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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The Week + Links: 10.29.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

I hope you had a good week! It’s an overcast Saturday morning here in Portland and there’s so much to be excited about and thankful for.

1. Picture Perfect. I switched over to Samsung cameras a few years back after two of my friends swore by them. One of my just-for-fun daily hobbies is taking photos and I finally upgraded my older model to the Samsung NX500. I am already loving it. If you need a stylish, compact DSLR that comfortably fits into your purse but has the photo quality of much larger cameras, this is for you.

2. Vacation Anticipation. This Fall has been much busier than I expected so I’ve been feeling lower energy than usual. A mini break is needed and I am excited to get some relaxation time in Palm Springs next week. No matter how packed your life feels, it’s important to slow down and take care of yourself because without your health, nothing else matters. If you’re visiting Palm Springs soon, check out my guide.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

3. Jumbo Jewels. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry but sometimes, I see a piece that stops me in my tracks like this lion’s head that is the size of a door knocker. Not for the faint of heart! It’s very….Liz Taylor. The best part? It was only $28.00!

4. Marrakech Flashbacks. I’m finally getting back into the blogging groove and feeling really excited about the content I have lined up. At the top of my list is a Marrakech recap. It’s monster-sized because there’s so much I want you to experience, from camel rides to climbing a mountain! Good times.

5. Llama Mama. Okay, so this is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever posted about but I’m now the proud mom of a beautiful white llama named Pearl! My friend Paul and his wife Lisa stopped by for dinner a few weeks ago and as a thank you, a packet arrived in the mail with llama adoption details! Their friends run the StillPointe Llama Sanctuary in Washington and I can’t wait to visit my new baby. Ha!

And with that, I’m off to get a few inches chopped off my hair. Enjoy the links below!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Before you check your phone, ask yourself this one question.

• What’s the best career advice you’ve ever gotten?

• Wow! Google Arts & Culture lets you take virtual tours of museums around the world.

• With the topsy-turvy U.S. presidential race nearing the finish line, I’ve been nervously checking The New York Times polls often since it’s updated constantly.

• These Stuart Weitzman boots designed by Gigi Hadid definitely have my heart beating a little faster. Hiking boots from the future, for real!

• What personality type are you?

• I love reading about other women’s beauty and makeup routines. Kate’s product recommendations are great.

• What’s it like running your own business as an introvert?

• This photo pillow DIY is beyond cool and features one of my all-time favorite Palm Springs houses!

• Is it actually possible to find joy in 3 seconds flat?

• I have a bar cart that needs some organization so I’m digging this post with 3 ways to style one.

• Um, you may not be able to afford a New York City brownstone for yourself but at least your cat can live in style!

• You can’t got wrong with common sense money advice.

• The 19th Amendment gave US women the right to vote and this group who remembers that iconic moment is still going strong in 2016!

What I Wore: Marrakech

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

Last month, I set foot in a place full of mystique, winding pathways overflowing with treasures and 105 degree heat: Marrakech. I visited for the first time last year with Kat and Gala knowing nothing about the place — and after a whirlwind 3 days, was madly in love with the city.

This time around, I packed a few things that were different from my usual all black style because dude, that heat is insane. No, I do not recommend traveling to Africa in August. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

Style-wise, I’ve been having a love affair with dusty desert tones and there’s a brand I can trust to always have the perfect cuts: For Love & Lemons. I got one of their dresses years ago and I remember loving its combo of style and ease, packing it along for trips from the Greek Islands to Palm Springs.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

Then, I picked up this rose look over the Summer and loved how it pushed me out of my usual style comfort zone. I also liked the cut and along with the winding floral pattern of the dress I’m wearing in these photos (sold out but from this collection). I think this dress is great too, which just I picked up for a trip next week.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

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I remember the morning these photos were taken very well. We’d been up late at a banquet dinner full of bellydancing, snake charming, henna tattooing, a live deejay and plenty of drinking the night before. I didn’t want to leave a party that epic but knew photos were happening bright and early the next day so I cut out early. Bah humbug!

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

After the sun rose and we finished breakfast on the rooftop, we walked around Dar Jaguar, a beautiful riad in the heart of the souk, posing in the most ornate nooks. There’s nothing I love more than experiencing far away places with best friends.

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Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Marrakech

More on Marrakech next week – I have so much more to share and show you!


I wore: Dress, Gracie by For Love and Lemons. Heels, Joline by Steve Madden.
Photos: Shell De Mar Photography.
Location: Dar Jaguar, Marrakech.

More Than a Pretty Picture: The Story Behind the Cover

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

Good design is great but when there’s a great story behind it, that layer of depth makes it even better.

This cover Rock n Roll Bride is my favorite yet because of the story inside. Of course, the couple is beautiful and photogenic. What you can’t see is that the bride, Jaquie had been wheelchair-bound for the 8 years prior to her wedding day after a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

After a year dedicated to intense physical therapy and countless hours spent at the gym, she surprised the audience at her ceremony by not only walking down the aisle but dancing the night away. As my designer Sam and I were laying out the cover, I thought a lot about how too many magazines focus on putting models and unattainable ideals on their covers instead of real people with amazing stories that can inspire us to strive for more in our own lives.

When I read an article or blog post, I want the grit, I want the comeback story and I want the passion. I want to feel like maybe the seemingly impossible is somehow possible, that whatever setback there is can be overcome, even when I’ve heard otherwise.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

The timing of this cover really hit home because my cousin’s surgery had complications and he hasn’t been able to walk since. It’s been a very difficult time and this cover and story is a reminder that anything is possible. This year has been a tough one for many people I know and perhaps you, too. Working on a magazine dedicated to real weddings and love always leaves me feeling good about those happy moments in the world.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

If you’d like to pick up a copy of issue 11, you can have it shipped straight to your doorstep!

This post is a reminder that sometimes, all you need is love.

The Week + Links: 10.22.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s a beautiful, crisp, cool Saturday and I’m eating oatmeal while listening to inspiring talks by Oprah on Youtube (love her voice!) and tying up a bunch of loose ends before leaving for Palm Springs and Designer Vaca in a week. I’ve been excited all month as the anticipation builds — if you’ve never been and would like to attend next year, here’s my post about what to expect.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I know this has been a difficult month for a lot of folks, myself included so the allure of connecting with new and old friends, getting in plenty of pool time, wearing this dress and getting a night in at The Avalon to relax sounds like the perfect opportunity to reset for the rest of this year.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• These are the 5 best places to travel to alone.

• What happens when one of the best ballerinas decides to give it all up?

• 100 women in tech to follow on Twitter.

• I love these tips on curating your Instagram account.

• One of Michelle Obama’s biggest accomplishments in the White House has been this amazing garden.

• Paul Jarvis has a great mindset on growth and success within a business.

• There are still so many places in Palm Springs left to discover and The Amado looks like a pretty sweet place to stay!

• DIY Rainbow gold bath bombs? Yes, please!

• I love the colors, patterns and everything else about this new project from Cocorrina.

• Kodak is going back to its roots with a refresh of one of its most iconic logos. So good!

• Am I the only one that gets immense satisfaction out of a well-designed menu?

• I’ve been watching a lot of Oprah’s Lifeclass episodes while I work and especially love this one all about cultivating your inner self and this one about something I strongly believe: when you know better, you do better.

• Wow! The universe has 10 times more galaxies than we originally thought!

• Translating the Harry Potter books is not an easy undertaking.

External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

I’ve been thinking a lot about the intense pull of external validation. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush of flattering comments and likes…but what impact does that actually have on our daily lives and well-being?

I’ve been on social media a lot less over the last month and the initial pang of guilt has broken through to feeling more content. The premise behind the shift is simple: if you’re not constantly peering into the lives of others, it’s easier to focus on your own.

Gratitude feels intensified when you cut out the noise. When you’re not being bombarded with things you probably don’t need, places you’ve never been and people you’ve never even met, it’s possible to focus on the here and now and feel really good about where YOU are at. Of course, the internet and social media have immense benefits but I’m also aware that too much time immersed outside of reality can have negative effects.

It’s so funny to think back to the much more quaint times of the 90s. I’ve always been a magazine junkie and I remember constantly hearing that the imagery in fashion magazines could have a drastically negative effect on teen girls. I always laughed it off because I never thought of the editorials I was seeing as “real life.” It was a fantasy world created within the confines of a set. Its felt very glamorous…and very distant.

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

Now though, things are different. The effects from platforms like Instagram feel intensified because we’re not just peering into curated content from a media outlet — these are real images being posted by real folks, often in somewhat real time so the FOMO (fear of missing out) hits harder. This isn’t some fantasy world but something we can internalize as feeling that if we had the right [talent, looks, house, location, bank account, whatever] that we could achieve the same outcome, as well.

After pulling back and spending more time in reality, here’s what I realized: I really like my life the way it is. I’m happy and comfortable and know what I was put on this earth to do. There’s not much I would ever consider changing. So…why is the need for external validation still there?

Sometimes, when I start scrolling through Instagram, my contentment fades away to envy. It’s uncomfortable. Last week, I discovered a brilliant designer on Instagram. I scrolled and scrolled and instead of closing out the app on a high note, I was left with the dreaded feeling of wanting to redo my entire portfolio.

These feelings suck because they take us further away from what we’re meant to do and instead, deeper into the abyss of thinking about what we could do instead. Isn’t internal validation much more fulfilling, though? The feeling of creating for creation’s sake is so much more powerful than a bunch of likes.

The way I’d been feeling was confirmed when I saw this tweet from GOMisakiGO:

“I just sat back and suddenly thought, how ridiculous it is to go through lengths and hard work just to make someone hit ‘like’.”

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

If you’re fighting those “I’m not good enough” feelings, here are 5 tips:

1. Examine what’s going on in your own world

This is pretty simple: when you’re fixated on something, ask yourself why. When I discover someone’s design portfolio and then feel terrible about my own work, it’s because I wish I had more time to share my own projects. Remember, it’s never really about them. It’s all about you and your projections.

2. Extreme curation isn’t real life

Everyone has problems. Everyone has bad days. This is common sense but when you’re scrolling through a highlight reel of their best moments, it’s easy to forget. Nobody wants to share the dirty details of getting fired, getting into fights, bad friendship fall-outs…it’s personal and it’s not pretty.

3. Realign negative energy to fuel a positive outcome

When you truly want to achieve something, seeing other people that have already made it can inspire you to make it happen. Complement them on their achievements and use their successes as motivation for your own. That feels so much better.

4. Detox by unfollowing

Are you following people you’re endlessly curious about for all the wrong reasons? Unfollow, once and for all. Forgot about it and move on. You have a limited amount of time on this planet so make the most of it.

5. Immerse yourself in time with family and friends

Last night, I went out for a drink with my dad and as we sat in a beautiful, mostly empty bar having a great conversation, I thought about how great it was to be out in the world interacting and exploring versus hiding behind a phone or computer, peeking into someone else’s world. Life is for living, not perfecting and curating.

The Bottom Line

Achieving something on your own terms and creating for the sake of being creative hold so much more potency than racking up likes. That hit of validation wears off 10 seconds later but what you’ve created has lasting positive effects.

What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about external validation.

The Week + Links: 10.15.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

All week, we’ve been hearing of a monster sized storm making its way to Portland and the last few days have been extra windy and rainy. We’re stocked up on basics just in case and I’m catching up on a few things at the office today because there’s a good chance the power could go out.

This week hasn’t been an easy one — I’ve been mostly staying offline, trying to focus on keeping up with a tangle of print, branding and web projects while staying in touch with my family since my cousin Matt has had some complications with his surgery.

Yesterday afternoon, right as I was packing up for the weekend and sending my designer home, I got an urgent call that Matt wasn’t doing so well. I made my way up to the hospital in some of the worst weather I’ve seen in ages and walked in to see him hooked up to so many tubes and devices I couldn’t quite believe it.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

In that moment, I appreciated modern technology, the kindness of doctors and nurses and realized how insignificant what I do is compared to what they do. It takes a special mindset, strength and drive to work in a hospital day after day, knowing that people’s lives can shift at any second, doing your best to keep them stabilized and comfortable.

The silver lining is that my grandparents stayed the night at my house so they could be closer to the hospital and I did get a chuckle out of them sleeping in my black-walled bedroom and using our freshly remodeled bathroom, complete with banana leaf print wallpaper. I took them to the coffee shop this morning and offered to buy them fancy lattes but they stuck with their usual drip coffee. Awww.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This month hasn’t been an easy one but I’m staying focused on moving forward, getting through projects and making time to visit Matt before we leave for Palm Springs in 2 weeks. Here’s hoping everything levels out soon.

The wind is really starting to pick up now and I’m afraid of losing power….so I’m signing off for now. Have a good weekend!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Photos: 1. I may have found the perfect black boots. They’re by a brand called Populaire, on sale for a great price, have a slight platform in the front so it doesn’t feel like you’re walking on the ball of your foot, aren’t too narrow, pull on so there’s no hardware to get broken and the heel is just chunky enough to make them comfortable. SCORE!

2. I’m wrapping up issue 11 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine and after redesigning many of the layouts, it’s gonna be so cool to finally see it in print.

3. It’s getting cold enough to pull out this spruce colored faux fur jacket. YES!

4. My spare room has been redone for a year now and still love it, especially this bust I found at Home Goods for $15.00!

THE LINKS

• It’s possible to make a to-do list that actually helps you get everything done.

• 5 reasons why one of the best pastry chefs in the country turned his back on fine dining — and all his points are spot-on.

• How cool is this?! Salvador Dali’s surrealist cookbook is going to be republished!

• A camera drone with facial recognition is the future of selfies.

• If you’re ready to revamp your portfolio, these 8 tools can help.

•  This week, CoverGirl made history by signing on its first ever male spokesmodel!

• I totally agree that quick, easy to finish tasks build momentum in the morning.

• Why do anything? A meditation on the art of procrastination. Haha!

• Important stuff: the difference between club soda, seltzer and sparkling mineral water.

• I’m digging this roundup of 8 cool Instagram accounts, especially museum selfies!

• To grow yourself and your business, you need to get confident to make changes and banish negativity.

• These conversation topics made me laugh.