Tag Archives: Travels

A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam: The Ultimate WTF Moment in The Netherlands!

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

When I visited Amsterdam, my first day was spent doing the usual touristy stuff — walking along canals, eating cheese and snapping photos of the gaggles of bikes. That day of sightseeing, while beautiful, also felt a bit cliché. I wanted more.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

That night, I went home and keyed Amsterdam into Pinterest (my favorite method for figuring out what’s cool in a city — for those of us that are more visual, it’s a goldmine of must-see sights). I knew there had to be something out there that was slightly wacky and not too far outside of the city. I only had to scroll for five seconds before the answer was in front of me: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

This wasn’t just any hotel, though. Located in Zaandam, a town just twelve minutes from the center of Amsterdam, the façade was made up of 70 stacked traditional Dutch houses. Completely mind-boggling. The hotel was right next door to the train station (convenient!) and featured a restaurant that overlooked the canal. Though we didn’t stay there, the rooms are gorgeous, featuring scenes of Dutch history across the walls.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Yes, it was absolutely worth the tram ride to visit this architectural marvel. If you’re making a quick trip like I did, there are tons of restaurants and shops surrounding the train station so it’s ideal to tie it in with lunch or dinner. And when you run out of ideas for posing in front of this crazy place… just dance.


I wore: ASOS striped scuba dress, Crown and Glory Rachel floral ears and Marc by Marc Jacobs sneakers.
Photos: Kerry Murray.

Location: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

An Afternoon Of Beauty and Excess At Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” ―Charles Bukowski

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

On the hunt for a cool lunch spot in Amsterdam, I discovered a little gem called Bar Bukowski. The place is named after writer Charles Bukowski who had a not so subtle way with words and is best described as “breathing his love for alcohol, women and literature.” Bukowski once said, “There is always a reason to drink!” (and I dare not argue with the statements of a literary legend) but the food here is pretty good, too.

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

The music is loud, the walls are tiled and there are fresh flowers on every table. This is the ideal spot to grab a coffee, stay for lunch and then pick out a dessert. But if you’re a true Bukowski fanatic, polish it all off with a strong drink at Henry’s Bar next door. Indulge in some excess!

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” ―Charles Bukowski

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Bar Bukowski has humor, style and great food — truly a winning combo.

“If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.” ―Charles Bukowski

Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

Do you have just one day free to explore the city that never sleeps? Don’t fret! Instead of feeling daunted by your lack of time, here are some fun stops to help you make the most of it!

Faced with just twelve hours, Gala and I managed to hit 15 spots, from restaurants to landmarks to parties. Here’s what we did — and while some of it might not be your cup of tea, hopefully it will inspire you to have your own little adventure the next time you find yourself in New York City.

Gala made a little video of our day and I compiled a list with links and addresses of the places we visited below:

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

1. Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton St.

Going strong since 2001, this Lower East Side restaurant is home to some of the best baked goods around. New York Magazine voted their blueberry pancakes the best in the city but I stuck with an egg white omelet which was equally delicious. Expect a wait.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

2. Henri Bendel
712 Fifth Avenue

The ultimate accessories mecca, this department store has been around since 1895 and is the height of sophistication. From bangles to handbags to ridiculous hats, Henri Bendel has you covered. Trust me, you’ll be tempted to try on 10 gaudy Elizabeth Taylor-inspired rings at once just because you can.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

3. Bergdorf Goodman
754 5th Ave.

Are you craving a stop at a luxury department store where the staff is remarkably down to earth, even if you’re not actually buying anything? Bergdorf’s is for you. I was blown away by how friendly everyone was and even better? This marbled behemoth is home to the world’s most expensive perfume. Really. The lady holding down the Clive Christian counter cornered us, told us the most exquisite story (all great perfumes need a good story, after all), let us sample the scent and even pulled out a black fan to dry my freshly doused wrist. The whole experience was over the top and ridiculously fabulous in a Liberace sort of way.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

4. Sephora
597 5th Ave.

When you’re exploring the city at the height of summer and your skin is feeling parched, Sephora is the ideal stop to sample some new, luxurious moisturizers that aren’t in your budget. And boy, did we lather up!

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

5. J. Crew Collection
1035 Madison Ave.

I enjoyed stopping into this small yet immaculate J. Crew boutique and checking out the craftsmanship and materials of its higher end collection up-close. I loved their take on the classics, like a buttery soft biker jacket done up in navy blue. And, the design of their print materials at the register are always spot-on.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

6. Kate Spade Flagship
789 Madison Ave.

A four story townhouse on the Upper East Side, this place is pure fun. Even if you’re not in the mood to shop, the neon sign on the ground floor (which includes tongue-in-cheek clichés like “Uptown is the New Downtown,” “Only in Manhattan,” “Let’s Grab Cocktails” and more), uplifting sayings emblazoned on mirrors and wacky decor will inspire you to snap photo after photo.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

7. Solange Azagury-Partridge
809 Madison Ave.

Quite possibly the most innovative, creative jeweler out there, Solange knows no boundaries. I’ve been a fan of her Hotlips collection for ages and seeing her boutique in person, complete with the custom designed rainbow carpet (wowza!) made me an even bigger fan. She is a true artist.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

8. Central Park
14 East 60th St.

Every time I’ve visited Central Park, I’ve walked through a different entrance and had a completely different experience — and that’s the beauty of the place. At a mind-boggling 843 acres, there’s always something new to see depending on the path that you take. I love the variety of scenery within the park. From a castle to a zoo to a pond to a meadow, this place has it all.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

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9. The Plaza Food Hall
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South

One of the most opulent hotels in Manhattan, The Plaza is legendary. But the true gem is tucked away in the basement, way past the grand entrance. The food hall, which was opened in 2010, truly has something for everyone. There are counters with sweets, sandwiches, soups, juices, coffee and every culinary confection in between. Gala and I had soup, salad and fresh juice at Tartine and it was beyond delicious.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

10. Top Of The Rock Observation Deck
30 Rockefeller Plaza

I’ll admit that I thought this was going to be a total tourist trap — and for that reason, I’d avoided it at all costs during my previous trips to New York. But, on a whim, we gave it a go. And, honestly? It was worth the $29.00 ticket fee to see this 360 degree view of the city, 70 stories up. Do it at least once. You won’t regret it.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

11. The Smith Photo Booth
55 Third Ave.

The Smith has awesome food but I’ll be honest — my real draw to the place is that it has one of the city’s best photo booths in its basement. This isn’t a cheesy digital booth, either — it’s the old school black and white kind. And at just $3.00 a strip, you’re bound to get carried away with swiping your debit card (or, at least I did).

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

12. Big Gay Ice Cream
125 East 7th St.

A hot day in the city requires a mandatory ice cream stop. And there’s no doubt that Big Gay will have you rethinking soft-serve. I’d heard rave reviews about the Salty Pimp but ended up going with the Bea Arthur, which is hand-dipped in crushed Nilla wafers. Yum!

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

13. Upper East Side Mansion Party
Fifth Ave.

When you receive an invite to view Ted Baker’s latest collection inside of a beautiful mansion, you say yes! What I love most about New York is that in the span of a day, anything is possible. This event featured a live jazz band, dancing flapper girls and piles of disco balls. Amazing.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

14. Grand Central Station
89 E. 42nd St.

This landmark is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and has a mind boggling 44 platforms for rail travel. Even if you’re not grabbing a train though, there are tons of shops and restaurants across its two stories that are worth visiting. I love the astronomy-covered ceiling in the main concourse.

Nubby Twiglet | Do You Have Just One Day In New York City? Here Are 15 Things To Do!

15. Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse NYC
23 Vanderbilt Ave.

With tired feet and empty bellies, Gala and I circled around the Grand Central Terminal in search of a late dinner. We came upon this ex-NBA star’s restaurant, complete with sweeping views of the main concourse. Between the great view, spot-on service and a fantastic three-course meal, we were glad we made the stop, even though it was slightly unexpected.

So, there you go. New York City in a day! When I set out on an adventure with Gala at 10 am, I had no idea where the day would take me. I actually think those are the best kinds of days when you’re visiting a city, don’t you? Throw your plans out the window and just see what happens. Here’s to many more adventures!


Photos and video: Shauna Haider and Gala Darling.

The Week In Pictures: 8.8.14 | Hello From Amsterdam and New York!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Amsterdam > London > New York > Portland. It’s good to be home but damnnn, there was a lot crammed into this week!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I had the time of my life during the three weeks I spent in Europe but if I’m being completely honest, I was also really beginning to miss the comforts of home. That’s one of the reasons why I think traveling is so important — it forces you to get outside of your comfort zone and experience the way the rest of the world lives. It makes you realize what you’ve been taking for granted while also introducing new habits and ways of thinking that you can take home and incorporate into your everyday life.

Amsterdam taught me that I had no choice but to slow down. The service is much slower, as is the internet. I had to take it easy, even if I felt like crawling the walls for most of it. And in the end, it was a good thing. Now, I’m vowing to take more time to read. Vowing to take more walks. Vowing to write more emails and letters to friends.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

After Amsterdam with a quick stop in London for the night, Gala and I landed back in New York. And, faced with with only one completely empty day to do whatever I wanted, I vowed to make it count. The next day, from 10 am to 10 pm, we criss-crossed the city, covering a total of 15 spots (and yes, I’ll be sharing the exact list of what we did in case you’re short on time in the city that never sleeps, too!)

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

What I love about spending time with Gala is that anything is possible. Anything. As we explored old haunts, I felt like it was 2009 all over again, when we lived together for a month in the city. Having an Elizabeth Taylor moment, I threw caution to the wind and tried on piles of absolutely ridiculous, impractical jewelry.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As we walked through midtown, I spotted this dapper gentleman at FAO Schwarz.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This car that was parked on the Upper East Side should have been in a movie it was so pristine and well kept.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This ornate set of doors in Central Park caught my attention.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

And, as we walked deeper into the park, this was our view. For a few moments, we forgot we were in New York City as the trees and foliage blocked out the sounds of traffic.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

One of my favorite things to do in New York is ogle clothing I can’t afford. This Chloe ensemble? The bomb.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

We passed The Rock and…well…we went to the very top (you’ll see more photos in my New York post next week).

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Remember how I said anything is possible? As dusk set in, we entered a 1920s mansion full of disco balls. Some poured out of the marble fireplace while others spun above us as a jazz band played on.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

And, what’s a jazz band without a gaggle of dancing ladies? The whole scene was quite surreal.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

We ended the night at an ex-NBA basketball player’s restaurant, laughing until we cried over dessert. The day had felt like a week. In that moment, exhausted with throbbing feet, I couldn’t have been any happier.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

After dinner, I pushed on — my longtime friend Bianca had just flown home from Mykonos that night and we had just 12 hours to spend together.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

wip_2014_aug8_6

The next day, we spent our lunch at Ladurée in Soho. It felt like the set of a french film with marble statues, jewel toned velvet couches, pastel edged dishes and a beautiful backyard garden.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m now back home in Portland, feeling overwhelmingly inspired and piecing together a dozen posts for you over the next few weeks with new discoveries, travel guides and much more.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Keep and open mind, surround yourself with people you respect, love and trust and when you have the chance to go on an adventure, take it. You never know where you’ll end up. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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.

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

The Week In Pictures: 7.18.14 | Hello From London!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

Hello from London! I have spent the week staying in the attic of a 1930′s English manor with a massive back yard and garden. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. By day, I’ve been filming videos and by night, enjoying lively dinners with friends.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

This is my view from the kitchen every morning.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

I just finished filming a new Blogcademy Home School video all about still lifes. That meant packing up piles of ephemera to haul across the ocean. Haha. I’m really happy with how this module came together and will let you know when it’s available!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

Filming gets easier every time around. My backdrop this time around was a tangled mix of greenery that felt like it went on forever.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

Our nights have been spent here with good wine and great friends, telling embarrassing stories and laughing until we’re crying. Just the way I like it!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures London

I’m pretty excited to be checking out Gala’s Radical Self Love Salon this afternoon. My studio, Branch did the branding and this is her third-ever event. With that, I’m off to repack my suitcase and then heading off to a new place in Central London to teach the first of two workshops starting tomorrow morning.

Have a great weekend, everyone!