Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Month + Links: January 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: January 2017


Hi, friends! Thanks for joining me as this first month of 2017 comes to a close. There’s a big list of links at the bottom I hope you enjoy, plus a recap of some of the things that are happening in my world — it’s most definitely been a bittersweet, surreal start to the year.

1. The March

I flew to New York for the Women’s March last weekend alongside friends including Gala, Bianca and Veronica. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience — I’d never marched before and joining in was inspiring and powerful.

As I was getting off the train and walking up the subway steps to join the crowd, a boy, maybe 10 years old at most was in a leg brace, struggling up the steps as his mom carried his crutches. He could have easily stayed home but wanted to be a part of the day. In that moment, I thought, “If he can do this, I have zero excuses going forward.”

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: January 2017

Barricades between the street and sidewalk soon became pointless as the crowd grew, spanning the width of both. Being part of a crowd of 400,000 people on a Saturday, many marching with their children and dogs and homemade signs filled me with immense hope.

I know that hope isn’t enough and we can all do more. Small changes do add up. Follow your favorite organizations and activists via Twitter and join their mailing lists so you’re aware of what’s happening and when they need help most. Donate, even if it’s a few dollars here and there (the ACLU is a great place to start).

And most importantly, stand up and be heard. This is not the time to stay quiet to protect your “brand” — lend your voice, your time and your money whenever you can.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: January 2017

2. The Small Things

In a time of rapid change, much of which has been volatile, I’m focusing on the small things that are going right in my life. Keeping a positive mindset hasn’t been easy and there are nights I can’t sleep — but I know that by taking care of myself, I’ll then be in a much better place to support others.

Things that are making me happy: Cuddles with Chubs. Talking to Joey every morning about our future as we walk Rocky. Getting my taxes finished early and cracking jokes with my accountant. Late nights at goth clubs with friends. JetBlue overnight flights to New York with satellite TV, free wifi and unlimited snacks (yes!) Victoria’s Secret high-rise leggings in black. Writing postcards to my state senators. Buying a new suitcase. Taking photos next to George. Fried pierogis at 3 am. Subscribing to even more magazines (loving New York Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler). Visiting The Wing and buying my mom a HEAD BITCH IN CHARGE keychain (haha). Wandering through ABC Carpet & Home. Marching next to these ladies (my new idols). Working on more projects for beauty brands. Buying a new-ish Kia Optima in all black. Wearing my green faux fur jacket everywhere.

My quote of the moment:

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” —Barack Obama

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: January 2017


• 99% Invisible is a podcast that focuses on design, architecture and the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. Two examples: how the U.S. post office started and what happens to the letters you send the president.

• Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Palm Springs pad is on the market and it’s gorgeous!

• After the Women’s March, so many participants have been asking, “Now what?” Join me in participating in 10 actions in 100 days and keep the momentum.

• I plan out my week by writing it down so I can see it on my desk at a quick glance. My tool of choice is the Kikki.K weekly planner.

• Banish these words and phrases from your vocabulary.

• Are you using your voice fully? Are you saying everything you want to say on the platforms you use? If you aren’t, ask yourself, “What else?”

• How can you get people excited about your work?

• Tim Ferriss shares a list of the apps he uses regularly.

• Feeling overwhelmed by to-do lists and content you want to create? Allow yourself the luxury of silence and space.

• Bridgette shares why she decided to march in Tales of a Reluctant Activist.

• I learn something new every day! Bibliomania is a compulsive urge to buy books.

• Here’s how Warren Buffet schedules his meetings.

• This is such a great collection of protest signs. All are free to download!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: January 2017

• David Bowie is being honored by Britain’s Royal Mail with a full set of stamps.

• It’s great to chase your dreams but pushing yourself so hard that you compromise your health is so not worth it. Run your own race!

• It’s always easier to make time to cook when the recipes are simple. Try these 12 five-ingredient dinners.

• The one fashion blog I consistently read is Sea Of Shoes and I love the new design!

• Haha! OMG. 10 signs you were once obsessed with Live Journal. I’m feeling like an internet dinosaur right about now.

• 20 habits that can change your life.

• Maybe you’d like to try Ernest Hemingway’s cocktail recipe for bad times?

• Macaroni and cheese that takes only 3 ingredients and 10 minutes? Yes, please!

• I admire Madonna for speaking her mind during the Billboard Women In Music ceremony.

• This compilation covers every book Barack Obama recommended during his time as president.

• What happens when you take a full month off from the internet? Spoiler alert: you get your attention back.

Photos: 1. My desk last Monday. Now is the time to get shit done. 2. Pre-march, at Federal Hall. 3. One of my favorite places to spend an afternoon, ABC Carpet & Home. 4. Spotted this message today in Portland. 5. I’m obsessed with this plate (and Gala’s pink faux fur coat!)

The Wing: A Mini Tour

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

The Wing is a self-described home base for women on their way.

A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through Instagram when something stopped me in my tracks: a new women’s club called The Wing. I’d never seen anything like it. The branding, the messaging, the design of the space and the sense of community was so good. I wanted in. Only problem: I’m based in Portland and The Wing is in New York.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

I tagged my BFF Gala on one of their photos and she messaged back saying she’d just joined. YES! On Friday, I flew into New York and one of my first stops with Gala was The Wing (members can bring along guests). The place was just as gorgeous as the photo gallery made it out to be. I was smitten, picking up a pile of their on point merch for the women in my life.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

The Wing takes its inspiration from the women’s club movement that first gained momentum in the early 20th century and has completely modernized the concept.

The club serves multiple purposes in a single space. In its own words, you can “Consider The Wing your throne away from home; a sacred space where you can work, get to inbox zero, shower, get a blow-out, store your stuff, take a conference call, make a new friend, or even stage a small coup. All in one place.”

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

I love this idea because these days, so many of us are on the move and the space has a bunch of areas to get different things done: one spot has lockers; another has showers, a bathroom and a glam selection of toiletries; yet another is full of couches and a massive collection of color-coded books lining a wall; there’s a room with vanity-style desks and mirrors for doing your hair and makeup and finally, a built-in cafe with coffee, snacks and healthy lunch options. It’s genius.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Even in all its beauty, The Wing is super relaxed and welcoming. Whether you’re using the space as a makeshift office, touching up your makeup on the way to an event or just lounging and grabbing a snack in the cafe, it’s got you covered.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

I’ve heard that the launch was really successful so I can only hope that The Wing makes its way out to Portland someday. I love the Branch office but crave more social time and the chance to collaborate with like-minded women. Plus, there’s a magic that happens in person that just can’t be replicated online.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

By now, you’re probably wondering about the design (I sure was!) I did some digging and this Fast Company article has a lot of information about the process and the all-woman design team from Pentagram. Super cool.

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Learn more about The Wing here and don’t forget to check out their amazing selection of merch!

Nubby Twiglet | The Wing New York Women's Club

Interior photos: Shauna Haider. Product photos: The Wing.

10 Still Life and Flat Lay Tips

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Life and Flat Lay Tips

What’s one area you want to improve on this year? Mine is really simple and I talked about it last week: I want to get better at taking photos, especially still lifes and flat lays.

These compositions are a chance to tell a visual story. They’re an accessible way of sharing things I’m into while producing content for my blog and social accounts. Also, like many of you, I sit behind a computer all day so any chance I have to step away and get the creative juices flowing is an added bonus.

The thing is, my life is already packed with a lot of commitments and I am short on time for personal projects. But, instead of using that as an excuse, I started a project last year called Still Life Friday. Every Friday, I would set aside 15 minutes to share a new still life composition on Instagram, hashtagging it with #stilllifefriday.

Looking back, not every composition was amazing and I missed a week here and there. But overall, it accomplished the goal I had hoped for: to get better at working with what I already had around me, just for fun, without the pressure of client expectations.

What I’ve learned along the way is that when you keep goals bite-sized and focused, it’s more likely that you’ll follow through with them. There’s a reason why I set up Still Life Friday and not Still Life Daily: I wanted to give myself the highest possible chance for success.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Life and Flat Lay Tips

Today, we’re going to focus on 10 tips you can use to step up your still life compositions:

1. Pinpoint Your Style

It’s always easier to create an amazing composition if you can focus in on what you’re naturally drawn to. What gets you excited? If you need some ideas, follow some new accounts. I personally like MaeMae & Co.,, Charli Burrowes, flatlays and flatlayforever. I’ve been collecting screenshots of ideas and keep them in a folder for when I’m feeling uninspired.

2. Get Consistent with Lighting and Surfaces

I take most of my photos during the morning to afternoon in my office, when the light is the brightest and least shadowy. I never use a flash, instead choosing a natural light source next to a window. For surfaces, I use my white glossy desktop or black or white tagboard when I need a larger area. You can pick this up at art supply and dollar stores.

3. Tell a Story

It’s always better if your still life has a focal point to build off of. What do you really want to share? Are you reading a book or magazine that’s inspiring you? Maybe you can add in glasses, a journal and your favorite pen. Did you just buy a new shade of lipstick? Add in a mirror, your compact and a fashion editorial with a makeup look you love. Did you just buy a rad pair of shoes? Lay them out alongside your ideal outfit.

4. Include a Natural Element

Still lifes feel more alive when you follow this tip. I tend to add plants like succulents or fresh cut flowers to most of my compositions. Crystals, sand, stones and leaves also work.

5. Add Some Shine

A little bling catches the eye. I am really big on brass accents right now for a subtle shine. I often use a brass pen, vases, scissors or clips to add warmth to my cool toned compositions. Mirrors, glitter paper, shiny gemstones and jewelry also work.

6. Focus on Color and Texture

One of the easiest ways to give your compositions a consistent appearance is to use objects in the same colors and textures. I focus on mostly black and white with plenty of dashes of green on my personal account. For texture, I stick with marble and brass. These create an on-brand look.

7. Keep It Simple

Less objects can actually be more compelling. Always place your favorite object first and build around it. White space allows the objects to breathe. I think of this step like a gallery wall. If you walk into a gallery and the walls are painted a dark color and crammed with artwork placed too close together, it’s visually overwhelming. If you instead walk into a space with artwork placed with plenty of distance between each piece on clean, white walls, there’s a better chance of you being able to focus on the details.

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Life and Flat Lay Tips

8. Include Items You Love

I buy very little for my office space but what I do invest in has to be really special and work double duty. I have a wire inspiration board with copper clips I use to pin up new ideas that also doubles as a backdrop. I have a Moroccan pompom covered basket I use in a lot of Branch photos that also holds my extra chargers and cords. I have a collection of Chad Wys prints that cover my walls and often make their way into compositions. Surrounding yourself with items that you enjoy means that you’ll have more to pull from when putting together a photo.

9. Shoot In Bulk

If I create a composition I really like, I’ll shoot it, switch out a few key items, shoot again and get a few variations. These batched images are great to roll out when I’m having a slow content day or need something to stand in with a quote or story I want to share. They save time and since they were shot in the same lighting and style, they’ll be more consistent.

10. Set it Up

Have tools on-hand that can step in and give you the best results. Sometimes I use colorful washi tape to secure photos while also adding a pop of color. Sticky tack is great for holding round objects in place like pens and lipstick. Antibacterial wipes are perfect for quickly wiping down a surface so you can avoid bits of dirt and dust. Also, decide whether you’re going to use your phone or a camera — I personally use the Samsung NX500 for every photo I take because it’s higher quality. After I’ve taken a photo, I use the built-in wifi to email the photo to myself and edit with a combination of Color Story and VSCO.

I hope these tips help you take better still lifes and flat lays. Let me know if you have any questions or tips to add in the comments!

P.S. I try to post at least one new still life per week — if you’d like to follow along, my account is here.

The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

One of my big goals in 2017 is to get hyper-organized in all areas of my life, from client processes to the way I store my makeup to the tidiness of my closet.

The beauty of getting organized is that as you’re sorting, it becomes crystal clear what items no longer have a place in your life. If there isn’t room or it no longer serves a purpose, throw it out! There’s a sense of satisfaction in letting go and donating all that clutter.

I didn’t always have a walk-in closet. In fact, until a year ago, my clothing and accessories were confined to two side-by-side IKEA wardrobes because there wasn’t enough built-in closet space in my 1920s home to hold much of anything.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

My IKEA wardrobes made it easy to stay organized with add-in drawers and shoe racks and Joey took over the small closet in our room. This worked well….but there was an even better solution lurking in a drafty, bare raftered attic space tucked behind a door off to the side of our room. Most of the time, I forgot it was even there.

A few years earlier, Joey had spent a month remodeling it to use as an art studio, cutting odd-shaped drywall pieces to align with the peaked roof and angled beams. When that was done, he painted it out and added flooring. It was cozy but even in the center, the space wasn’t quite 6 feet tall so he had to duck inside and always sit on the floor to work. It wasn’t ideal for him but it was perfect for me since I’m 5 foot 3.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

The Tour

After Joey built out a new, roomier studio space in the basement, I took over the former attic area. In went more shelving, Cole and Sons woods wallpaper left over from our dining room, a fresh coat of white paint and rope lights, which snaked along the floor seams.

This once unused, dark space I always avoided slowly came to life and was now the perfect hangout for playing with new looks and getting dressed up!

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Once the space was cleaned up, we moved onto a solution for holding all my clothing. A lot of you ladies who have had clothing racks know that the cheaper store-bought ones tend to bow in the middle or come crashing down from too much weight (been there, done that!)

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

On the other hand, metal pipes can handle all those dresses! Joey built 3 clothing racks in total from supplies he found at the hardware store. They line up with the pitch of the ceiling. The center is taller and holds dresses, some of which are quite long while the left side holds skirts and coats and the right holds tops and sweaters.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Right by the entrance to the left, there are shallow built-in shelves which are perfect for holding clutches, sunglasses and shoes. The wallpaper behind them adds a nice pop of pattern.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Below those shallow shelves are the things I need to grab most often, tucked away in white wicker baskets from Target including underwear, bras and pajamas.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

A nail was added to the side so I could hang up a few smaller bags.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Behind that are beam supports that once left an open area of wasted space so Joey added a piece of wood as a base and then angled slats which make it possible to display more shoes. (In case you’re wondering: in a past life, I sold shoes for 5 years and the obsession rages on.)

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Along one side of the space is a very long, windowless area that’s much too narrow for furniture. This was by far the hardest part to figure out a solution for because we couldn’t have anything bulky along the walls.

It has a steep incline so we installed a long piece of wood from Home Depot along the entire length which makes it an ideal spot for more sunglasses, purses and jewelry.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Below the shelving is a row of identical IKEA white banker’s boxes which are used for storing purses, keepsakes and everything I want to keep but isn’t used regularly enough to have sitting out.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

On the right, we installed four round IKEA mirrors which create visual interest and reflect light.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Along the very back of this narrow area, Joey built in additional shelves which I use to hold the basics that don’t need to be hung up. I use them to store a stack of leggings (top), jeans (middle) and hats (bottom). On the floor, I have storage boxes for more bulky stuff (shoeboxes for designer items I want to keep) and on those rest clear plastic organizer trays for scarves, socks and tights, all arranged by color.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Closet Sources

• Round mirrors (similar), IKEA
• White banker’s boxes, IKEA
• White wicker baskets (sold out), Target
• Clear jewelry and sock trays (similar), Target
• Woods wallpaper, Cole and Son
• Paper bags, Be-Poles
• Metal hangers (sold out but I love these from HAY), IKEA
• White pendant light, IKEA
• Clothing rack piping and supplies, True Value
• Rope lights, Home Depot

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

5 Organizing Tips

I have a few easy tips to help you stay organized once and for all:

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

1. Arrange your clothing first by type and then by color.

Think of it this way: if you’re looking for a shirt, you know where to focus and you tend to remember an item of clothing based on its color. I have a ton of dresses and if I’m in the mood for a pink one, I can quickly locate my options.

2. Store your less used items away.

Get rid of the clutter by buying up a bunch of boxes in the same color and style to create a sense of uniformity and clean lines while hiding those seasonal items and keepsakes. Out of sight, out of mind!

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

3. Roll your socks and tights.

These items get tangled and separated easily but if you’ve rolled them into trays, it’s easy to find a specific color and pattern quickly without ending up with the entire tray thrown onto the ground!

4. Use mirrors to create the illusion of more space.

My closet as a whole is a pretty decent side but the right side is very long, dark and narrow. Adding a row of mirrors creates a sense of depth and makes it feel slightly less claustrophobic.


5. Wrangle odds and ends you don’t want to lose track of into bags.

I love Le Sac En Papier bags because they’re sturdy and stylish while hiding clutter. I have a ton of swimwear (I tend to travel to warm locales often) but don’t use it on a daily basis. The pieces all go in this bag so I can find them easily when packing.

Nubby Twiglet | The Closet Chronicles: A Tour Plus 5 Easy Organization Tips

Thanks for reading! It’s been pretty rewarding taking this once wasted space and transforming it something that I now use every day. With everything having a place, it’s less likely to get messy because I have no excuses.

Any questions about the space or organization? Let me know in the comments!

Creative Chronicles: Make The Time

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Make The Time For Creativity

How’s the new year treating you so far?

This year, I’m thinking beyond career goals because while those are great, it’s important to nurture personal interests as well.

A personal goal of mine is to get better at photography. I have no interest in doing it professionally but for as many photos as I share both here and on Instagram, I want to make my content the best it can be.

My dirty little secret is that even though I’ve been carrying a camera with me on a near-daily basis for the last 20+ years (I was always the person in school who took photos of all my friends and got doubles printed at the 1 hour developer to hand out), my process was very point-and-shoot. Capturing moments was more important than mastering the specific settings — and my camera was always set to auto.

Finally, on Saturday I blocked out an entire day to shoot new photos for Branch. I’ve never taken a full day off before to take photos — everything was always rushed. We had an ice storm and the sun was setting quickly. I had a few more flat lays to shoot but the lighting was overcast and shadowy. In desperation, I turned the camera settings to manual, adjusted the ISO and in that minute of fiddling, my photos got infinitely better.

The settings weren’t even that difficult to master — I’d just never given myself the time to explore them.

It’s a bit embarrassing to realize it took so little to make such a big improvement.

My suggestion for you is to think about what you want to master this year….and then actually give yourself the time to do it. No rushing. No set outcomes. Just pure exploration.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: not everything you do needs to have an outcome tied to business growth / money growth / more followers. Creativity, whether it’s nurturing your photography, art, design or writing can be done solely to fuel your soul, no audience necessary.

I’ve found that when you let up and remove the pressure, the outcome is so much better.

What’s your creative goal for 2017?