon.  Most people do, but given my very real sugar addiction, it is extra hard to get back to ‘normal’ once I break my rules.  One small exception led to another and then another and another. Not only did I put on more weight than I’d have liked (and OMG how fast does that happen at my age?!) but food started to once again take up much more of my mental space than I am comfortable with.  My restless brain gets anxious, and then looks for unhealthy ways to soothe that anxiety, immediately followed by guilt, irritation and disappointment, all of which then fuels my anxiety even further… and the whole spiral is fully in place.  My sugar addiction, something I thought I’d outsmarted or at least overpowered, was still in charge if I strayed too far from the path I discussed at length here.  In the midst of all of these life challenges (plus houseguests, Airbnb guests, and my son out of school for three weeks) the LAST thing I felt like doing was leaping in front of a camera to take photos for social media or my blog.  So, I didn’t.  Instead, I allowed myself a quiet period to what I needed to do to get back on track.  I planned (if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!).  I re-evaluated.  I tried to find the lessons. I was kind to myself. And then I went straight back to my Bright Line Eating regime which has served me so brilliantly for so long… this time with an extra dose of gratitude and a better idea of where my personal weak spots are.  Now that I’m in a better frame of mind and feel much more like myself,  it is time to sequin up and guarantee some good days in 2019!


I went to my favourite local photo location (Chiswick House), wore my new red sequin dress (bought in the sales) and this fabulous red glitter T-Rex clutch that my dinosaur-obsessed son picked out.


Red-glitter-dinosaurSparkly red herbivore versus Sparkly apex predator


red-sequin-preen-dressDress: Studio by Preen
Shoes: Aldo
T Rex clutch: Treasure Fan

A very bright and sparkly piece of news landed in my Inbox in early January.  I am a finalist (one of 8) for the UK Blog Awards in Fashion.  Thank you so much to every one of you who voted for me; I really appreciate every single thought and click.  The UK Blog Awards is doing things a little differently this year. Instead of having a big flashy ceremony, they’re helping the winners  grow their digital media businesses.  I’d much rather have that than a trophy!  I’m really thrilled to be this far along in the process, so thank YOU for helping me get there.  As you know, this blogging lark is a second career for me, and I’m so glad to be able to do it.


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  • Reply
    Ashley Cramp
    January 10, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    Hi Lisa,
    Sorry to hear your troubles so far, but congratulations on the UK blog awards! Well deserved x

    • Reply
      January 10, 2019 at 4:55 PM

      Hi Ashley! Thank you SO much, lovely. I’m sure my troubles are on their way out for a while! xx

  • Reply
    January 10, 2019 at 5:19 PM

    I have heard of it!!!!!I need to make a TRIP to just visit HOMES!THATS what I’m going to DO A HOUSE TOUR!I shall start “COLLECTING ” NAMES!
    YOU MY DEAR in that COAT with THAT DRESS is a SMASH!How many compliments did you receive on this PHOTO SHOOT OUTING!???
    By the way YOUR SON has GREAT TASTE!

    • Reply
      January 10, 2019 at 5:59 PM

      Thank you, Elizabeth 🙂 Yep, that house is in London, very near to where you stayed last time… about a 10 minute drive from Notting Hill.

      Luckily there was no one around except for two magnificent dalmations, which I very much wanted to steal for my photos (and do I EVER LOVE a dalmation). Their lovely owners were terrified I would get white dog hairs on my coat, but they needn’t have worried since my white whippet has already done the work for them. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. xx

  • Reply
    January 10, 2019 at 6:50 PM

    Well OF COURSE you will look spectacular in red sequins. In my mind, it’s your signature. You look stunning as always and the photos are glorious too. And how cute is your dino bag???? Good luck in the blog awards. I can’t think of a woman and a blog more deserving right now. Love you xxx

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:24 PM

      Thank you so much, Liz. If red sequins can’t pull me out of the ‘mean reds’ then nothing can 🙂 Thank you for the luck and the wishes and the love, love right back to you, gorgeous.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2019 at 7:30 PM

    Back to normal days isn’t so bad at all! Ha ha, I am glad that I work out again, as I didn’t during the holidays, but it’s is very hard. And eating healthy again is too! I wish you good luck with the blog awards!

    • Reply
      January 10, 2019 at 9:22 PM

      No, you’re right, I’m GLAD to get back to normal days now! Thank you so much, Nancy, you’re so sweet. xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    January 10, 2019 at 9:05 PM

    Where do you find these sequinned garments? This dress is beautiful. Very va va voom. The shoes are a perfect match.
    I am amazed how severely eating effects you, especially sugar and dough. It must indeed be an addiction. And in that case you are showing extreme power to jump back on the wagon. Kuddos.
    And it is of course fantastic that you are nominated! Yay.

    • Reply
      January 10, 2019 at 9:15 PM

      Thank you, Greetje 🙂 This particular dress was at Debenham’s, a big UK department store. It came in silver and blue too… I was tempted to buy all three, but the waist is a little baggy, and I’m not having THREE sequin dresses tailored. I just happened to have the shoes already.

      Flour isn’t really my thing, but OMG sugar is really a drug in my body. I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could be more normal about it, but after so many years trying “moderation” (which didn’t work for me) I had to go cold turkey and I can’t tell you how liberating it is. I just have to keep in mind that it is poison to me, and almost pretend that someone is offering me a cigarette if they offer me sugary stuff. xx

  • Reply
    Emma Peach
    January 10, 2019 at 9:46 PM

    Sorry to hear you’ve had a stressful time Lisa. I don’t know what it is about January (other than the anti climax of Christmas and New Year) but it’s really been kicking my arse too. You look absolutely stunning in red sequins and the dinosaur clutch is fabulous! Congratulations on making it through to the UK Blog Awards finals!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:13 AM

      I loathe New Years and January in general; I see I’m not alone in that :-). Thank you so much, and congratulations to YOU TOO!!!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 1:17 AM

    Love that dress! You look amazing in it. Congratulations on being a blog award finalist!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:10 AM

      Thank you Dottie! I think everyone needs a red sequin dress 🙂 And thank you also for the congratulations xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 2:37 AM

    The windswept hair, the dramatic black cloak, the flash of asymmetry, the imposing London stone edifice, and of course the toylike handbag. You, Lisa, are a post-modern Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much. I don’t know how I missed the resemblance until now. Congrats also on being recognized. Extremely well deserved, if not overdue! xoxo

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:11 AM

      OH MITHRA! You leave such interesting comments; I love your observations. I confess I have not seen that particular film (despite a love for that time period and Hitchcock) so I’ll remedy that soon. I’m going to take being called ANY kind of Hitchcock blonde as a compliment though 🙂 Thank you, my love. xx

  • Reply
    Susan B
    January 11, 2019 at 2:59 AM

    You look FABULOUS ✨ in those red sequins! And the dino clutch is awesome! I’m with ya on having fallen a bit too far off the wagon over the holidays. Am trying to get the good habits back in place.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:08 AM

      Thank you, Susan! Isn’t the dino clutch great? I’m finding it hard not to buy the other colours too.

      My current lesson is to learn how to get the peaks and troughs of falling off the wagon a little smoother… I KNOW I will fall off again at some point, but learning how to resume quickly rather than than letting it go so far is my current lesson. xx

  • Reply
    Vanity And Me Style
    January 11, 2019 at 7:45 AM

    We will bump into each other at some point at Chiswick house Lisa! It’s one of my favourite shooting locations too.Congratulations for getting through to the finals xx

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:05 AM

      Ha, I bet we will, Laurie! Thank you so much xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    Stunning photos of you. That is also one of my favourite venues. Wishing you lots of luck with the Blogger awards.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:36 AM

      Thank you so much, Josephine! Chiswick House is really a stunning backdrop, the clothes almost don’t matter, haha!
      Thank you for the blog award wishes too; I really appreciate it. xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 12:48 PM

    My breath is taken…sigh
    You are a vision in red sequins and I couldn’t agree more with Liz, that is your signature look right there. The sequins dino clutch adds your requisite sartorial humour we know and love.
    I’ll be you shocked beyond belief if you don’t clean up the UKBlog awards!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:14 PM

      Thank you, Michelle. I felt like without the dino the whole look was a little too Dancing With The Stars for me 😀 I had to break the seriousness somehow. Thank you thank you thank you for your wishes, my friend. xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 1:17 PM

    congratulations – well deserved. nice to hear you are feeling much better also.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:15 PM

      That is so kind of you, and thank you so much! Happy 2019 to you, beautiful. xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 6:39 PM

    Hello Beauty in Red! I’m so sad to hear about your recent struggles (but feeling relieved knowing that I’m not the only to have an ultra shitty time right now). But the Awards – OMG! That’s huge Lisa! How come I missed it? Can I still vote, if yes please tell me where? Looking absolutely glamorous there! xx Abby

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:18 PM

      Hello my lovely and thank you so much!! The votes are closed now, so it is all up to a panel of judges at this point (bites nails). Thank you for your kind wishes, though!

      Yeah, January and especially New Years have never ever been my favourite. Onwards and upwards, now that it is behind us. I wish you a fabulous 2019 and hope I see you in it! xx

  • Reply
    Mary Katherine
    January 11, 2019 at 6:52 PM

    The dress, dino bag and shoes, I confess to coveting a LOT! Thank you for talking about the downside of the holidays that ALL OF US SHARE as well – the new year “hangover” that has to deal with the results of weeks of overindulging. Personally, I pigged out on my family’s traditional homemade cinnamon rolls for DAYS – and have a weight gain to show for it (although it was ALMOST worth it…) We have to do, at least figuratively, what you did LITERALLY – pull out the red sequins and find a place to strut, even if it doesn’t seem like there’s an occasion! My “red sequins” look more like getting some long-overdue projects done, and running off for a girlfriends’ weekend (NO overeating there, right?!?!), but you can bet I’ll be rocking the outfits the whole way. We’ll all get all of this worked out, and spring flowers will be popping up before we know it. Grateful to be one of your followers…

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 9:21 PM

      Oh my goodness, homemade cinnamon rolls?! If they are ANYTHING like the ones my grandmother makes, I know why you had so many 🙂

      Definitely pull out your version of red sequins and just get going, lady! New Years (the worst day on the calendar in my opinion) is behind us, so we can do this! Thank you for your kind words, Mary Katherine. I’m wishing you a fabulous 2019 and a speedy spring xxx

  • Reply
    January 12, 2019 at 2:48 AM

    What a wear it is!! I am astonished.
    You look stunning <3

    • Reply
      January 12, 2019 at 9:56 AM

      Thank you so much, Esha! xx

  • Reply
    Gail Hanlon (Is This Mutton?)
    January 13, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    Sensational dress! Sorry to hear about the stress and problems. The Christmas period always has a lot to answer for. Congrats on being a finalist!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2019 at 12:58 PM

      Thank you so much Gail! Not a bad dress for under 100 quid, no?! 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    melissa williams
    January 13, 2019 at 8:22 PM

    Oh long lost relative, I’m so happy to see you back here. Like you, when I get overwhelmed- I STOP….take a step back and reevaluate and formulate a plan to go forward. Self care is so important when life is difficult. And like the wise southern prophetess Scarlet O’Hara taught us, no matter HOW bad things get- you can always pull down the draperies and make one hell of a dress to wear while you fake til’ you make it. “After all…..tomorrow is another day!” Congratulations on being a finalist!!!
    ~Melissa xx

    • Reply
      January 16, 2019 at 12:57 PM

      Thank you Melissa, it is nice to be writing again after a few weeks break… it is all good fodder for creativity to have a pause now and then, isn’t it?! Tomorrow IS another day! 🙂 Thank you for the congratulations; I’m excited and nervous! xx

  • Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    January 16, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Stunning photos of you! I am a sugar addict too. But, I am loathed to give it up entirely. So, instead I have gone for the more expensive and darker chocolate varieties and upped the fruit and salad. I have put on 1/2 a stone over Christmas – not helped by flu, which I’m nearly over now. Congratulations on your blogging success – you totally deserve it xx Maria

    • Reply
      January 16, 2019 at 12:54 PM

      Oh thank you Maria! I WISH I could do moderation with sugar, but I can’t. I just want it every day at every turn. My only exception is a square of very dark chocolate now and then, but a lot of people who do Bright Line Eating can’t do that, as chocolate is a real ‘trigger’ food, and so addictive for so many. Thank you so much for your kind words xx

  • Reply
    December 12, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    Congrats on making it to the final 8! You look stunning in the red sequin dress. And the dino clutch is just perfect. I struggle with sugars here and try to do everything in moderation which sometimes works and sometimes not!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2019 at 3:51 PM

      Thank you, Mireille! I feel your struggle 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    February 21, 2020 at 7:15 AM

    I was sure Alexander picked out your bag before even reading it! I am so in love with your kid by the way haha! What a wonderful look my friend! You did sequins and red so on point, like only you can! Thanks for the Inso, I might try to wear a similar look too 🙂

    • Reply
      March 4, 2020 at 5:49 PM

      Thank you, Stella! He’s quite opinionated; I’m sure your son will be in NO time too! xx

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