The Week + Links: 09.24.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

When you’re posting so late it’s already the weekend, you know it’s been a little-too-full week! Ever since the start of September, things have been picking up steam both personally and professionally and I’m super excited to see how the rest of this year plays out.

Because of a bunch of impending opportunities and changes, I’ve been a bit more introspective and spending less time online lately as I try to figure out how to balance work with this thing called life. I’m also getting better about taking the time to explore my own creativity without the pressure to share every outcome. Ahh, the olden days! Funny how everything eventually comes full-circle.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

September always feels like it’s on fast-forward around here with my birthday, Joey’s birthday and our wedding anniversary all within a 10 day span of each other. It’s a month of reminiscing on funny stories while also looking forward to making new memories and remembering to appreciate the little things along the way like these red flowers from my birthday that seemingly showed up in every photo I took this week. 😉

Have a good weekend, friends. xo

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Remember when we were simply humans free from spending every waking hour sitting on the internet? Too much time spent online almost destroyed this man’s existence. Intense.

• MoMA just put thousands of historical exhibition photos online dating all the way back to 1929!

15 career tips from smart women. Amen!

• I’m always interested in checking out other people’s creative book recommendations and here’s a great roundup.

• The best ways to cope with a noisy office.

• Nesha explains her step by step design process and it’s packed with valuable tidbits.

• This article is a reality check on the climate change issue and it sure is scary.

• Somebody actually tracked Homer Simpson’s jobs and salary over the course of 596 episodes!

• Promise explains how to stay focused and get stuff done.

• So random: thermal photography of classic American foods!

Stepping Up My Skincare with Grown Alchemist

Nubby Twiglet | Stepping Up My Skincare with Grown Alchemist

I’m officially an adult (well at 35, it at least seems that way) and with a new age in full swing, I finally decided it was time to step up my skincare routine. I’ve always known it was important to use good skincare but got swayed by buying nice makeup instead because I could see the immediate payoff when I applied it.

Buying skincare is also trickier than makeup because it’s hard to know what’s going to actually work with your skin type. Unless you get a sample and try it for a bit, it can turn into a very expensive guessing game. Luckily, I’ve finally settled on a line that works and wanted to tell you about it now that I’ve had the chance to try a wide variety of the products (as witnessed by that empty box collection in the above photo. LOL.)

Grown Alchemist is a certified organic line of skincare free of harmful chemicals or preservatives. Even better, it looks as good as it feels (and let’s be honest, looks do matter when you use a product every day).

I found out about the Australian brand while visiting my friend Kat’s marketing agency in Melbourne a few years back. As I toured the office, she handed me a few samples and knowing nothing about them, I gave them a try.

I was hooked right away because nothing smelled artificial and I liked the way the products worked, especially the Regenerating Night Cream which has a calming lavender scent.

Upon doing more research, I found out the brand was free of all the icky stuff: lauryl sulphate, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, parabens, synthetic colors and a bunch more things that should never make their way onto your skin.

Nubby Twiglet | Stepping Up My Skincare with Grown Alchemist

After reading more about Grown Alchemist’s philosophy, I realized the products I’d been slathering on my face in the past could actually be contributing to the aging process because the body tends to register artificial ingredients as toxic and that’s part of the reason we sometimes have allergic reactions.

By no means is my skincare and makeup routine perfect but slowly clearing out what I can and making room for healthier products one by one in my medicine cabinet is a start. I have a harder time finding natural makeup I like but Grown Alchemist has made it much easier on the skincare front.

In closing, I should mention that I was no way compensated in any way besides the products I sampled a few years back — I just want to share what works because if you’re like me, complete overwhelm sets in based on the sheer amount of skincare lines out there.


Collage photos pulled from the Grown Alchemist Instagram.

The Week + Links: 9.16.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

I’m so happy it’s Friday — this week feels like a complete shift from last, which was really, really hard. Things are starting to click, I’m getting back into the work groove and I can feel my creativity finally coming back…and that’s a big relief.

This week was also my birthday and it was good! This was the first time in a long time I was home for it which was honestly nice for a change. Joey and I shared a bottle of rosé, I visited The Liquor Store with my dad and took a bunch of new photo booth strips and also got some cuddles in with Rocky and Chubs.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I’ve got a long workday ahead but the payoff will be going out to lunch with my mom tomorrow, doing some plant shopping for our newly landscaped yard and putting some finishing touches on our remodeled bathroom so I can finally photograph it. Taking it easy…and I’m happy about that!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Have a great weekend and thanks as always for reading. xo

Photos: 1. This is the last time our room will look like this. Changes are in-progress! 2. Gotta love a weekend coffee date. 3. A stack of photo booth strips from my 35th!


THE LINKS

• As creatives, we often like to do many, many things but to carve out your niche, it’s important to narrow down what you want to be known for.

• People have anxiety about all kinds of random things.

• I’m obsessed with this adorable little creature named Rhea, an adopted lovebird with a beak and feather disease.

• These recently discovered portraits of Marilyn Monroe are beautiful.

• 5 ugly truths about becoming a freelance designer.

• I really enjoyed reading about my friend Breanna Rose’s new mood board process. This has been a sticking point in my client process and the clarity from another designer was much needed.

• I’ve always wanted a secret room hidden behind bookshelves, what about you?

• Ever wonder why hotels give you all the basic toiletries….except toothpaste? Me, too!

• 8 things web designers can learn from the fashion industry.

• Paul Jarvis has some great insight on when you should start making products. We created The Project Prescription together and I agree with everything he has to say here.

• If you end up with an unexpected chunk of money, this is what to do with it.

• These portraits of animals dressed in human clothes are oddly entertaining.

Style Direction: Desert Rose

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

Today, I’m 35. (For the record, I think I’ll feel forever 25….just with a lot more wisdom. Haha). Anyway, it’s time for a style direction update!

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

Earlier this year, I went to Vegas and after feeling very ho-hum about my personal style for awhile, I left that week excited and reawakened. If you read through that post, it was due to a bunch of factors but the moral of the story is that immersing yourself in a world of excess and fantasy for an entire week with your BFF’s and getting the hell away from work allows for endless hours of inspiration and creativity.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

I came home inspired to finally start dressing up again, though mostly in solids. Black and baby pink were my jam (and still are).

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

Then, I went back to Vegas again last month (because…why stay away from the desert, night clubs, pool parties and all the best things in life?) and I needed a new outfit for a shoot with Made U Look.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

The late night online browsing began when something very different from my usual style caught my eye. It was flowy, flowery and…not black! I closed the window but was still thinking about it a week later. So, I pulled the trigger, thinking if I hated it, I could send it back. But, I liked it. A lot. It was impractical for daily wear but FUN.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

I wore it out to the desert and felt really inspired by the roses and wines contrasted with the background of dusty hues. I spun around in circles as the sun set and laughed with my best friends before we piled back into the car for our favorite dinner destination on the Strip, P.F. Chang’s (forever and always).

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

The look: Steve Madden Jolene platform heels, Love and Lemons Wild Rose skirt and top and Forever 21 choker.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

So, here’s to Desert Rose.
Here’s to big flowers, chokers, chunky platform heels, chiffons and velvets.
Here’s to bold eye makeup, long, messy hair, rosy cheeks and big smiles.

As being 35 sets in, I want to remind myself (and you!) to loosen up, take more chances, have fun with personal style and say yes to spontaneity.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Desert Rose

I wore: Steve Madden Joline platform heels, Love and Lemons Wild Rose skirt and top (sold out but the Wild Rose maxi dress is still available) and a Forever 21 velvet choker (sold out but there are more options here).

Photos: Made U Look

Makeup: Sephora at The Venetian, Las Vegas.

Creative Chronicles: Magic Lessons Podcast

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Magic Lessons Podcast

I just learned about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast and I’m IN LOVE.

Normally, I’m not into listening to podcasts while I work. I like peace and quiet so I can really focus on what I’m doing. I feel like podcasts just distract me from tuning in fully to my creative process…and that needs my full attention.

Well, this weekend Gala texted me about this specific podcast. She even peppered it with, “I know you don’t usually listen to podcasts while you work, but….” and with that nudge, I clicked the link.

One episode led to 5 and 5 led to 10 which led to binge-listening to both seasons.

The thing that makes Magic Lessons really special (and why I think you’ll enjoy it) is that it focuses specifically on the creative process and how we overcome obstacles along the way.

Liz takes essays from real life creatives (writers, dancers, photographers, you name it) and partners up with a well-known person in their field that can give them very specific insights. It’s interesting hearing some of the creative greats (including Neil Gaiman) share their personal struggles with creating and a great reality check that nobody is immune from criticism or other roadblocks.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never read any of Liz’s books but I LOVE her on this podcast. She’s kind, thoughtful and makes sure these creative folks pouring their hearts out to her leave in a better place than when they started.

If you’re looking for a new podcast to get inspired by, I think you’ll love Magic Lessons.

Creative Chronicles: Show Up and Do the Work

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Show Up and Do the Work

There are classes and courses that promise all sorts of things that will get you ahead but there is no shortcut for simply showing up and doing the work.

Over the weekend, I met a graphic designer named Calypso (best name ever!) for coffee. As we sipped our lattes, the conversation turned to careers.

“How did you get your start?” she said.

“I interned and that led to my first job” was my first response but that was too nice and neat. There’s always a story behind the story and it’s usually full of hard work and years of sacrifice.

The truth is, new skills can be learned by nearly anyone. There’s always going to be someone more skilled than you. So…how do you get ahead in your industry?

1. Arrive on time.

2. Show up and do the work.

3. Be a decent person.

4. Make the lives of the people around you easier.

5. Get the work done, even if you’re having a bad day.

6. Stay late if needed and don’t complain about it.

7. Have a sense of humor.

8. If your job is done, help someone else out.

9. Clean up after yourself.

10. Act like you want to be there.

Rinse and repeat.

I know this all sounds like common sense but it’s easy to forget these little things when you’re in the thick of it and stressed out with looming deadlines. I clearly remember that I was never “the best” at any of the jobs I worked at. Most of the designers around me had a lot more experience. The reason I was still able to get ahead was the exact list above.

I learned something early on: showing up and doing the work and being gracious while making the lives around you easier will take you further than any advanced degree in your industry (which I didn’t have).

The next time you see someone who you internalize as being more talented and skilled than you, remind yourself that’s not all that matters. That’s only part of the equation. Being the best possible version of yourself and showing up and doing the work is the other half. And once you realize that…things seem much easier.

This quote from Chuck Close drives the point home perfectly:

“In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.”

Showing up and doing the work isn’t easy but if you’re driven and treat people with kindness along the way, there are so many doors waiting to open for you.

The Week + Links: 09.09.16

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THE WEEK

Last Friday, my flight landed in New York and I finally had the chance to catch up with my long-time friend, Bianca. I met her on a street corner 15 years ago and after all that time, we are still having a great time together. I’m thankful for having such a solid, caring friend like her in my life that happens to be as obsessive about personal style and design as I am (we drive each other crazy in the best possible way – ha!)

Bianca showed me a very fun-filled weekend of walking across the city, window shopping, taking silly photos, trying Puerto Rican food for the first time (LOVED IT!) and a very jet-lagged early morning coffee date. I got home late on Sunday thinking I could jump right back into a regular routine but that’s not been the case at all — it’s been rough adjusting to being back at work.

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That all came to a head when I woke up two mornings ago feeling like everything was just….wrong. I’m normally a really positive person so it threw me for a loop and I had to reset my outlook for the day in the shower, reminding myself I could turn it around. The thing is, I feel like I’m not the only one going through this and feeling a transition — I saw a few blog posts and Instagram updates throughout the week with people feeling out of sorts and lamenting over the same thing.

I took it easy in this space over the last few days, knowing that I needed some solitude and time to readjust because I do know that this time of year is all about transition. When the “back to school” rush kicks in and the weather changes, I feel myself re-focusing my energy on what I’m spending my time doing. Do I like what I’m working on and do I like all the projects I have on my plate? It’s a good idea to ask yourself that regularly, or else you end up on auto-pilot which does nobody any good.

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Instead of forcing anything, I sat in my office and worked through being stuck for a few days, knowing some clarity would come out of it and sure enough, a few doors closed and in their place, a new one with an even more exciting opportunity opened. It’s a reminder to me (and you!) to not be scared of change — because chances are, there’s something even better around the corner.

So, that’s where I’m at.

The reality is, some days I struggle to be creative and get things done and on others, everything just flows. When it doesn’t work, I’ve learned to go easier on myself. And I hope you’ll give yourself a break the next time you’re having one of those days/ weeks/ months, too.

Everything is cyclical. Feeling creatively stuck is uncomfortable….but it doesn’t last forever.

Have a good weekend, friends. xo

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THE LINKS

• My friend Sian just launched a digital magazine called The Unmistakable Effect packed with content to help you be more of yourself and win at your own game. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, this is for you. I just previewed the first copy and it is awesome!

• Why are millennial women so obsessed with that salmon-y, soft pink color that’s taken over the design, beauty and fashion worlds?

• Even Leonardo DaVinci had a to-do list and it’s much cooler than yours.

• I can’t stop thinking about this article. If you’re having a bad day, please read it because it definitely puts things in perspective.

• Jane just shared some of the essentials she swears by as she continues on her fitness journey.

• Kate and Andy Spade just started a new lifestyle brand called Frances Valentine and I love the photography, styling and fonts they’ve chosen. They obviously have a knack for it!

• If you’ve over-plucked your brows, there’s still hope.

Here’s a gift for the cheese lover who has everything!

• Danielle LaPorte shares 5 pointers for developing freedom-based creativity and work habits.

• It’s totally possible to travel cheaply for for an entire year with a few simple tips.

• Braid Creative shares the 7 ways designers can become creative experts.

• Yes! 50 keyboard shortcuts.

• The Tory Burch style is not usually my jam (too preppy) but there’s something about her athletic line I’m falling hard for. The clean lines and retro modern look make me want it all!

• It’s easy to forget how much eating out and grabbing drinks can really add up. Cut back…and treat yourself to a nice vacation with the savings, instead!