Living It Up In San Francisco At The Haunted Mansion

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

I always say that there’s nothing like a brand new set of surroundings to make you feel inspired once again. This badass Victorian house in San Francisco took that sentiment to a whole new level.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

I flew into the city by the bay last month to gear up for The Blogcademy and as my cab rolled up to the equivalent of a modern haunted mansion, I couldn’t quite believe that it was going to be my home away from home for the next few days. Coated from the rooftop all the way down to the front stoop in a pristine coat of black paint, this 1885 era beauty stood out in the best possible way. I felt as if The Munsters had matured, became very wealthy and settled in San Francisco.

While this glorious place isn’t for everyone, if you’re traveling in a group (it comfortably houses up to 4) and looking to splurge, it doesn’t get any better than this. Located in the heart of the Liberty-Hill Historic District, it’s next to loads of great coffee shops, restaurants, independent shops and bars. We barely had to leave the neighborhood the whole time we were there — and since parking is so difficult within the city limits, it was nice to have everything we needed nearby.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

In my opinion, the real showstopper of the house is the dining room. With a row of matte black lights featuring gold-toned interiors, stacks of art books, a gallery wall full of fascinating art and faux taxidermy, we did plenty of entertaining and hanging out in here. It’s no surprise that this place was voted the “best of the Bay Area” by SF Magazine in July 2012, and featured in Dwell Magazine in April 2011.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

The attention to detail that Supernatural put into this space gave me a lot of ideas for my own house — I loved that they weren’t afraid to get a little weird. Vintage glove molds, very busty salt and pepper shakers and more livened up the space.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

The room we spent the majority of our time in was the bright and airy living room which had the best sound system around. The art and furniture combinations were all a little unexpected but worked perfectly in the space — I especially loved the foot stool which resembled a jumbo ball of yarn.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

I stayed in the back office / guest room which had the most amazing book collection lining the walls. It was located right off the super modern, pure white kitchen and faced a decent-sized back yard complete with a fire pit. No shortcuts around this pad! Having a legit backyard in the city is such a luxury.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

The Lolita poster in the master bedroom was perfectly on cue. Not shown: A marble bathroom complete with a jacuzzi and walk-in closet. Yes, this house literally had everything that dreams are made of.

Nubby Twiglet | The Modern Haunted Mansion in San Francisco

If you’re looking for something special for a honeymoon, anniversary or want to explore the city in style and not be confined to a hotel room, you’ll fall in love with the perfect mix of old grandeur and new technology tucked inside this grown up goth masterpiece.


All photos: Shauna Haider.
Featured place: Exquisitely Modern and Victorian in San Francisco.

The Blogcademy: Join Us For Our Livestream From Vancouver!

The Blogcademy Live Stream

It’s time to (virtually) party!

I’m in Vancouver at the moment with The Blogcademy and today at 11 am PST, we’ll be kicking off a free livestream event. RSVP here, submit your burning questions about business and blogging and hang with us!

In between your questions, we’ll also be chatting about our new offerings including Mixers and Home School so if you’re wondering if they’re a good fit for you, now is the time to find out.

We’re going live at 11 am in California, 2 pm in New York City, 7 pm in London and 6 am (Wednesday) in New Zealand. And if you miss it, the recording will be available to watch back within a few hours of filming.

See you soon!

Stop Playing It Safe

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“You see, Siegfried and I are living a modern poem! A fairy tale…and we always want to tell the story of our lives, because it is very glamorous. It’s very eccentric, very colorful.” —Roy Horn

As soon as I got home from my trip to Chicago, a package was waiting in my mailbox. I hadn’t done any shopping while on the road so I was a bit puzzled. Ripping open the envelope, I was met with a softcover book emblazoned with a 90s-era portrait of Siegfried & Roy. It could only be from one person: Gala Darling. The week before, as we sat at the kitchen table in our Chicago rental, she read this interview aloud to me. I was transfixed.

All my life, I’ve been drawn to the eccentrics. Musicians, magicians, animal handlers, you name it. I’m intrigued by the people who aren’t afraid to go all out. There’s something inspiring watching those with a devil may care attitude ignore the status quo of what’s deemed normal to go on and live a life that others only dream of.

I’ve long admired personalities like Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor and Boy George. I love people who embrace boldness in their opinions, their personal style and their outlook on life.

When you’re a bit outlandish, people will write you off as weird. Abnormal. Crazy. Kooky. They’ll snicker behind your back. But people like Siegfried & Roy? They got the last laugh as they became the most successful entertainment act in Las Vegas history.

It’s always easier to play it safe and to be normal…but normal is boring.

When I’m at a party and meet someone who’s an eccentric, I immediately gravitate towards them because I know that they’re going to have the best stories. They live full lives because they’re busy gallivanting around on far-flung adventures, not letting the fear of judgement get in their way. The experiences they’re having are much too interesting for them to stop and update their Facebok status with what they had for lunch.

Here’s to the eccentrics, the people that dare to dream a little bigger; that aren’t afraid of what’s around the corner but instead welcome it. We need more of them in the world. Next time, instead of playing it safe, ask yourself how you can go bigger and bolder. If you hold yourself back from who you really are and try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one.

The Week In Pictures: 6.6.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello from Vancouver! I arrived in Canada last night, went out to dinner with Kat and Gala at a very kitschy diner full of amazing hand painted signs and then promptly settled into bed. #partyanimal

With all this traveling lately, my time at home has been one big catch-up session. I do feel that no matter how full your days are, you need to find time for adventures. My personal motto is “work hard and play hard” and I try to flex it as often as possible!

I love hanging out with my dad because he’s spontaneous and up for anything. He’s always been that way, taking my brother and I on the road as teenagers when he called on accounts (he’s a salesman), taking us to our favorite outdoor festivals and rock concerts and even dropping me off at the goth club when my car broke down (wait, that was only six months ago).

On Saturday, he took me to the Schoolhouse sample sale and we walked out with piles of amazing light fixtures.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

We finished up at the sale quite fast. But, knowing my dad, he had other plans in mind — it was too early to just go home. Instead, we went to the CityFair along the waterfront. I texted Gala “If you were here with me, we’d be trying out the Super Slide right now.”

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Back to Schoolhouse — I love the old factory building they’re housed in, with its extra high ceilings. I’m always so inspired by their displays.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Once we were finished with Schoolhouse and the CityFair, we made our way through downtown Portland. Choosing to walk instead of drive, I felt like I was rediscovering my hometown. Vintage signs, storefronts, shops and this great tiled floor all called out to me. “Dad, you’re still in my photo!” Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

After some shopping and epic vegan treat tasting, we did some bar hopping. First, a stop at Paddy’s, then some gourmet popcorn obsessing at Clyde Common and finally, a stop at the real show-stopper of the evening, Jackknife.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

If you’re visiting Portland, you MUST stop by this bar! It’s outfitted with black wallpapered walls accented with gold fans, a dark wood bar, a secret room that doubles as a photo booth (you can jump and dance in it!), massive oil paintings and velvet couches. SO GOOD.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

They always say that the best inspiration hits when you leave your office and ain’t that the truth! Have a great weekend, everyone. I’ll be exploring and teaching in Vancouver. And, if you’d like to join us at The Blogcademy this weekend, there’s a few spots left! xo

Link Love: 6.5.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

Nubby Twiglet | Fashionable Selby

• Yes, I unfriended you. Don’t take it personally!

• Take the time to repurpose old content from your blog. Here’s why you should.

• An interesting look at the Meatpacking District’s past life before the fancy restaurants and boutiques took over.

• Take back your weekend. Sundays are for fun!

• Make over your vintage aluminum lawn chairs!

• Getting fired may end up being the best thing ever.

• Preach on, sista! Embrace imperfection.

10 professional resume templates that you can customize and make your own right away!

• How to make waffled donuts. Just because.

• If we were picking out company cars for The Blogcademy, I’d be tempted to indulge in this pair of vintage Fiats.

• 6 key terms that every graphic designer should know.

• I had no idea that anything like this even existed! Behold the fake rooftop towns of World War II.

• I love these closet organizing tips.

• The best parts of Leonardo da Vinci’s resumé.

• Really, how many froyo places do you really need in one city?!


Image: Fashionable Selby.

Little Lessons #7: Stop Overthinking It

Nubby Twiglet | Little Lessons: Stop Overthinking It

It’s been exactly one week since we launched Blogcademy Home School and the response so far has been enormous. I’m so glad we just went for it and didn’t overthink it.

Do you have those people in your life that seem to move quickly and do things effortlessly without ever seeming fearful or breaking a sweat?

I do. My brother, Carey has always been that way. He never overthinks things. He goes, he does, he makes things happen…and figures out the rest later. Because of that, he has friends all over the world, juggles multiple careers and has so many hobbies that it drives me crazy (if another motorcycle part shows up in our house, I’ll scream).

I’ve always admired that quality in him and at times, I’m envious of it. I’ve never been that type of person. I’ve always been more of a planner, a little quieter, a little more cautious.

Nearly two years ago, I began to break out of that mold.

It all started when I nervously hit publish on a blog post I’d spent the weekend working on. I’d taken a short break to cross the border into Washington to catch a Motley Crue and Kiss show with my brother (we showed up without tickets — remember, he’s the spontaneous one!). Afterwards, I raced home to put the finishing touches on The Blogcademy site. Stepping out on a limb before everything was perfectly prepared and publishing that post (even though I was beyond nervous) was a domino effect that changed my life for the better.

When you have a good idea, act on it. Otherwise, it loses juice and in turn, you lose momentum.

Last week, I joined Kat and Gala as we did the same exact thing with Home School. It’s true that we did do a little more planning. But, considering that there were 10 separate videos, a brand new website to build and over two dozen worksheets to produce, we moved pretty fast!

Did we know if this new format was going to be a success?
You never really know.

Did we have any idea what demand would actually be?
Not a clue.

Did we spend countless hours doing endless market research to find out?
Not at all.

The bottom line? We felt good about it so we just went for it.

I want to encourage you to stop focusing on perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. Own what you excel at and share your knowledge with the world. It’s doesn’t need to be polished to a high shine. Real and relatable is almost always better and it’s a whole lot more endearing.

Show us what you’ve got.
We’re listening and waiting.


Photo: Death to the Stock Photo.
Check out even more Little Lessons here.