Fear and The Mountain

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Most of us have fears lurking just beneath the surface.

Some are totally rational.

But others? Completely irrational.

One of mine is extreme heights. When I’m in an enclosed space like an elevator, in a plane or taking in the view from the top of a tall building, I’m fine. I feel safe when there are walls, windows or a guard rail. But on the occasions when there’s not? I imagine myself looking over the edge, losing my balance and falling. Forever.

Fears can hold us back from living fully and enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences and that’s what bothers me the most. I don’t want to miss out because fear gets in the way, only to look back and wonder “What if I’d just tried?”

A few months back in Morocco, I was faced with my worst fear, made it through and am much stronger because of it. I hope this story inspires you to do the same.

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

August in Marrakech is no joke: the temperature on this trip wavered between 105 and 110 degrees every. We awoke early for breakfast and got ready for the day ahead: our Dar Jaguar itinerary mentioned that we’d be visiting a waterfall. I got camera-ready in a long black dress, false eyelashes and gold sneaker wedges and grabbed my purse. We piled into a big van, heading towards the Ourika Waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains.

As the van pulled up an hour and a half later, I hopped out, scanning the area for the waterfall. We darted across a rickety bridge and were told by a guide that the waterfalls were a 20 minute hike away. “No big deal,” I thought.

We weaved up the side of the mountain and soon, my nerves started kicking in. After awhile, there was no visible trail as a local guide led us over large rocks. By then, I’d turned into the annoying kid in the car on family trips that you hated sitting next to:

“Are we there yet?”
“How much further do we need to go?”

It had less to do with the hike and more to do with me: I didn’t have the confidence that I’d make it based on the height we’d climbed to. Damn irrational fears!

After climbing over more rocks, we were faced with the ultimate test: a metal ladder, completely vertical, was attached to the side of a boulder. To get to the next part of the hike, I’d need to climb the rungs one by one, then hit a foothold with one foot and reach out an arm to be hoisted up. If I missed it, I’d fall 20 feet straight down. Even though the group in front of us made it up easily, I imagined the worst.

I was shaking from fear and asked the guide if we could turn back. “Once you get past the ladder, we are nearly to the waterfall and the path back down is much shorter and easier. We’re almost there.”

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Bottom line: this was it. There was no other way to go. I eyed the rungs, looked forward and stepped carefully, slowly, intentionally. I made eye contact with the guide at the top, gracefully hopped up and looked down: I’d made it. I was fine.

Shortly after that, we made it to the waterfall. Being thousands of feet up the side of the mountain, spotting monkeys and taking in a view I could only dream of put things in perspective: if I could do this, all those little roadblocks in my day-to-day life were minuscule in comparison.

Im sure most of the people we passed on the way up viewed this expedition as just another day. For me, it was a big shake-up in the best possible way. Since my time on the mountain, I’ve had plenty of bad days at work: mis-printed files, cancelled projects, stressful deadlines, you name it. The difference is that when those things happen now, I think back to that day I unexpectedly hiked up to 8,000 feet and made it.

Nubby Twiglet | Fear and The Mountain

Fear is a funny thing. It can slowly build into a big monster and hold you back. Life doesn’t care what you’re scared of. When you least expect it, you may find yourself in circumstances where you have no choice but to overcome it. And, you will.

Once you’re on the other side, you’ll realize….it wasn’t so bad.

The payoff from that is immense.

You’ve released the invisible shackles.

And then, you can do anything.


For more Morocco posts, check out The Mini Guide To Marrakech, What I Wore in Marrakech and The Week + Links in Morocco.

Photos by Shell De Mar Photography.

Special thanks to Dar Jaguar for putting together this epic itinerary and listening to my whining on the way up. Haha.

Getting Creative with Very Very V

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

As this year winds down, there’s one personal project I’m extra excited about: Very Very V. It’s turned into something much bigger than a course and is a chance to explore design concepts for my ideal vision of a brand.

When Erika and I started working on this business a year ago, it was because we were both seeking a creative outlet not attached to a dollar amount, client expectations or a deadline.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

We wondered: what would happen if we threw out the pressure of delivering content by a certain date and instead, experimented like style-obsessed mad scientists who worshipped Diana Vreeland?

We took our time, allowed ideas to blossom and in the meantime, began sharing personal anecdotes on our mailing list along with black, red and pink-filled graphics over on Instagram.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

Each week, VVV blossoms bit by bit and we’ve moved beyond just a course. That will happen eventually but there’s talks of something so much bigger than just that: a community — a place for women who want to hone their voice and visuals. Over time, there will be products. This is just the beginning.

Nubby Twiglet | Getting Creative with Very Very V

As Very Very V continues to grow, I hope it inspires women to tell their stories honestly and fully, dress exactly the way they want, express themselves visually and be unafraid to go big.

VVV_VROOM_MOCKUP_3

If you want to keep up with VVV, you can join the mailing list and grab Vroom, a free style guide with stories to get you inspired right here.

The Week + Links: 11.11.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

How’s everyone feeling as this week comes to a close? I’m ready for a long, quiet weekend at home with plenty of cuddling with Chubs as well as a trip to the Portland Art Museum. The Warhol exhibit is on right now and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. Have you been? I can’t wait to look at more of his work up close and get away from the weight this week post-election has brought.

The last few days have been full of introspection and also full of reaching out to friends, clients and family members to let them know that we’re all in this together. I will always believe that we’re better together.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Take care of yourselves and I hope you enjoy the list of links below — it’s a big one this week!

Photos: 1. Spotted this rad paint job in Venice Beach last weekend. 2. This New York Magazine cover showed up in my mailbox pre-election. 3. My designer Sam surprised me with this Barbara Kruger postcard and made my week. Love her art!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• If you’re looking for ways to give back, these organizations need your help now more than ever.

4 ways to fight for routine when life feels out of control.


• The man behind the classic AOL “You’ve Got Mail” voice is now an Uber driver in Ohio!

• If you’re thinking of collaborating on a project, read this post of tips from RowanMade.

• Im so inspired by what Joanna Waterfall is doing with Yellow Conference and she shares a step-by-step process of how to move from idea to execution.


Gala’s post about what we can do now post-election is fantastic.

• That sudden moment when Facebook tells you that you’re dead? Yep, it just happened.

• Designers, it’s time to get paid what you’re worth.

• Interestingly enough, many online retailers are moving towards opening brick and mortar stores.

• I admire Paul Jarvis because he’s never afraid to just be himself.

Wear a safety pin as a symbol showing the vulnerable that you’re with them in solidarity.

• David Bowie, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen are with us in spirit to help navigate through the darkness.

• The 21 best documentaries from the 21st century everyone should see.

• A look back at the NY Times profile of the Notorious B.I.G. from 1994.

• I love Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope’s letter to America.

• What would happen if we all chose love over fear?

Creative Chronicles: Do It For The Love

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Do It For The Love

Create because it makes you feel whole.

Not everything you do needs to generate income or have a defined end goal. I want to remind you that it’s okay to do something sheerly for the reason that you love it.

Everywhere I look, I see pushes from internet marketers promising big monetary results and massive increases in social followers. If that’s what you want, cool. At the same time, it’s okay to not actively seek these things. There should be room in your life for fun. For creation. For experimentation.

As I go about my day online and on apps, I’m swamped by opt-ins, lists to join, social media strategies and sales funnels. I have a pretty good understanding of these areas but even though I know what’s possible and what I could do to make more use of these tools in my own online spaces, I am a firm believer in only sharing content when it feels authentic, helpful or brings joy. Plain and simple.

Here’s what I believe when it comes to sharing and promotion online:

1. Authenticity and personal stories will go further than any pre-cooked sales campaign.

2. Newsletters are great when you have something valuable to say or something helpful to give away.

3. Not everything you create needs to be shared for some kind of gain, whether that’s followers or dollars.

4. People want to connect with the real you. The good, the bad and the ugly make who you are and only sharing a highlight reel keeps them at an arm’s length.

5. Not everything you do needs to be attached to a sales pitch. It’s okay to have a place online that’s simply a home for you to be creative.

In these times of uncertainty, create because it fuels you. If the end goal is that it makes you feel better, then you’ve already accomplished all you need to.

What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

Heads-up: This is not going to be a typical outfit post because this week has been a tough one for so many of you, for me and for the world. Over the weekend, I was hopeful and still on a post-Designer Vaca creative high. Then, Tuesday night happened and there’s a lot on my mind.

I had so much faith that we were better together, only to wake up the next morning feeling sick but knowing I had to show up to work. A tweet I came across on 11/9, the day after the election said, “WWMOD? (What would Michelle Obama Do?) She’d get up, She’d get dressed. She’d go high. And hug someone.” I love that so much.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

We’re all entitled to our personal beliefs and we should exercise them every four years. I take voting very seriously but it took a wake-up call to get me there. Back in the Fall of 2000, I’d just started college. I was old enough to vote that time around but did not. I remember my writing teacher saying, “If you didn’t vote in this election, you can’t complain about the outcome.” I registered to vote after that.

I’ve always lived in a liberal pocket of the country and I’m aware it is a bubble. Right now, I know that somehow I’ll be okay but I feel afraid, scared and anxious about changes that could effect people of color, the disabled and the GLBTQ community. At the same time, this is an opportunity to fight harder for them and donate money and creative services to causes that support active change.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

During these uncertain times, I choose to believe in love, compassion and creativity. I choose to believe that we can all make a difference for good. I also know that when things don’t go our way, anger and grieving are normal. And then, it’s time to get to work. As Tina Fey says, “I’m unstoppable because I don’t know how to stop.”

I’ve never been overly political in this space because I believe we each have the right to our views but change won’t happen if we sit here silently. This is the time to speak up.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

When I took these photos while out exploring Palm Springs with Joey last week, the world felt lighter. We drove past this wall of flowers growing through a chainlink fence and I fell in love with scenery. Right now, like many of you, I’m holding onto those small moments of beauty, knowing that there are many if you take the time to look around you.

I also want to say that as a creative, whether you’re a designer, artist, photographer, writer, shop owner, blogger….whatever you do, know that your work has meaning, what you do has significance. Use your talents to make a difference. You’re never alone — I believe in you.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: All Black in Palm Springs

I wore: Dress, Nasty Gal. Boots, Populaire.

The Week + Links: 11.6.16

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

THE WEEK

Hey guys, I missed you! After many days away from my computer and work, I’m back at the office, catching up on emails, texts, magazines, projects and definitely feeling the post-vacation blues. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I was at Designer Vaca in Palm Springs — and this year was better than ever.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

Like a lot of you, between work and family I don’t have a lot of free time to go out and connect with many new people at once so I like the focus of specific events that can bring us together in one place to bond for a few days. While I’ve never enjoyed the overt pressure of more classic networking events, I LOVE Designer Vaca because it focuses on authentic connection and has a sense of community that prides itself on lifting teach other up, not competing.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

This year, I’ve been in the midst of many transitions with my business and that’s normal after 3 years of going full-speed ahead. I walked away after those 3 days with the clarity I needed, a bunch of new friends and the momentum to make the changes I’d been mulling over as soon as possible.

That sounds like a lot to happen in just a few days but when you get away from your day-to-day life, take a break from the noise of the internet and focus 100% on being in the moment, everything you need starts to appear because you’ve given it room to actually happen.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

While I had a bundle of big lightbulb moments, sometimes the littlest ones are just as meaningful. On our final night, I brought in s’mores making supplies and a group of us sat around a fire pit at the Ace Hotel, roasting marshmallows, breaking apart chocolate bars and grahams and just chatting about life. It reminded me how important it is to stay open and share who you are — because being genuine and vulnerable means that like-minded people have the opportunity to bond with the real you.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

I know how hard it can be to open up and be comfortable in social situations, especially big groups. I’m a huge introvert and look forward to any day on my schedule that allows me to be by myself in my office for a solid 8 to 10 hours. Flipping the switch to your social side and engaging with people you don’t know can be exhausting! The thing is, it doesn’t feel so monumental if you just show up as you are. What I’ve realized over the last 5 years of attending Designer Vaca is that we are all struggling with the same things. We are more alike than we are different.

If you’re unsure about where to go in your life or career, remember this: being more of who you are brings in more opportunities.

That’s the most refreshing thing of all.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

THE LINKS

David Bowie’s reading list of his 75 favorite books is eclectic and awesome!

• I can’t get enough of the most iconic Halloween costumes of 2016.

• Never be so busy that you don’t have time to celebrate in your business. Taking time off to recharge and have fun is so important.

• New York City just became the first city in the US to protect freelance worker rights against client non-payment. Yay!

• I love this behind the scenes look at what it takes to make a compelling magazine cover. The examples and stories of the New York Times Magazine are so interesting.

25 famous women talk about what it’s like to deal with anxiety and depression.

• The error page on Hillary Clinton’s site made me laugh — this has been me sooooo many times!

• If you want to learn more about how climate change is affecting us all, watch the National Geographic documentary Into The Flood. Truly scary stuff.

• More and more female breast cancer survivors are saying no to reconstructive surgery and implants and saying yes to going flat.

• What does it take to build a business that lasts?

• OMG, I love this so much. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are regular dining companions and will be hosting a show together on VH1. Yes!

• Sabeena Karnik makes the most beautiful paper lettering.

9 reasons why all freelancers should build an email list.

• It’s time to dump daylight savings time AND time zones for good and here’s why.

The Mini Guide to Marrakech

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

The first time I visited Marrakech two years ago, it was a quick stop-over tacked on between flights from Rome to London. I had no pre-conceived expectations whatsoever because I knew very little about this magical Moroccan city.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

Honestly, I prefer to avoiding studying up so I can experience a new locale for the first time with fresh eyes. I did just that with Marrakech and within a day, was in love with the city. Marrakech is refreshing because it’s big on tradition and doesn’t feel overly Westernized.

The Video

There’s a wonderful feeling of immersing yourself in a new culture, language and way of life that allows you to strip away your everyday routine and experience something completely new. After just 3 days in Marrakech that first time around, Kat, Gala and I knew we had to find our way back so we worked out a custom itinerary with Lucia of Dar Jaguar that allowed us to experience everything we either missed or overlooked during the previous trip.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

I usually show up to a new city without set plans. There may be a few shops, cafes and sights on my list but overall, I tend to just wander, which can be both good and bad. This trip was the exact opposite with a set itinerary…and I highly recommend it.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

Before I share some of the things we did, if you’re thinking of visiting Marrakech, read these quick tips first.

Don’t forget to….

1. Carry cash. Only some booths in the medina accept cards and anyway, with cash you can barter more easily. The good news is that if you do run out of Dirhams, there are money exchange places and ATMs around, especially near the town square.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

2. Always barter. I am used to paying the exact price I see on an item but this is not the case at all in Marrakech! Prices are usually inflated because you’re actually expected to barter.

3. Bring comfortable shoes. Whether you’re shopping your way through the souk or hiking up the side of a mountain, comfy footwear is a must.

4. Pack modest clothing. In general, Marrakech is not the place to show a lot of skin. It’s a conservative place but also very, very hot the time of year I visited so there’s a definite balance to strike. In 105 degree weather, I didn’t wear long sleeves but I did stick to long skirts and dresses. It’s always a good idea to pack a light scarf in your bag to throw over your shoulders if you begin feeling self conscious.

5. Drink plenty of water. When traveling, it’s an easy thing to overlook while you’re excitedly exploring. At least one person in our group got heat stroke…so play it safe and lug a bottle with you.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

6. Try the local cuisine. Tagine is one of the most common meals in Marrakech and consists of a slow-cooked blend of meats and spices in one pot. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to find vegetarian versions as well.

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

7. Bring an extra suitcase. I’m totally serious. Shipping can be exorbitant and trust me, you’ll find at least 20 magical carpets and lanterns to lug home. The shopping in Marrakech is on another level so don’t even bother holding back. I bought colorful handmade leather slippers for less than $10.00 and a hand-woven wool blanket with massive pompoms for less than $40.00. There are treasures scattered across thousands of booths!

Nubby Twiglet | Mini Guide to Marrakech

8. Do a lap around the souks before making purchases. It’s easy to get caught up in a bartering session without seeing what else is out there. By then, you’ve blown your wad of Dirhams only to find something even better. Take it slow and take notes.

9. Take photos of signs. The paths inside the medina can be extremely confusing. Many don’t have signs at all. The first few times, making your way through can be really intimidating so we learned our lesson and took quick snaps at main areas to reference on our way out.

10. Find free wifi in the town square. Cell service is super expensive in Marrakech so when we were out for the day, we searched out cafes with free wifi and surprisingly, many had it. My favorite place was Nomad.

11. Watch out for scooters. The pathways throughout the medina are super narrow but that doesn’t stop mules, motor scooters and pedestrians from sharing the tiny spaces. Stay alert!

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