The Packing Dilemma Plus a Giveaway: Win Trask Shoes!

Nubby Twiglet | The Packing Dilemma

Last year, I was on upwards of 20 separate flights. And with all that traveling, I had to learn how to pack properly.

When I first started traveling on my own in my early 20s, I’d make terrible packing decisions. I threw everything but the kitchen sink into my big red suitcase, trying to make sure I was prepared for any situation. But inevitably, I’d get to the end of my trip and realize I hadn’t worn even half of what I’d packed. My biggest sin of all became increasingly obvious with the shoes I’d drag along. Boots, wedges and heels easily took up half of my suitcase.

While I made the effort to set my ridiculous variety of shoes out and did occasionally slip them on for a few hours during a shoot or party, the rest of the time they just sat in hotel rooms, sad and unworn. I was making packing decisions that put form over function and I wasn’t doing myself (or the taxi drivers hoisting my suitcase out of their trunks) any favors.

This year, I finally got my shoe game sorted. Throughout the first few months of 2014, I packed a pair of black boots and a pair of black sneaker wedges through the winter and spring. That was easy enough but I’ve still been stumped about what to do for the summer months as a three week trip to Europe quickly approaches.

Nubby Twiglet | The Packing Dilemma

Enter Trask. As some of you may know, in a past life I worked at comfort shoe stores. And occasionally, this brand would pop up in conversations. I wasn’t super familiar with it since Trask had been shuttered years before but my customers consistently raved about the quality. So when Trask recently popped back up in the shoe landscape with a brand new women’s line and reached out, I was game.

I want to be stylish yet comfortable as I travel through London, Berlin and Amsterdam soon and not worry about tripping over cobblestones! The answer? Piper ballet flats. They’re lightweight, comfortable and sturdy which is my holy grail when it comes to picking out new shoes.

Nubby Twiglet | The Packing Dilemma

Along with the Pipers, I’ve rounded up some of my other travel must-haves:

1. Unique Basics. I usually stick to a palette of mostly black and white clothing so everything mixes and matches. To keep it fresh, I add in a few fun prints like this Carrie Hammer newsprint skirt. 2. Comfy shoes. Sightseeing sucks when your feet hurt! I plan on sticking to comfortable, basic ballet flats like the Piper. 3. Pencil or pen. Gotta be prepared for that next brain wave! 4. Magazines. I always have an unread stack in my office and the plane is the perfect time to get caught up. 5. Fun Jewelry. Because I pack mostly black and white clothing, I add in a few fun necklaces to liven up my looks. 6. Passport. Enough said! 7. Book. I fly through the 2 or 3 magazines I pack at warp speed but carrying more than that isn’t an option. A good paperback book lasts longer and doesn’t add much weight. 8. iPad. It’s perfect for movies on the plane and music playlists in my Air bnb pads. 9. Colorful Lipstick. I only pack the basics when it comes to makeup since cosmetics get heavy really fast. To keep things fun, I pack a few coral and orange-toned lipsticks. 10. Favorite Perfume. I finally found a signature scent! I roll it up in a sweater inside my luggage to keep it from shattering. 11. Hand Lotion. The soap in all those airport and restaurant bathrooms sucks out all the moisture. I love Grown Organics Vanilla & Orange Peel lotion. 12. Notebook. I like to make handwritten notes and lists on the go. 13. Light layers. Because the weather can change so dramatically, it’s important to layer up. I usually wear a black tank and then layer something fun like this sequin polkadot top, add a cardigan over that and then finish it off with a lightweight leather jacket.

Nubby Twiglet | The Packing Dilemma


Enter To Win

Now that I’ve got my packing sorted, I want you to have the chance to try out the Trask Piper ballet flats for yourself! One winner will receive the Piper in black lamb / calfskin in their size.

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in the comments:

What would be your dream vacation to wear these flats on?

Make sure to include your name and email so I can contact you!

The contest is open to U.S. residents only. One winner will receive a pair of Pipers in the size of their choice. The contest is open to everyone over the age of 18. You have until 11.59 pm on Thursday, June 26th, to enter. Winner will be contacted after that date via email and will have one week to email me their address to claim their prize. The prize may not be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered. Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties. No purchase necessary.

Link Love: 6.19.14


Nubby Twiglet | Lark Pom Pom Garland

15 photos of New York’s gritty subway from 1981.

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Image: Lark.

Northern Exposure: Adventures In Canada

I had so much fun exploring Canada with Kat and Gala and this video shows some of the more colorful times we had as we worked our way from Vancouver to Calgary.

Between jumping up and down in a rainbow-colored crosswalk to late night dance-offs to Mark Morrison and rocking wax vampire fangs (!!!), we definitely made our own fun. And, as the days rolled on, our antics definitely got wackier. Haha.

P.S. I am still laughing about the fact that we had to sweep up our confetti! Oh, Canada!

The Comparison Trap: Your Real Life Isn’t A Highlight Reel

Nubby Twiglet | The Comparison Trap

Whenever I’m around someone that mutters “Comparison is the thief of all joy,” I tend to roll my eyes. “I already know that and I’ve heard it a thousand times,” I think to myself. But then I realize how often I forget about it and fall back into the comparison trap.

When I look at people’s lives through their online filter, it feels like one big highlight reel. How can my real life possibly compare? I sometimes get caught up in the comparison game because as much as I love my life, it’s far from perfect. What about you?

When I really start tripping up, I have to remind myself to step back and remember that for the most part, people only share the best moments of their lives online. They’re showing the blockbuster movie trailer while leaving the mortifying moments and sad times on the cutting room floor.

I can’t really blame them. I do the same thing.

When I’m out on the road with The Blogcademy, chances are that I’m dressed up in something fun paired with a full face of makeup and perfectly straightened hair. Though I do have “work days” on the road, most of the time I’m exploring a new city, checking out the coolest shops and restaurants with two of my best friends.

The second I’m home though, I revert back to twelve hour days running Branch, Nubby Twiglet and The Blogcademy. I eat lunch at my desk and my only real break is flipping on Dr. Phil at 3 pm to keep myself entertained.

I wear the same unglam uniform every day when I’m home working — black Urban Outfitters skinny jeans, a black t-shirt from H&M and no makeup. Simple but effective. Sitting in the same place all day, there isn’t much to show so I resort to making a lot of still lifes to fill in the gaps on Instagram.

Nobody’s life is nonstop entertainment. And now that I think about it, I’ve never actually known anyone in real life who had a house that was “Pinterest perfect.”

Because it’s important to stay focused on what I’m doing in real life, I’ve developed some coping mechanisms to block out the noise:

1. Take the weekends and holidays off from social media.

Even if you have to use social media to promote your businesses (like I do), your weekends and holidays should be sacred. Over Memorial Day, Gala and I both knew that we’d have to stay home working and prescheduling blog posts while everyone else was having barbecues and camping so we made a pact to not check other people’s accounts. My productivity went through the roof because I was in the moment and not focused on what I was supposedly missing out on.

2. Accept that committing to big projects is so much more rewarding than tiny, fleeting moments.

It’s easy to look at social media and see people knocking out quick but photogenic DIY’s, rearranging their breakfasts at chic cafes and mostly sharing other people’s work.

It can feel like the cards are stacked against you, especially if you’re writing a book that’s going to take two years, working on a design project at an agency that takes six months (I’ve been there) or remodeling your house on your own (five years in, it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface).

The point is, longer projects are meant to challenge you and downright suck a lot of the time. They’re the ones that really force you to grow and learn about yourself. In the end, you’ll be much better for it.

Those quick, fleeting projects? Sometimes they’re nothing more than a form of procrastination to keep you from digging into the meatier ones you’re scared to start.

3. Remind yourself that what you see others doing is never the full story.

I always tell our Blogcademy classes that they need to stop the comparison game because they don’t really know what’s going on behind other people’s photos or blog posts. It’s never as effortless and pristine as it looks, I can promise you that. You’re not seeing the epic fails, the hilarious antics of balancing on crates to get the perfect shot or the in-between takes of a “casually arranged” still life. You’re seeing the beautifully executed final shot. The outtakes? They’ll never make it to the internet to be judged.

Nubby Twiglet | The Comparison Trap

I actually think it’s more interesting to share the behind the scenes moments, the so-called “picture behind the picture.” When I was staying with Gala’s parents in New Zealand, I happened to be wearing a silk J. Crew shirt covered in oranges. Her parents happened to have a beautiful painting…covered in oranges. While my shot on the left showed me effortlessly posing in front of the painting, the truth was much more involved. I had to lay on the floor while Gala’s dad held up a black blanket to give us a neutral background. Gala leaned over me with her iPhone as I directed her on the angle I wanted.

Kat posted her “behind the scenes” shot right after mine and guess which one people responded to better? The one showing the full story.

Your turn: How do you keep yourself from falling into the comparison trap of the perfect lives you’re bombarded with online?

Image: Shell de Mar.

Latest & Greatest #26: Notebook Obsessive

Nubby Twiglet | Notebook Roundup

I’m a self-proclaimed notebook fanatic and have three to four in use at any given time. Even with so much technology at my fingertips, I’m a fan of making handwritten lists and thumbnail sketches. I just discovered Studio Sarah notebooks and am loving the simplicity of the design paired with gold foil accents.

Nubby Twiglet | Notebook Roundup

If you’re on the hunt for a fresh notebook, these are a few of my favorites:

1. Studio Sarah, 2. Garance Doré for Rifle Paper Co., 3. P.S. 12, 4. Ogami, 5. Russell + Hazel, 6. Rifle Paper Co., 7. Tucker, 8. Julia Kostreva and 9. Magma.

Have an awesome Monday! I just got back to Portland this afternoon and am excited to get settled back in with Joey and Rocky.

The Week In Pictures: 6.13.14 | Hello From Canada!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Though Vancouver is just an hour flight from Portland, I’d never spent any time there until last week. It was definitely time to get acquainted with my northern neighbors.

Kat, Gala and I stayed on the edge of Gastown and when not teaching, spent our time grabbing dinner at Nuba with Danielle, admiring the bizarre yet awesome succulent / lighting setup at Tacofino Commissary (above), gorging ourselves on homemade waffles dipped in white chocolate pistachio rosewater sauce (yes, that’s a real thing) at Medina Cafe, manically playing the bongos, getting beautified at Sugarbox (I’m rocking my first-ever gel manicure!) and ending one fateful night covered in silver stars.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Getting out of my very Virgo-fied office and back out on the road where things are a little less polished and I’m constantly faced with the unexpected? It’s been the best of times.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The ultimate highlight of our time in Vancouver was visiting the rainbow crosswalk. We spent the evening with Diane and Mike as we hopped, skipped and jumped across it. An audience of onlookers gathered, trying to give our poor photographers pointers. The best interaction though was when a guy rolled up on a bike behind us and yelled “BABES!” at the top of his lungs.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

After dozens of jumps, I retreated to the neighboring section of rainbow-hued picnic tables.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Exhausted, I took a rest on the surface of a lavender table and threatened to never move.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I loved having dinner at Pizzeria Ludica — I forgot how fun a game of Jenga can be (they have HUNDREDS of board games, too!) Kat was a fierce competitor, sliding out all the bottom pieces and leaving me with a leaning tower. It was fun until I lost and the pieces nearly landed in my pasta. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Our favorite dining experience though was definitely Medina Cafe. We knew it had to be good when we arrived mid-week and the wait for a table was a half hour. The breakfast and lavender lattes were out of this world. Everything tasted as good as it looked.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Yesterday, we packed our bags and flew into Calgary. Green rolling hills and friendly locals immediately won us over. After dinner at Una (the 4-magi was unbelievably good), we visited the coolest candy shop ever, Freak Lunchbox and went crazy, dropping 60 bucks on gummy vampire fangs, oversized chocolate Canadian gold coins and bags of chocolate. Oops.

This Canadian adventure has been so much fun and I’m a little sad to see it come to an end on Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone!