living room tour and plans for an update

:: by Lizzie


The number one question I get, in both interviews and chats with customers alike, (aside from “how do you find time to squeeze in all that you do!?”) is “does your home look like SMUG?” I do share some snaps of my home on Instagram and am often chatting away on stories from home, so chances are that you’ve seen bits and bobs of what our flat looks like and the way we like to style it. So what do you think? Does it look like my design store SMUG? It is certainly full of products by the designers and brands that I love and so also stock at SMUG. Another similarity is that it has evolved over several years much like SMUG. I’m a collector (read hoarder) by nature and so our home tends to become layered deeper and deeper and then recurated month on month and year on year.





Almost all of our furniture has been gathered over the years previous to living in this flat. Some pieces, like the sideboard, actually came with the flat which was a nice bonus. Other than the Parker Knoll armchair (which needs recovering), we’ve not actually purchased a single piece of furniture for this living room. That, combined with the fact that Constantin (our 14 month old son), is now cruising around the whole room and can reach everything on the sideboard (eek!), means that we feel it’s time for a declutter and a restyle.





Right at the top of our list for the redesign is to incorporate a corner sofa. We don’t currently have anywhere that the whole family (me, my husband Dan, Mabel our daughter the cat and Constantin) can all chill together, lying down if we so wish. This means a big layout and style shift for us as the vibe has always been lots of smaller bits of seating placed around the room. We currently have a reupholstered Ercol two seater sofa, which will most likely move to my studio above SMUG, as well as various Eames rocking chairs and of course the Eames lounger, which we will hope to squeeze in on the other side of the room. The idea is to put a corner sofa (big enough for all four of us) right where I’m sitting in the photo above, spanning the space taken up by the current Ercol sofa, into the corner the Eames lounger currently sits in and then out along that wall like a big upside down L shape.





As I mentioned, I’d like to reupholster the armchair in a beautiful new fabric but keep it where it is location wise. We’re also thinking of switching up our lamps and are on the hunt for the right artwork to add to our gallery wall in the space above our ceramic dog Gladstone’s head. We’ll be moving plants around of course (our Monstera is getting HUGE) and we would also like to splurge on some new cushions and or blankets to complement what we already have and to hopefully pull the whole thing together.





We still love so many of the collections we have had on display on our sideboard but it’s time for a much cleaner look now that Stan’s on the move. I’m working on a new vision for the sideboard which is still us but very paired back compared to our curated museum-esque look of recent months and years.





We’re hoping to install a hearth below our fireplace so interesting tiles are also on the list of must finds for our living room update. As you can see, we are rather partial (much like we are at SMUG) to accent pops of pale pink and mustard yellow and these wont be going anywhere. We’ve actually fallen in love with a pink velvet corner sofa from MADE.COM which would defs bring more pink into the mix as well as quenching our comfy corner sofa desires. I’ll be back soon with a mood board including inspiration images (I might have to start a new Pinterest board!) and material samples we’ve gathered. Would love to know your thoughts. So excited for this living room update. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Speak soon!





Photography by Alex Reyto


podcast episode no. 24 Q&A with Dan Gleadall and Lizzie Evans

:: by Lizzie


Lizzie and Dan Q&A


It’s the final episode of season 2 of my podcast ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ and this episode is a Q&A with me and my husband (who’s also a creative and has recently gone freelance), Dan Gleadall.


Thank you Instagram followers for sending in your questions. I hope we’ve done them justice. We certainly had a laugh recording this episode for you! Stay in touch via Insta or over at to be in the know about season 3 of the podcast! Thank you so much for listening. Lizzie x



S H O W   N O T E S  :


Trouva’s Instagram – @wearetrouva

Mindful Goal Setting Workshop –

Curate Your Life Book Club –

Tara Mohr’s Instagram – @tarasophiamohr

Grow Your Brand Group Coaching Programme –

Dan’s Instagram – @dapperdang

Mother pukka Instagram – @mother_pukka

Asana –

Monday –

My Birth Story –

What I’ve changed up so that I now love doing my accounts – Blog post for Xero




AD | what I’ve changed up so that I now love doing my accounts

:: by Lizzie




It’s that time of year again isn’t it!? The dreaded accounts rear their ugly head. Whether you’re self employed, freelance or have your own small business, being a creative entrepreneur isn’t all fun all of the time, is it? Particularly when it comes to the stressful and boring bits like book keeping, VAT and income tax. Doing your accounts, whether you attempt to do them yourself or you have an accountant to work with, can be very stressful and time consuming. Often stopping you from focusing on the things that actually move your business forward, help it grow and make you money, accounts can be an absolute pain. Designing, styling, curating, buying, shooting, writing, recording, teaching, coaching – those for me are the fun bits. But being a small business owner (as with great power), comes great responsibility.


In June of 2018, only three months after my son was born (a time that I was hoping to focus my energy on him and learning to be a new mum) I discovered that SMUG’s till operating system was about to become obsolete and that our card machines were going to stop functioning any moment as well! Our till and our card machines were also hooked up to our accounting programme, so this was a lot of stuff to go wrong all at once. You can probably imagine that this was pretty stressful news and that working out what on earth to do, how to do it, when to do it and with what software, was a huge and time consuming job. I now realise, in hindsight, that this major ball ache was actually a blessing in disguise. We’d been using out-of-date till and accounting software for years and now that the business had grown as far as it had, the systems in place really didn’t serve us anymore. Our tech, although it was functioning, had been super limited and in fact, had essentially been letting us down for years. It took the urgency of the whole thing giving up on us, for me to take the time and do the research to find out what would actually work for us and make running the business much much easier in the long run.


In the end the till software I went for was Vend. One of the main reasons for this was that it worked seamlessly and automatically with the accounting software I’d been thinking about moving over to for years, Xero. Now was my chance to make the change and it couldn’t have been better for us. SMUG’s card, cash and web sales go through our till and arrive automatically in Xero. Our orders of new stock once placed and received on our till, are sent wirelessly over to Xero where the brands and invoice numbers are recognised and matched to payments made through the SMUG bank account, which has a live feed straight into my Xero account. This also helps hugely with bank reconciliation as it updates transaction daily and my favourite bit, lets you set up ‘rules’ so that Xero will recognise and match transactions to and from people you pay regularly, or receive income from regularly. You just set up the rule once and it takes all the repetition out of it for you. It’s pretty seamless and soooooo much easier and less time consuming than our old system. The most valuable element though is that I have a much clearer picture of the health of my business than ever before. I can now see much better where we’re making money, where we’re losing money and areas where I could be finding ways to save some money. It’s also super easy to calculate the amount of VAT due and have a proper digital record of your accounts that you can access anywhere with wifi. I have the Xero app on my phone so can even do the bank reconciliation while on the go. It’s amazing.




But I don’t just use Xero for my SMUG business. In 2016 I was lucky enough to be in a position to buy 13 Camden Passage, SMUG’s premises. This left me however, in a strange position. I was now the tenant and the landlord and needed to charge myself and pay myself VAT. It was at this moment that in addition to SMUG’s VAT number, I registered myself personally for VAT so I could be both landlord and tenant. I would also for the first time, be liable for income TAX due to the rental income I would receive as the landlord. I’m telling you all of this because I know that each of us have our own complicated stories of how our small businesses work. Sometimes these eccentricities and anomalies can feel a little overwhelming and keeping track of all of the details, let alone communicating correctly and clearly with HMRC, can be really hard work. This is another reason why I am so grateful for Xero. Since registering myself personally for VAT, I have starting taking on freelance work through my Lizzie for SMUG Studio. I’ve been working for brands on sponsored blog posts (like this one), getting sponsorship for my podcast ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’, selling tickets for workshops and coaching, being hired to teach webinars and speak at IRL events. Because I am VAT registered I need to charge VAT on all of this and I need to be aware of the income TAX I will be liable for. These new extra pressures when it’s come to my second set of accounts and communicating with HMRC in a new way with personal VAT and income TAX returns could, to be honest, have been so overwhelming that I’d have been put off from following my dreams and growing my business in this new way. Finding several revenue streams that all lead to work that I love has been the dream for some time now and because of Xero I’ve been able to keep a proper track of my own Lizzie for SMUG business as well as SMUG’s. Because it’s all there safe, accessible and trackable, I’ve been able to employ an accountant to do my personal VAT and TAX returns this year. The dream! How do you file your VAT and TAX returns?


HMRC is making it mandatory for small businesses to file VAT returns online. Xero have produced some indispensable guides to help you understand and prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD). On this page, you’ll find the answers to any questions about this you have. There’s even an animated tax adviser – Dexter, who can tell you all about MTD and what it means for you. The programme goes live on 1 April 2019 so, if your turnover’s more than the £85k VAT threshold, you’ll need to file your returns directly and digitally. The good news is that Xero have been working closely with HMRC since they announced the plan, so their software’s compatible for them and straightforward for you.


Making Tax Digital (MTD) means you won’t be able to keep and submit manual records after April 2019. Instead, HMRC will only accept VAT returns sent using software that supports Making Tax Digital for VAT. The use of this technology is compulsory so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your accounting software soon – that way you can avoid any potential complications from upgrading or migrating your software mid financial year. It’s worth remembering it’s far easier to submit returns using online accounting software compared to traditional desktop software anyway so, like me, you might find that this change is actually a huge blessing in disguise.




Just as a quick recap, the things that I find really valuable and you should look for when choosing an accounting software are: Automation – You want something that automatically calculates the tax you owe (including VAT and payroll tax). Connectivity – your accounting software should pull transaction data straight from your bank, invoicing software, or POS systems and finally, Continuity – your software should update transactions daily, helping you to stay on top of bank reconciliation.


I hope you’ve found this helpful and educational :) Who would have thought it – TAX can be fun! Thanks for reading and do feel free to get in touch via Instagram or in the comments below if you have any questions. Lizzie x


podcast episode no.23 with Nancy Straughan – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




This week my podcast ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’, is back with an interview with product, events and interiors stylist, Nancy Straughan. I first met Nancy several years ago, back when she was a textile designer with her own homeware brand. In this episode we talk about why Nancy recently chose to close down her homewares business and go down a different creative route. We hear about Nancy’s values, her focus on family and work life balance and we talk about Nancy and her husband Simon’s (along with their bump – Nancy is pregnant) move, back to the North East where Nancy is from originally. Nancy talks about her own personal experience with health relating to work as well as sharing her tips on how to make a career move and specifically how to get into styling. It’s a really valuable episode for anyone interested in moving direction in their creative career, moving location to get back into alignment with their values and just in case you’re interested – we talk a fair bit at the end of the episode, all about what it’s like being pregnant! Thank you Nancy for coming on and for sharing your journey and creative career with us. Lizzie x


S H O W  N O T E S :


Nancy’s website –

Nancy’s Instagram –

Janet Murray (podcast that Nancy mentioned) – 

@wearetrouva Trouva’s instagram My NEW IN wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)

Me, My Shop and I Trouva interview with Lizzie




podcast episode no.22 with Kristabel Plummer – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




Hi gang! This week’s episode of my podcast ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ is an interview with Kristabel Plummer. Kristabel has been blogging, among other things, for 10 years now! We reflect on the last year, if not decade, and go deep together on mindfully setting some goals for 2019. It’s a very honest and open episode talking fear, self doubt and money. There are lots of resources below – many of which the wonderful Kristabel has penned herself. Take a look, I’m sure you’re find them helpful. Huge thanks to Kristabel for her honesty and for everything she’s doing on the internet right now. And thanks to you guys of course fro listening. You rock! Lizzie x



S H O W  N O T E S :


Kristabel’s Website –

Kristabel’s Instagram –

Curate Your Life BOOK CLUB –

Kristabel’s blog post full of book recommendations –

Mindful Goal Setting Workshop –

Kristabel’s blog post talking Money –

Hashtag Authentic Episode 55 : Making, Saving and Losing Money, with Niki Groom –

Money Mindset with Sarah Akwisombe –

Black British and Blogging –

The Head Room –

You Can Sit With Us –

Mindful Goal Setting Workshop –

Tuesday January BOOK CLUB –

@wearetrouva Trouva’s instagram My NEW IN wishlist




podcast episode no. 21 with Cate St Hill – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




Happy New Year! I hope you were able to have a rest over Christmas and New Years and, having taken stock, are excited for 2019. On that subject while I have you here – if you’d like to do any work together on reflecting on 2018 and setting some achievable and nurturing goals for 2019, then there are still a few tickets available for my Goal Setting Workshop on Saturday 12th January upstairs at SMUG. Find out more here if you’re interested in joining with me in spending an hour and a half focusing on being more intentional this year and learning how you can best set some habits, intentions and goals that will help you make the coming months as positive and full of growth and ultimately contentment as possible.


The big news for today is that the ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entreprenuer’ podcast is back for the new year with an interview with Cate St Hill. Cate is a design and interiors writer, blogger, stylist and consultant, focusing on simple design for the everyday.


This episode is a nice chilled one that will hopefully get you inspired for refocussing on ‘curating your life’ for 2019. We talk about how the type of work we do, the spaces we work in and the way we manage our own deadlines and pressures effect our quality of life. We talk about anxiety and how in some cases it can be your body and mind telling you that you need to make a change in the way that you structure your life and often your work life.


I find the way Cate has curated her life hugely inspiring and impressive. I feel she’s reminded me how much I want to prioritise writing this year, how I want more time and space for myself and working ‘alone’ and that I need to be constantly reminding myself that I set the vast majority of my own deadlines and that I could choose to be more flexible and kind to myself within that. I hope you find something helpful to take away from our conversation. Huge thanks to Cate for her time, wisdom and insights and for the beautiful content she is creating online that I enjoy looking at on a daily basis. Check out the show notes below for the link to her Instagram and some other bits. Thanks as always for reading and listening! Lizzie x





S H O W  N O T E S  :


Cate’s website –

Cate’s Instagram –

Cate’s IKEA kitchen –

2019 Goal Setting Diary –

My Goal Setting Workshop –

Curate Your Life Book Club –

@wearetrouva Trouva’s instagram My NEW IN wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)





podcast episode no. 20 – news for 2019 – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie





In this solo show of my podcast ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ I share lots of exciting news for 2019 – ummm Curate Your Life BOOK CLUB anyone!? I focus too on some of my key take-aways from season 2 of the podcast so far as well as some musings on money and my goals, hopes and dreams for the new year. I give updates on other big news – workshops and coaching services I’m offering for the first time as well as my Curate Your Home Interior Styling service. It’s all pretty exciting. Thanks for listening! Lizzie x



S H O W  N O T E S : – Curate Your Life Book Club – The Multi Hyphen Method (CYL Book Club book for January 2019)

use offer code BOOKCLUB for 20% off – My 2019 Goal Setting Workshop – Episode no.13 with Lola Hoad – Episode no.14 with Sarah Akwisombe – Grow Your Brand Coaching Programme – Goal Setting Journal – CoWorking

@wearetrouva – Trouva’s instagram – My wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)




podcast episode no. 19 with Olivia Tripp – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




This week’s episode of ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ is with Olivia Tripp, the brains behind Weekend:IN. Olivia founded and continues to grow her business Weekend:IN which now offers social media management, influencer marketing and events for independent and inspiring brands. Weekend:IN works with IN:dependent and IN:spiring brands to connect, engage and grow their audiences.


In this episode Olivia and I talk about personal and brand values, growing your brand, managing employees, money, goal setting, Facebook groups, co-working, holidays, taking weekends and evenings off and lots more. It was a nice opportunity for me to talk a little more about the Grow Your Brand group coaching programme I’ll be teaching at the beginning of 2019 and how to get involved. So much of what Olivia does aligns to things I’m working on as well. If you’d like to work with either of us or know more about the services we could offer you then check out the links below. Huge thanks to Olivia for coming on and thanks to you for reading/listening. I hope you enjoy our conversation and find it helpful or even inspiring. Lizzie x


S H O W  N O T E S  : – Weekend:IN website – Weekend:IN instagram – Episode no.13 with Lola Hoad – Grow Your Brand Grow Coaching Programme – Goal Setting Journal – CoWorking

Facebook groups Olivia recommends (particularly if you’re Brighton based)

The CovenNoisy Girls ClubSmall and Mighty Business CommunityOne Girl Band

@wearetrouva Trouva’s instagram My NEW IN wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)




podcast episode no. 18 with Lily Pebbles – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie


Photography by Sussex food and lifestyle photographer Emma Croman


This week the podcast is back with an interview with online content creator Lily Pebbles. Lily has been blogging for over 8 years now and has seen the development of many a social media platform. Her lifestyle content now spans YouTube, Instagram, twitter, her blog, her podcast with fellow online content creator and friend Anna Newton, her book The F Word and even more I’m sure. She has had a lot going on over the last year or so particularly with the renovation of her new home among other things. We talk self employment, work life balance, what it was like back when blogging was new and the reality of a career in online content creation today. We talk about the future and what’s next for Lily – huge congrats Lily on your pregnancy! Find links to learn more about Lily below. I really enjoyed recording with Lily and hugely appreciated her openness and honestly. I hope you find it helpful too. Lizzie x


S H O W  N O T E S : – Lily’s website – Lily’s Instagram – Lily’s Youtube – At Home With… Lily and Anna’s Podcast – Episode no.1 with Anna Newton – Lily’s Management – Grow Your Brand Grow Coaching Programme

The F Word – Lily’s Book – Goal Setting Journal My NEW IN wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)

Me, My Shop and I Trouva interview with Lizzie

Your Dream Life Starts Here – Book by Kristina Karlsson (Kikki.K)




podcast episode no. 17 with Lucy Ward – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie


Lucy Trouva Portrait in Trouva boutique_2b


This week on the podcast I return the favour and interview Lucy Ward, Trouva’s Creative Brand Director. Lucy interviewed me at home earlier in the year and I quickly decided I needed to get her on the podcast so you guys could get to know her. Lucy is super likeable and, I feel, a really impressive women in the world of creative business. I think you’ll enjoy listening to how she’s got to where she is today and hope you’ll find our chat inspiring. We talk about alignment, landing your dream job, knowing when to step away from a difficult email and just breath, the struggles around attempting to own property in London, our rituals and routines, being a morning person (or not, as the case may be), finding the right people to surround yourself with and pottering at home among many other things! I hope you enjoy.



S H O W  N O T E S :


@wearetrouva Trouva’s instagram My NEW IN wishlist

(use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off website wide)

Me, My Shop and I Trouva interview with Lizzie

@lucytward Lucy’s instagam