Monthly Archives: December 2013

25 Moments of 2013: My Timeline Of An Awesome Year

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Looking back, 2013 felt a bit like two years crammed into one.

A lot of travel, designing, blogging and teaching happened. And I had a pretty good time during most of it which really is the most important part! I’ve always felt that we should be conscious and thankful for all the awesome moments in our lives in order to open the door to more of the same. This post is a big pile of gratitude dedicated to 2013 and features 25 moments in chronological order that made my year unforgettable.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

It’s weird to think back and realize that our second ever Blogcademy just happened at the starting of this year. We taught in London in the middle of a blizzard which shut most of the city down. But, our blogcadettes were total troopers. So many of the ladies in this pair of classes made a big impact on us, including the super smart and stylish Xandra.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

After Blogcademy, we headed out to a farm in Surrey to teach a social media course to photographers. I was completely obsessed with the main house which at a solid 500 years old, felt straight out of a fairytale. There used to be a recording studio on the property — David Bowie, Queen and Black Sabbath had camped out there in decades past. Gala and I wasted no time claiming Freddie Mercury’s bedroom for the night!

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

After a day on the farm, we packed up and took the Eurostar to Paris. Paris in the winter means that there’s no tourists in sight. And, it also means that you have to do a whole lot of acting for the camera when you’re getting rained on and freezing to death.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

In April, Gala and Kat came to Portland to visit me for the first time and we spent some quality time crawling through my grumpy neighbor’s lawn, posing for Made U Look. And, visiting the Acropolis…because anything that’s good enough for Marilyn Manson is good enough for us.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Once our adventures in Portland were over, we headed down to LA. I brought Joey and Rocky, who happens to be named after Sly Stallone’s most famous character. We walked him down to his namesake’s star for a photo-op and he quite suddenly puked all over it. Thankfully, the rest of our time in LA went much more smoothly. Like good ol’ Americans, we took Kat to Disneyland to celebrate her birthday. And in our world, no birthday celebration is complete without matching ears.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Perhaps even better than our time at Disneyland? Meeting this way too perfect Michael Jackson impersonator.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Late Spring was spent in Portland just trying to catch my breath. With the rest of the year’s travels mapped out, I knew it was only going to get more crazy from that point onwards. I spent every moment I wasn’t working sitting at home, trying to soak up the calm and keep everything together.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

In New York over the summer, we held our first meet-and-greet and got to hang out with a lot of the women who had joined us at our first Blogcademy the previous October. So much had changed by that point and it made me incredibly thankful to hang out with the ladies who had taken a chance and bought tickets when we were still trying to find our way. A standout from that first class? Latanya, who immediately took action after our workshop and turned her passion for blogging into a full-time gig.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

While in New York, I engaged in my favorite night time activity: going clubbing with Bianca. The best spot? On Top at Le Bain, which features a hot tub in the center of the dance floor complete with a gleaming disco ball and an astroturf covered roof with a crepe stand. My idea of heaven.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

After New York, Kat, Gala and I boarded a flight to Minneapolis. Our time there was one of the highlights of my year by far. That perfect lavender-infused latte at Spyhouse. Pride weekend. A visit to First Avenue. Guzzling booze out of a shrunken head. Meeting Alexandra Franzen for the first time. Sipping Sofia on a pontoon in Lake Minnetonka. Perfection.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

A quick stop in Austin rekindled my love affair with the city big time. And, our Air BnB pad had dinosaur planters.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

In August, Joey, Rocky and I headed down to the Oregon Coast for our annual Cannon Beach stay. My time at the beach gave me the opportunity to rock this weird neoprene dress I now refer to only as zipper hips.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Less than a week later, Gala, Kat and I headed off to the Greek Islands. It was the most surreal, beautiful place I’d ever been. We spent our nights perched on a private balcony watching cruise ships inch by while listening to 90s gangsta rap. Climbing the maze of steps through Santorini made me feel like I was in another world altogether.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

A full week of unwinding in Greece was met with two back-to-back Blogcademy classes in London. Our London apartment featured some of the best wallpaper I’d ever seen (Gala always chooses well!)

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

After London, I headed off to New York for a few days. Bianca lives right on Wall Street and the novelty of getting up close and personal with our nation’s history never wears off for me.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Once I got home from New York, there was a 10 day window to celebrate my 32nd birthday, my third wedding anniversary with Joey and launch Branch. Intense doesn’t even come close to summing up that week and a half! Star visited Portland in the midst of it all and somehow made the madness feel manageable.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

On September 25th, Branch went live. I had kept it under wraps for so long and honestly, I had no idea what to expect. Taking that chance was worth it — within one day, the next month was booked solid with projects.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

A few hours after Branch launched, I headed off to LA for a meeting with one of my clients and then straight to Palm Springs for Designer Vaca. Hanging out with 50 other lady small business owners was just what my soul needed. Star and I spent a whole lot of time lounging by the hot tub, gossiping with friends and sipping Maneaters.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Heading back to Portland for a few weeks of no travel felt awesome. I met friends for coffee, settled into Branch life and got my bearings.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

Working for myself full-time opened up the doors for a lot more spontaneity. Like this day trip to Cannon Beach with my brother where we hunted down an elusive bigfoot statue.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

October felt really heavy because I knew that at the end of the month, I’d be leaving Joey and Rocky for close to a month, our longest time apart since we’d met. I completely dreaded it.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

After a 13 hour flight, I woke up in Brisbane. The first week of our time down under was sponsored by Tourism Queensland which meant doing a whole bunch of things I couldn’t quite believe including zip lining through the rainforest, koala cuddling and taking a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef. Our welcome to Australia was so over the top good that my homesickness quickly evaporated…for the first three weeks, anyway. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

During our time Down Under, we taught four Blogcademy classes in quick succession…and ended up on ABC News.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

The cherry on top of our trip? A brief stay at Gala’s parent’s house in Wellington, New Zealand. Between the business advice, stylish surroundings and home-cooked meals, I was secretly hoping they would adopt me and that I could just move in.

Nubby Twiglet | 2013: Year In Review

In December, I finally got over my fear of entertaining thanks to a whole lot of pushing from Joey to make our holiday party happen. In the process, I realized that our house didn’t need to be picture perfect. People are what makes a house a home and having it filled with our friends and family for the night reminded me of what really matters.

Here’s to a big, exciting, fulfilling 2014. Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane. Wishing you an awesome new year!

Photos: Shauna Haider, Janneke Storm, Shell De Mar, Made U Look, Juliane Berry and June Cochran.

My 25 Favorite Blog Posts of 2013

2013 Blog Post Recap | Nubby Twiglet

This has been a huge year for me with more twists and turns than I could have possibly imagined. But yesterday on Christmas Day, everything slowed down and I spent the day reading Everything I Know cover-to-cover, watching terrible movies, flipping through issues of Elle that had piled up and taking a walk through a new neighborhood with Joey and Rocky while trying to warm up with a soy chai latte.

For Christmas Eve, we made our annual pilgrimage up to my grandparents’ cabin (check out my grandpa’s sweater!) and then ripped through our pile of presents as soon as we got home. Joey surprised me with this dress which I’d been wanting for a long time. It felt very Christmas appropriate so I wore it out and about yesterday. I hope you had a relaxing holiday as well!

As this year comes to a close, I wanted to share my favorite posts of 2013 with you. Thanks for following along over these last seven years, it means the world to me. My life has changed, yours has changed and the world of blogging has also changed by leaps and bounds. But most days, I’m still as excited by it as when I first started and can’t wait to see what the new year holds.

Design, Marketing and Business

1. In The Beginning: My First Design Project

2. 5 Tips For Managing Multiple Businesses

3. Branch: An Inside Look At Starting a Creative Business

4. A Personal Journey in Careers and Confidence: My Experience at Designer Vaca

5. Should You Ever Work For Free?

6. A Call To Creatives: Follow Your Unique Path


7. Why Are You Blogging?

8. How Often Should You Post?

9. Is Your About Page Living Up To Its Purpose?

10. How Can I Share More Of Myself On My Blog?

11. Are Comparisons The Root Of All Evil?

12. 8 Keys to Making Lasting Online Connections

13. The One Thing I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Blogging


14. It’s Time To Get Organized!

15. Coffee At Home: My New Routine

16. The Mecca of Custom Lipsticks: Bite Lip Lab


17. My Feature in Computer Arts Magazine

18. Announcing Branch, A Boutique Design Studio!

19. Adventures In Koala Cuddling

20. Is Community College The Right Choice For You?


21. Greecetopia: My Cheat Sheet on What To Pack, Where To Stay and Where To Eat in Santorini and Mykonos!

22. The Happiest Place On Earth: A Day At Disneyland

23. Cannon Beach and Bigfoot

24. Paris In Winter: A Style Shoot

25. A Midcentury Modern Dream in Surfers Paradise: QT Gold Coast

2013 Blog Post Recap | Nubby Twiglet

Thanks again for making this year very special. Enjoy some quiet time and I’ll see you back here on the 31st for a year-end recap! -Shauna

A Peek Inside My Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

It took 5 years to have an official gathering at my house but Friday night, it finally happened! As a perfectionist with annoyingly high standards, I’d put too much pressure on myself to have our house perfect before we had more than just close friends and family over and I now realize how silly that was.

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Houses are meant to be lived in — not perfectly pinnable, artfully decorated masterpieces. And I have Joey to thank for kicking me in gear, setting the date and inviting all our friends and family before I had a chance to backtrack!

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

With a Spotify playlist of soft rock hits of the 70s playing and our Christmas tree twinkling, Rocky slipped into his holiday sweater, I threw on some sequins and Joey whipped up some (very intoxicating) punch. And with that, our guests flowed in.

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

After the party started, I barely took another photo — I just wanted to soak up everyone’s company. As usual, my grandparents, Betty and Sharky were the life of the party. No surprise there! I had more than one friend pull me aside, completely blown away that my grandpa was 86! For the record, his secret to a long life is chopping wood all day (in cowboy boots), crisp mountain air and the occasional cold beer. Nice and simple.

I spent part of the night having the best conversations with Alexandra about the merits of new Country music, Hawaii, David Duchovny, Marilyn Manson and cheese. Though, not quite in that order. I am so glad she’s in Portland!

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

I had pulled up some punch recipes on Pinterest but Joey rejected them for his own mix. One sip later and I was glad he did his own thing!

Me: “Would you like some punch?”
Grandma: “Is it spiked?”
Me: “Yes, with Everclear.”
Grandma: “I’ll take some!”

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

Nubby Twiglet | The Holiday Party

As all the guests filed out into the darkness, I glanced at our table and thanks to hostess gifts, counted a total of 15 bottles of wine…and I’m not a very big drinker. So, it’s time to plan another party! I’m on a total roll now. Happy holidays, everyone!

The Week In Pictures: 12.20.13

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

What a week! Ahhhh! Do you feel that year-end rush of holiday parties, last minute gift buying and wrapping up loose ends on work projects all hitting at once? I sure do! I feel like the last few weeks have been on fast forward and admittedly, I’m barely keeping up.

I expected the end of the year to be quiet (what was I thinking?!!) but things at Branch have been picking up steam much faster than expected. I can’t complain on that end — it makes me happy that things are shaping up quickly since we’ve only been around three months now. Bring on the busy!

In other news, we’ve been trying to get our house together for our party but of course, nothing ever quite goes as planned! While some rooms of our place tend to look picture perfect, there are a few I’ve never shown (and for good reason.) The worst by far is the bathroom on the main floor which probably hadn’t been upgraded since 1928. Cue leaky pipes, terribly wallpapered shelves and layers of peeling paint. Joey just demolished it yesterday and it’s a pretty shocking sight. Hearing a crowbar go through the wall directly below my office freaked me out! Rome wasn’t built in a day and for my dream bathroom to happen, it had to be taken down to the rafters. Thankfully for our party revelers, we have two more bathrooms. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Tonight, I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends and being a legit gown-up for once. I’ve never been great at party planning or entertaining and it’s time to start changing that.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone. I’ll see you back here on Monday with party photos!

Link Love: 12.19.13


Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

• A provocative piece addressing the so-called the death of blogging.

• The pro designer’s guide to working from home.

• Here’s how to charge more for your services without leaving your clients in the dust!

• This is one of the best free icon sets I’ve seen.

• When does the constant reassurance of “I deserve it” go astray?

• 50 DIY gift ideas.

• The 3 major flavors of writer’s block and how to get over them!

• Teenage girls, as imagined by an 8 year old in 1991.

• Do your parents keep guilting you about visiting for Christmas?

• 100 Photoshop tutorials to level up your skills.

• The Verge gathered up the the 50 most influential people of the moment.

• The golden era of spam comments has ended!

• I loved reading Kate’s post on love, marriage and second chances.

• If you need a cheat sheet for character codes on your keyboard, this website is for you.

• Who goes to work to have fun?

Image: Grazia Germany.
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