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  :

www.wkndin.co.uk – Weekend:IN website

www.instagram.com/wknd.in – Weekend:IN instagram

www.the-smuggler.com – Episode no.13 with Lola Hoad

www.lizzieforsmug.com – Grow Your Brand Grow Coaching Programme

www.ifeelsmug.com – Goal Setting Journal

www.lizzieforsmug.com – 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

www.trouva.com/lists My Trouva.com 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 www.lilypebbles.com, 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 :


www.lilypebbles.co.uk – Lily’s website

www.instagram.com – Lily’s Instagram

www.youtube.com – Lily’s Youtube

itunes.apple.com – At Home With… Lily and Anna’s Podcast

www.the-smuggler.com – Episode no.1 with Anna Newton

www.gleamfutures.com – Lily’s Management

www.lizzieforsmug.com – Grow Your Brand Grow Coaching Programme

The F Word – Lily’s Book

www.ifeelsmug.com – Goal Setting Journal

www.trouva.com/lists My Trouva.com 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

www.trouva.com/lists My Trouva.com 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


podcast episode no.16 – productivity within the context of work life balance

:: by Lizzie


Trouva_Issue 01_SMUG-16


Hey guys. Another solo show today. I wanted to focus a whole episode on where I’m at with productivity and goal setting within the context of work life balance. I talk about my own goals, hopes, dreams and how I try to get into alignment to give myself the best chance of being productive with and passionate about the task in hand. Thanks as always for reading and listening. If you’d be interested in applying for my Designer Maker ‘Grow Your Brand’ Coaching programme or buying tickets to my Goal Setting Workshop you can find the links below. Lizzie x



S H O W  N O T E S :


Designer Maker ‘Grow Your Brand’ – Group Coaching Programme

Crafty Fox Market Shopping with Soul event – The event I spoke at this week

Goal Setting Workshop with me upstairs at SMUG – My Goal Setting Workshop

2019 MiGoals Diaries from Moxon now available at SMUG – My 2019 Goal Setting Diary

3 Game Changing Productivity Tips – My blog post on Productivity

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

wearetrouva – Trouva’s instagram

www.trouva.com – The Trouva website

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

How I Curate My Home wishlist

Insidestore Trouva wishlist




podcast episode no.15 with Andrea Bates – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




This week’s ‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ podcast episode is an interview with Andrea Bates. Andrea is a fellow London based design store founder. Her interiors shop insidestore (which you may know as Future and Found – check out links below for their great new branding and website) opened seven or so years ago and Andrea and I enjoy discussing the highs and lows of being the founding member of a design store and what it’s taken to get ourselves and our stores to where they are today. We have very different journeys but in many ways, very similar experiences.


We even get talking about what it’s like having designer makers approaching you (often in person) regarding stocking their work and the need for some coaching out there on the best ways to do this. We see people getting it wrong time and time again and I joke about getting some training out there for designer makers wanting to grow their brand and get stocked in design stores.


Since recording this episode, I have done just that. My Designer Maker ‘Grow You Brand’ coaching programme launches in January 2019. If you would like to be part of the first ever cohort for this brand new programme (which has been years in the making) then follow the link for more info.


Scroll to the end of this post and click play for the episode or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to have a new episode land in your playlist every week. Thanks for listening. Lizzie x



S H O W  N O T E S :


www.insidestoreldn.com insidestore website

www.instagram.com/insidestoreldn insidestore Instagram

www.wrapmagazineshop.com Wrap magazine

itunes.apple.com My interview on Fearless Hustle Collective podcast

www.trouva.com/lists My Trouva.com insidestore wishlist

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

www.lizzieforsmug.com/goal-setting-workshop My Goal Setting Workshop

www.lizzieforsmug.com/designer-makers My ‘Grow Your Brand’ coaching programme

for Designer Makers


Trouva photo credit – Image featuring Trouva’s Lucy Ward to the left of Andrea and Mad About The House blogger Kate Watson-Smyth to the right.





my birth story

:: by Lizzie

It was Monday 5th March 2018 and mum and I were off out for a particularly special ‘girls day’ in the West End. Our plans were Nopi for breakfast followed by a pedicure for me and manicure for mum at DryBy. We’d then mooch around the shops and make our way to The Dorchester for, in my opinion, the best afternoon tea in London.


I was pretty much 8 months pregnant and was starting to feel a little limited mobility-wise. Dan and I had spent the previous day at our friends Sam and Katie’s. Katie had very recently given birth to their third little girl, Daisy. Of course, they totally had everything under control and were focussing on looking after us while seamlessly tending to their three beautiful girls. Normally we’d hope to be making a fuss of our ‘new parent’ friends by helping with food or at least washing up but Sam and Katie are now dab-hands and were hosting and parenting the shit out of life. I had been experiencing quite a lot of pain in my back that day and had done for the few days previous too, so ended up asleep on their sofa (a spot and habit usually reserved for Daniel).


But back to the next day in the West End with mum. After a yummy breakfast at Nopi (side note – in my experience, brunches and breakfasts when you’re 8 months pregnant can be slightly frustrating as you can’t eat as much as you’d like, due to the tiny person taking up all of the spare room in your tum) my back was getting worse. It was a low thudding pain at the base of my spine which was moving into the middle of my back. But that wasn’t going to stop me from getting my luxurious pedicure. So off to DryBy we went for our treatments and more mother daughter catch up time. It was lovely. I’d highly recommend DryBy for a special mani or pedi treatment. I had a shellac pedicure which is, as well as being a real treat, very practical in the winter I find as you can pop your shoes straight back on. No flip flops in sight. The only problem was, that lifting my legs and feet up, even from a soft and squidy armchair, had done no favours to my back. Upon leaving I was in even more pain than earlier and started to worry about how we were going to make our visit to The Dorchester for afternoon tea work. (Side note – afternoon tea at The Dorchester with my mum is my absolute favourite treat of all time, so you can imagine how much pain I was in by this point to be considering abandoning our plan).


As we were so close to my hospital I thought I’d better just pop in and get checked out. We might even still make it to The Dorchester I thought. We did not. We waited and waited and I became more and more uncomfortable (uncomfortable being a huge understatement). I ended up doubled over in ‘discomfort’, experiencing waves of extreme pain. I was aware that I looked like someone in the early stages of labour and become increasingly frustrated that the nurses and doctors didn’t seem particularly interested in tending to me. We watched as pregnant lady after pregnant lady went off to their check ups (many giving the ‘shouldn’t you see her before me’ eyes). I waited and waited. At this point I decided that we needed to call Daniel and get him to leave work and come to join us. I waited for a moment that the pain wasn’t so bad and texted him to come asap.


Once I was eventually seen and was able to describe the extreme pain in my back, I was simply asked to lie on my back for a speculum (a vaginal exam). I explained that I would find lying on my back absolute agony and asked if they couldn’t focus on finding out what was causing me such pain in my back instead. My first priority was for them to check that the baby was okay (they’d normally do this with a scan not a speculum) but this was clearly a back/kidney problem not a foof problem and it was very frustrating that after a long time in the waiting room and with now very intense pain, that they were not listening to what I was saying to them and just wanted to look at my fanny! I was told I’d have to wait longer to see a doctor about my back and we were essentially back to square one. I learnt the hard way that being a pregnant person with anything wrong with you that wasn’t seemingly baby related sucked. They had no idea what to do with me.


The evening was drawing in, Danny arrived and I found myself in a wheelchair being taken up to a ward and given a bed. I was to be given a course of antibiotics that would be safe for a pregnant woman but that needed to be administered in a hospital. We’ll manage your pain they told me. Still no suggestion of what was wrong. They had by this point at least checked that the baby was okay which was a relief but still no review of what was causing my pain or happening in my body. All they could think of to do (or maybe were qualified to do) was a speculum. Many of you will think it odd that I refused this I’m sure. However, I had had to have one earlier in my pregnancy and it had caused me a huge amount of pain (side note – I’m told I do actually have a very high pain threshold) so 1. I wasn’t up for undergoing a procedure I’d find very unplesant and painful, knowing the baby was well and 2. I was pretty pissed off that they had no idea what to do other than look at my vagina and were making no efforts at all to examine any other part of me or listen properly to my symptoms. All that was offered was pain relief and I was put on oramorph (sort of like liquid morphine) and expected to hanker down for the night. Danny in the armchair beside me. Mum went home to get some sleep and was back the next day.


I had another full 24 hours after waking up that morning of pain killers but no specialists. I was seen by two junior doctors in that following day I think (I was pretty out of it and had my eyes closed the whole time so it’s a little hazy). Danny was having to almost carry me to the loo any time I needed to go. Otherwise I slept or just lay there and tried to get through the waves of extreme pain. It felt like a never ending cycle of broken sleep, pain, queasiness, more pain. They kept saying that what they could do for now was manage my pain. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t working. I was hooked up to a machine that monitored the waves of pain to be sure I wasn’t in labour. I was not. It was decided that it was kidney related and I was told I would see a specialist. I never did. By this point I was experiencing a new symptom, the waves of pain were now in my bottom! TMI I know but I’m afraid birth stories are a bit like that. I had a cannula fitted in my left hand by a nurse who admitted to being not very good at them when I had explained that the thought of it made me queasy so I’d close my eyes and please could she do it as quickly as possible. She failed to do so and kept making new holes in my hand and saying things like ‘oh, can’t get the vain, oh, lots of blood’ and other such things that certainly did made me feel very queasy. It was actually so bad that it was sort of funny by this point. My mum ended up pressing to get someone else to come and help who fitted it in an instant thankfully.


It was almost like the horror/humour of this helped me find a bit of strength to come out of the drug and pain induced haze and pull myself up to my full strength. I managed to talk to Dan and mum about trying to find a way forward. I had not had the strength to talk much at all since being admitted and it must have been pretty scary and to be honest a bit annoying for Daniel and mum that I hadn’t really been able to communicate with them much. I’m pleased they had each other. But somehow at this point I did find the strength to say that enough was enough and that we needed to insist on seeing someone to talk about a plan. Were they expecting to keep me on these meds for a month until the baby came? Were they expecting me to have a C section? There was no way I could give birth in this condition. I asked mum to try to get hold of the female junior doctor who had seen me briefly earlier that day. Or was it the day before? The hours and days for me all blurred into one. I had remembered liking her though. I had felt that in her voice (I hadn’t seen her face as my eyes had been closed) that she seemed more sensible and able and had tried to hear what I was attempting to communicate more so than anyone else. She was essentially the only one who wasn’t doing this treating a pregnant person by numbers thing that the rest of the hospital felt limited to. I was not getting proper or helpful care and she had acknowledged that.


When she was at last found hours later I explained my concerns and she agreed that the suggested ‘manage my pain’ line wasn’t working and had no tangible outcome. She said she would push harder for me to see a kidney specialist, explained that she was not one but that her guess was that the baby was pushing down on and kicking my kidneys which was inflaming them to the point that I was experiencing something akin to kidney stones. I talked to her about the ‘bum pain’ and she explained that the oramorph was likely to have made me very constipated and she suggested my attempting to take less so I could try to be up and about to get the baby to move off of my kidneys. The catch twenty two was that without the pain medication I could barely move so couldn’t walk around to get him moving but with it I was groggy and confused and again, not able to move around to get him off of my kidneys. It was going to be unpleasant and it might not even work but at least we had a plan. I would stop taking the pain medication and try my absolute hardest to be up and out of my bed and walking with Danny’s support through the pain whenever they would let me be disconnected from the monitor that was checking that I wasn’t in labour. She gave me a suppository to help with the constipation.


A bit more TMI I’m afraid but after a while of the suppository doing its job I decided I’d try to go to the loo. Danny helped me up and to the disabled loo, through the door and literally held me on the loo. I started experiencing much more extreme and severe waves of pain and ended up shouting out in agony. It was the worst pain I’d experienced. I hadn’t had any oramorph for some time and was feeling the full effects of my symptoms. I sent Danny to tell mum I was okay and not to worry and that I just needed to focus on going to the loo. While Danny was gone a gush of liquid left my body, landing in the loo. I knew deep down at this point that my waters had broken but said nothing of it on his return. I was still super weak, out of it and confused which is my excuse for not alerting him to this information but I also knew that after 24 hrs of a woman’s waters breaking she would now be induced which I wanted to avoid at all costs. I was in a hospital, I knew I was safe and I knew what I wanted – to be left alone by everyone (but Danny) to do a poo! After what I’m now told was 2 hours of wailing on the loo and no poo to speak of I returned to my bed.


Nurses arrived keen again to do a speculum and I again refused. I was twisting in pain and practically kicked away any staff who came close bandying that word around. I needed more time. More time to try to get rid of this feeling of the most enormous poo pushing down on my lower back and bowls. My mum stepped in when the nagging nurses continued pressing me. “Look, she’s not saying never, she’s saying not now. You have her hooked up to the monitor, you say the baby is fine. Give her a moment. She’ll let you know when she’s ready”. My mum is a super hero and a double hard bastard. She read my mind, made my case and got me that extra bit of time that I needed to prepare myself. They continued to check on me at regular intervals and soon announced that they thought I was in labour and better go downstairs into the labour ward. I didn’t want to be moved but as soon as there was any mention of the baby being in any discomfort I of course agreed. And we were off! My bed being wheeled through the corridors, down in the lift and into the delivery room.


The team of midwives, doctors and nurses that looked after me in this room were awesome! Such a far cry from the care I’d had in the same hospital up until this point. They finally knew what to do with me. The baby was on the way and it was time to get cracking. I did of course at this point allow a speculum and was told I was at ten centimetres. The baby had been making his way down the birth canal over that last couple  of hours it had seemed and was back to back which was causing the huge pressure on my rectum! But once he was in position for me to push, all of the back and bottom pain disappeared. He was off of my kidneys! The pain medication had completely worn off by this point. It was over 12 hours since I’d taken anything but I was no longer in pain. It was time to push. And I pushed! Having had over two days in agony, weak and unable to speak let alone walk, I was able to push. I don’t know where the energy came from. Hormones are amazing and God is good. My mum prayed for me, as she had been my whole stay in hospital, but now with a new intensity. The baby was coming! I held on to Danny, listening to an mp3 from our Hypnobirthing coach on repeat and holding his hands so very tight. The midwives guided and cheerleaded for me and I pushed. In the gaps I smiled. I did not experience pain. Just a powerful strength and the excitement of knowing I would soon meet my little boy.


Because he was back-to-back, had his hand up by his face and due to the fact that they were a little worried about both of us after my already longish hospital stay and the fact that he was a month premature, they gave me a episiotomy (I did have an injection of anaesthetic for that) and used forceps to get him out that last little bit. He was plonked on my chest, funnily shaped peanut head and all and I held our son. It wasn’t long before he was whisked away into special care because of being a whole month early. I was sewn up (which takes longer than you might think) and eventually we were taken to a new ward and given a bed. After a while we were able to visit our new baby in his special care unit, glowing blue from his billy blanket (he was jaundiced) and with a little tube up his nose (he had to be fed with formula straight into his tummy) and his own cannula in his tiny hand. We took it in turns to hold him. It was wonderful.


blue glow


blue hat


I actually fainted later that night on the ward. From exhaustion I guess. I hadn’t eaten anything since arriving in hospital days earlier. It was sad not to have him with us when we went to bed but we knew it was the right thing for him and I was able to sleep for several hours in a row. We still had 6 more days in hospital before us, although we didn’t know it at the time. We had breast feeding to learn, he had jaundice to overcome and there was much more to happen for us as a family on that hospital ward, but those stories are for different blog posts. He had arrived. We were parents. And it was the beginning of our new and even more love-filled life as a family.



me and stan  stanny_square_2

podcast episode no.14 with Sarah Akwisombe – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie




Hello lovely people. What a week! If you get my Lizzie for SMUG newsletter for creative entrepreneurs (you can sign up if you scroll to the bottom of my site here), you’ll know there’s been lots going on for me. I’m feeling sort of back on track, but still tonnes going on and a lot to juggle.


Firstly, I have a new podcast episode for you. It’s with Sarah Akwisombe who I’m a big fan of. I’ve known Sarah for quite a while now and consider her a friend in ‘the industry’. She’s wicked. She knows what she likes, knows what she thinks and isn’t afraid to shout about it which I love. She’s also a sweetie which you might not really realise until you meet her in real life and spend time with her. Sarah is shit hot at knowing her brand and growing her business and helps others do the same through her No Bull Business School – all links below in the show notes. I took one of Sarah’s courses a while back and got a lot out of it.


I really enjoyed recording with her and found listening back and editing our episode pretty inspiring. We talk about being ‘strong women’ who know ourselves, what it’s like working with your husband, the phycology around money and tonnes more. I hope it’s one you enjoy. I think you will. I pretty sure that I’m right in saying it wont be the last time you her mine and Sarah’s voices together – I really enjoy working with her and hope to do so again soon.



S H O W  N O T E S :


www.sarahakwisombe.com Sarah’s Website

@sarahakwisombe Sarah’s Instagram

www.nobullbusinessschool.com The No Bull Business School

www.sarahakwisombe.com/blog/interview Sarah’s interview with me for her blog

You Are a Bad Ass at Making Money Book by Jen Sincero

www.lizzieforsmug.com/smug-events My Goal Setting Workshop

www.trouva.com/stories/ Me Myself and I Trouva interview with me talking wellness

www.trouva.com/lists My ‘How I Curate My Home’ wish list on Trouva

** Use offer code SMUG for 10% off at checkout site wide **




podcast episode no.13 with Lola Hoad – how to curate your life

:: by Lizzie


Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge


So this is the one where Lola essentially gives me a coaching session! I found creative business coach and ‘One Girl Band’, Lola Hoad, so inspiring to talk to. I also felt that we really agreed on so much when it comes to knowing yourself, being yourself and caring for yourself. I hope you guys enjoy this one. Lola is fantastic and you can follow the links below if you’re left wanting more (which I’m sure you will be). Huge thanks to Lola for coming on and for encouraging me to keep doing what I love and what excites me.



S H O W  N O T E S :


www.lolahoad.co.uk (Lola’s website)

www.onegirlband.co.uk (Lola’s CoWorking space)

One Girl Band the podcast (Lola’s podcast)

10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety (my blogpost on my experience of anxiety)

The Multi Hyphen Method (Emma Gannon’s recent book)

Curate Your Life CoWorking upstairs at SMUG

www.trouva.com (use the offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off)

@wearetrouva (for lust-worthy retail interiors)




podcast episode no.12 – life update and launch of season 2

:: by Lizzie



‘How to Curate Your Life – Work Life Balance for the Creative Entrepreneur’ is back! I am so very excited to launch Season 2 at last. Thank you so much for all of your encouraging messages about season 1 and for letting me know that you’ve been looking forward to season 2. Your support has been really overwhelming. I’m so pleased that you found season 1 interesting, helpful and even inspiring. Huge thanks for listening and of course to my guests from season 1 and now season 2 as well! Thank you too for your patience. I know it’s taken a while to get season 2 launched (having a baby slowed me down) but I really hope you’ll enjoy season 2’s interviews (and having me back in your podcast playlist on a Tuesday morning).


I’m afraid this episode is just me though guys. No interview this week. Hope that’s okay!? I really felt like so much had happened that it might be a bit weird for me to just crack on with interviewing one of our season 2 guests without talking to you a bit about what’s happening with me. I asked on Instagram if you had any questions you’d like me to cover and so much of what came back were questions about being a mum, my new perspective on work life balance, if I’m fitting in any self care and how I’m essentially juggling everything, that I thought I’d better record a Life Update episode for you. Apologies if this isn’t so much your bag – next week I’ll be putting out an interview I loved recording with a special guest – but for now, it’s just me and you kid. Let’s catch up!


In this episode I share what I’ve been up to over the last several months, how I’m balancing work and baby whilst trying to stay healthy and inspired, what I’m finding hard to keep up with and feel like I might be failing you on, but also the exciting projects I’m working on and want to share with you as well as how I’m dealing with the sleep deprivation that comes with living with a 6 month old.


I also share the news that Trouva, the home of independent boutiques online, is the sponsor of season 2 of the podcast. Trouva is the perfect site to peruse for inspiration on How To Curate Your Home. Something as you know, I feel very passionate about. Thank you so much to Trouva.com for sponsoring season 2 of the podcast.


You can subscribe via iTunes, Acast (or wherever else you listen to your podcasts) now to be one of the first to hear each episode as it goes live every Tuesday. You can also listen to the trailer and released episodes on my website www.lizzieforsmug.com/podcast and check out the show notes below. Thanks so much for listening!


S H O W  N O T E S :

@ifeelsmug (my Instagram)

www.youtube.com (my YouTube channel – Lizzie for SMUG)

Trouva.com/ifeelsmug (Trouva – use offer code SMUG at checkout for 10% off)

The Lifestyle Edit – Naomi Mdudu (my business coach)

@beautifulhomesandinteriors (Fiona and Felicity’s Instagram)

Me, My Shop and I – Trouva interview with Lizzie

Tell Your Friends – M.Hulot interview with Lizzie and her mum Margaret

Baby’s First Holiday – Blog post for Baby Jogger

Glucose tablets

Workshop with me and Esther (meet up Saturday 22nd September)

@origami_est (Esther’s Instagram)

www.lizzieforsmug.com (my website)



AD | baby’s first holiday

:: by Lizzie


Well hello there! Firstly I want to say a big thank you for coming along with me through my pregnancy and the birth of my baby boy. (Birth story coming very soon on my YouTube channel). I’m so grateful to those of you who have been such a huge insta support through pram choices, colic, the Chelsea Flower Show debacle and everything else along the way. It’s a beautiful community we have built here and I thought it was about time I give you a little update on how Constantin is doing. We very recently went away for our first holiday with Stan and so I’ve lots to share about how travelling with a baby for the first time was. I want to cover sleep as well as what the journey was like, what we packed for him, what we used most and what I wouldn’t bother taking again. I also want to tell you about our new pram of dreams! The Baby Jogger City Tour LUX with Carrycot. It’s a whole travel system don’t you know and it’s the absolute perfect pram for us. Both for our day-to-day city life but also to keep things super comfy for Stan and really easy for us when off on our adventures.


Baby Jogger got in touch to suggest working together at exactly the right moment; just before our holiday when we were trying to figure how on earth we 1. get everything to the airport and on the plane and 2. actually get Stan around on our hols knowing we’d need to be lugging stuff around he might need on a full day out but also that we’d be going over old bridges, cobbled streets and a generally more adventurous terrain with even higher temperatures than we were used to in London.


I can tell you now, it was a breeze and we still can’t quite believe how well it worked out for us and what a difference this pram made. I don’t know if you remember me mentioning that I couldn’t quite get my head around being someone with a pram. The baby bit I was totally on board with but being a pram user kinda freaked me out. This pram, as well as being ridiculously well designed in terms of practicality and sturdiness, is also well designed aesthetically which I guess you will have worked out by now, if you’re regular round here, is very important to me. We have the Slate colour-way which is gorgeous and the whole shape and form of the Carrycot, the handle, the wheels, even the way the break works, makes me happy. It’s the little details always with good design isn’t it, that make a big difference. The fact that you can collapse the whole thing with one hand is pretty awesome!











So to fill you in a little on the deats of our holiday – we flew to the south of France from Gatwick. First job was getting to the airport. We got a cab to St pancras and the train to Gatwick and although we had a huge suitcase, a carry on suitcase, a car seat, Constantin’s nappy bag (which is a rucksack), Stan in a sling and the pram – it totally worked. A big part of the reason for this not being a complete nightmare and actually ending up totally doable is that the pram folds up into a bag which you can wear on your back. Genius!


When we got to the airport we checked in our big suitcase and deposited the car seat and City Tour LUX (with the Carrycot attached) as oversized luggage and we were away! SO doable. We were lucky enough to have my parents collect us at the other end but I reckon we would have been fine on the coach and bus if needs be. We had worried that having a baby would limit us in how we travelled based on the amount of ‘stuff’ he would need but what could have been a stressful journey was actually completely fine and for us that was all about 1. having the right pram and 2. taking the time to plan in advance what we should pack for Stan and for ourselves. If you’d like to hear more about what we packed (our capsule holiday wardrobes and Stan’s, as well as the baby necessities) then do let me know as I’m up for recording a video on that if it would be helpful/interesting.







One of the things that Stan loves about the City Tour LUX is how comfy and safe the Carrycot feels. So much so that the design doesn’t even need to include straps. It’s like a lightweight but plush bassinet that, as you can see from above, he feels really happy in. Because Stan was a month premature he’s always preferred to be carried than to be in a pram so we were really pleased to find that he felt super safe and happy when in his Carrycot. We found the suspension of the pram itself really good on old cobbled streets and Stan even slept in it which we weren’t expecting and isn’t the norm for him. The storage underneath is a really good size for such a compact pram and there’s even a zip-up compartment which was really nifty when out for a long day.




Because the Carrycot detaches (although you don’t need to take it off to fold the whole thing down which is pretty great) it worked really well for us as an option to have him up by the pool in. The fabric is UV 50+ protection which is a winner too.


You may already know that I’ve been back working here and there since quite early on after having Stan and that Dan, my mum and I have been juggling taking care of him. We thought this holiday would be a good time to teach Stan to nap on his own in a basket or carrycot and that we could transfer that skill to his co-sleeping pod when we got home.


As mentioned above, because of being premature Constantin has wanted to be held a lot, particularly for naps. Before the holiday he’d only nap on us (either lying on the sofa at home or in our bed) or in the sling safely against one of our chests but always with us walking – we could never stop walking! This was very sweet but after a while quite impractical and we could see that it was something that would need proper work to help him to learn to sleep on his own. And, very excitingly, on this holiday we cracked it. He’d sleep in our room in his basket or carrycot and even up by the pool with us. If you’d like to hear more about how we got him napping then keep your eyes open for a blog post and video coming soon on that (I have a book recommendation too). There’s so much to fill you in on that I can’t easily do that here. All that’s left to say really is a huge thank you to Baby Jogger for approaching me. The City Tour LUX has been a complete game changer for our family and couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We’re really looking forward to seeing Stan grow out of the Carrycot accessory and into the main seat of the pram – which can face both towards us and out to the street. It’s a wonderful pram that we can see will grow beautifully as Stan does. Thank you.









If you’d like to continue to stay up-to-date with Constantin’s development as well as my developing parenting skills! then do follow along on YouTube and Instagram. I’ve got plans for lots of videos coming soon (including a more detailed video on how the City Tour LUX folds and its features in my July Favourites) as well as videos on all of the things I wanted to know more about when I was pregnant and/or just starting out on the mum journey. Thanks for reading and speak soon. Lizzie x