You Make My Dreams Come True: Adventures In Europe!

Nubby Twiglet | Charlotte Thomson Morley

The last three weeks of my life have been spent on an epic European adventure, hopping from London to Berlin to Amsterdam and then back to London again. Though I’m sad to see it all come to an end, this video is a great reminder of all the fun that was had in each city. Cheers to a good old summer adventure, cheers to BFFs and cheers to dancing like no one is watching. Enjoy!


Illustration: Charlotte Thomson-Morley.
Video: Gala Darling.

Little Lessons #9: Fight The Fear

Nubby Twiglet | Little Lessons: Fight The Fear

I flew into Amsterdam mid-week, a quick flight from Berlin. There’s nothing better than exploring Europe in the summer. As I walked down the streets mid-day, taking in all the (new to me) sights, the words tumbled out. I said,”I never thought I’d have the chance to visit Holland” to Kat and Gala without much thought.

But, on our winding walk home down the cobblestone streets, the significance hit me: I’d been dreaming of traveling the world since my early 20s and now, it was finally happening. At the time though, I still remember how it felt very much out of reach. I was always in school or working full time and I never had the time off or the budget. I still quietly dreamed, even though the life I wanted felt very far away.

All those years ago, I dreamed of a lifestyle melded together with various freedoms which to me, were very specific. This lifestyle meant choosing the clients I wanted to work with (instead of spending 6 months on a corporate campaign I was assigned to), traveling the world with friends (even if it meant mixing business with pleasure), buying a home that I could decorate however I wanted (with no beige walls or carpet in sight like my rental) and feeling confident enough to just be myself (which can be more challenging than it seems).

I’d stand at the cash register or sit at the desk of whichever job I was working and read the blogs of people I thought had “made it” based on my internalized ideal lifestyle list. I wanted what they had but the truth was, there was a wall of fear holding me back from that life. I just hadn’t quite figured that part out yet.

I knew it wasn’t impossible to get that life — people were already hiring me for the design work I wanted to do and I was slowly finding ways to travel more, even if it was just a state away. But, the fear always crept up like a sneaky road block. What if I quit all of my outside work and didn’t make enough money to pay my mortgage? What if I was traveling the world but got lost and my cell phone didn’t work? What if the clients I wanted stopped coming to me and I had to go back to office life? What if…? There were so many excuses and they were like a broken record…they never seemed to stop. There was so much fear.

What was the tipping point? It wasn’t any one day or moment. It was more of a feeling that the clock was ticking and it was up to me to create the life I wanted — nobody else was going to show up and do it for me. After talking with friends and peers I admired, I realized that everyone feels that same fear when faced with big changes. It wasn’t unusual; they just didn’t let it get in the way like I did.

Once I affirmed that I was going to give it my all and find a way to do my own thing, I knew there was no turning back. Failure wasn’t an option. By dedicating myself to the path I knew was right, I became infinitely happier and felt more free. A year into fully committing to doing things my way, I’ve never felt better. My life is far from perfect — even when I’m visiting a cool city like Amsterdam, what you don’t see is that I’m taking Skype calls with clients at 9 pm and waking up at 6 am to finish off a round of work before exploring the city.

In retrospect, I actually work harder now but as cliché as it sounds, it’s work I love so much that it never feels that way. That’s the difference. When you let go of fear and people’s expectations of how you should live your life, you feel happier: you’re more in line with your ideal purpose, and in turn, are probably more at peace and kinder to those around you. It has a ripple effect in your life.

My advice to you is to fight that fear. We all have it.
It’s just a matter of letting go and seeing what happens.


Photo taken on my lunch break from teaching at The Blogcademy in Amsterdam yesterday.
Check out even more Little lessons posts right here.

The Week In Pictures: 8.2.14 | Hello From Holland!

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

Hello from Holland! How was your week?

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

Let’s back up a bit…I spent the first half of my week in Berlin (and I’m already dying to go back) but that’s a topic for another post because I literally have a few hundred photos to dig through! I have a Berlin travel post coming very soon but in the meantime, I’ve been hanging out in Amsterdam for the last few days. And boy, it’s been quite the adventure!

The highlight of my trip to Amsterdam so far has been visiting Inntel Hotel (see above) which features the facade of 70 traditional Dutch-style houses. Completely insane!

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

Of course, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without visiting the canals that wind through the city. Many have baskets of flowers hanging nearby and are lined with parked bicycles.

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

After strolling along the canals, I stopped into the world famous flower markets. It was interesting to see such a variety of blooms, many that I don’t come across in America.

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

When I travel, I tend to skip the tourist filled main streets for the side alleys — there always tends to be great cafes, street art and shops lining them.

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

One thing that gets overshadowed by all the other Amsterdam “must-sees” are the amazing doors. This one in particular grabbed my attention — that’s one serious door knocker, don’t you think?!

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

I once heard a fact that 1/3 of all the inhabitants of Amsterdam own a bike. After spending a few days here, I believe it. There are often groups of a few hundred clustered in parking lots at the train station and it’s quite the sight — I’ll share more photos soon.

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

These are a few odds and ends from my European travels. I found a photo booth in Berlin (there are TONS of original ones from the 60s scattered around town), picked up a rad coaster at a cafe and nabbed this classic necklace at Zara in Amsterdam.

Nubby Twiglet | Hello From Holland

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’ll be teaching with The Blogcademy in Amsterdam over the next two days, flying to London on Monday and New York on Tuesday so the next few days are packed. Enjoy yourselves and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xo

Link Love: 7.31.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

Nubby Twiglet | Camille Walala

• The simple truth about how to get booked up and sell stuff.

This typeface defined the 1980s…but you’ve probably never heard of it.

• A hilarious Pinterest board of things that don’t need to exist.

• Got a job interview coming up? Here’s 20 questions to ask or be ready to answer!

20 signs that you’re succeeding in life, even if you don’t feel like you are.

• Are you suffering from a case of internet outrage?

• I love this post: Everything is wonderful. Everything is terrible.

• Joy Cho shares her thoughts on the changing world of blogging.

• Between 1935 and 1938, Berenice Abbott snapped photographs of various streets and storefronts across New York. Check out what’s still intact today.

• If something isn’t working for you, stop torturing yourself. Just stop doing it!

• How to ride a bike in a skirt.

• The Fresh Exchange shares the tools that are in their blog’s productivity toolbox.

• For your next design comp, why not use social good ipsum and give it a compassionate spin?

• It’s time to kick those excuses to the curb.

• J. Crew recently introduced XXXS sizing. Is this vanity sizing at its most extreme or just a case of catering to new international markets?

• Female entrepreneurs offer advice on conquering 7 career roadblocks.

• The daily schedules of creative geniuses.


Photo: Camille Walala.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

Latest & Greatest #28: H&M Home | Summer 2014

Nubby Twiglet | H&M Home Summer 2014

I just celebrated my five year anniversary as a homeowner and what I’ve learned so far is that shortcuts are hard to come by — decorating a home is not quick or easy.

I’m all for any budget-friendly pieces I can find to dress up rooms. Paint, furniture and curtains go a long way but then it’s time to zoom in on the details and add those finishing touches. I’ve been really loving the H&M Home selection lately. It’s nice to try out home decor trends without breaking the bank — I’m especially a fan of the marbled pieces.

Nubby Twiglet | H&M Home Summer 2014

These are some of my current picks: 1. marbled mug, 2. wooden cutting board, 3. patterned bowl, 4. serving plate, 5. metal candle holder, 6. marbled mini plate, 7. marbled ceramic plate, 8. toothbrush holder, 9. glass vase,
10. metal container, 11. linen throw and 12. storage basket.


All items: H&M.
Check out even more Latest & Greatest columns full of my favorite new discoveries right here.

What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

The International Rose Test Garden in Portland is the most beautiful place to visit this time of year. I’m always blown away by seeing roses in hues I’ve never experienced in nature before.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

But, one corner of the garden is my absolute favorite. It switches from the expected rows of roses to massive palms and tropical plants.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

I’d just found this dress at Buffalo Exchange as the summer weather finally hit — the strappy back made it the perfect choice for an unseasonably hot day. Green and royal purple are two colors I normally wouldn’t pair but it somehow worked on this dress.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

A mix of bodycon silhouettes, palms prints and stripes feel right for summer:

1. Topshop playsuit, 2. ModCloth dress, 3. Topshop dress, 4. ModCloth dress, 5. Heavenly wedges, 6. Norma Kamali swimsuit, 7. Tibi dress, 8. ModCloth dress and 9. Topshop peplum top.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Tropical Stripes

I’m busy exploring Europe right now and absolutely loving it (Berlin is pretty much the coolest place I’ve ever been) but at the same time, I’ll be glad to get back to Portland and soak up the rest of summer there — it’s my favorite time of year to rediscover all my favorite places across the city like the Rose Garden.


I wore: Buffalo Exchange dress (secondhand) and Marc by Marc Jacobs sneaker wedges.
Photos: Joey Maas.

The Week In Pictures: 7.25.14 | Summer In London Part 2

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

I’ve been to London a few times before but it’s never been as beautiful as this. The weather was great all week and in between teaching two classes, I spent plenty of time exploring the city. One place I ended up visiting multiple times was the new Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. With a photo booth in the lobby, a restaurant that felt like it was right out of Berlin in the 70s and a killer deejay, it ended up turning into our home away from home.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

I picked up some treasures along the way: Charbonnel et Walker truffles, a drink coaster and flyer from Hoi Polloi, Dyptique lipbalm from Selfridges and branded ribbon from a stationery shop.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the housewares floor of Liberty. They had a bunch of these amazing Chad Wys paintings.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

The flowers inside the lobby of Liberty are always so beautiful.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Also, if you walk along the backside of The Ace, there’s a place tucked in there called That Flower Shop. How great is this sign?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

When visiting London, I never pass up an opportunity to get a touristy snapshot in front of the red phone booths. ;)

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

On Thursday night, we hosted a mixer for The Blogcademy at a venue called The Roost. This was my view from the second floor, red scooter and all.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Since I’m normally working from home and wearing a uniform of black skinny jeans and a t-shirt, I love any excuse to dress up. These were our mixer looks.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

The inside of The Roost was insane! Each room had a different theme including wallpaper patterns. We spent the night sipping rhubarb and rosemary cocktails, making new friends, hanging out in the photo booth and dancing to Rebbie Jackson (Centipede is our new favorite tune).

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Seriously, check out this room! I’ll be sharing a lot more photos in an upcoming post.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

I just landed Berlin and am signing off to get ready for an early morning of teaching tomorrow. Have a great weekend!