Yearly Archives: 2014

Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

Before you can move forward, it’s healthy to take a look back.

At the end of every year, I love spending a day taking in everything that happened and deciding what I want more of, what I want less of and what I want to change. Days fly by and it can be hard to remember what even happened in the course of a year.

My 2014 had 10 standout themes / moments:

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

1. Traveling. A lot of it.

All those times I sat at various desks thankful I had a job but secretly wishing I could get out of the damn office and explore the world exploded into a blur of planes, trains, trams and rental cars this year. It went something like this:

Los Angeles. Palm Springs. San Francisco. Chicago. Los Angeles again. Palm Springs again. Vancouver. Calgary. London. Berlin. Amsterdam. New York. Los Angeles again. Palm Springs again (are you sensing a trend here? Haha.) Washington, D.C. New York yet again. Los Angeles again. Palm Springs again (What can I say? I’m a creature of habit!) Sydney. Melbourne. Auckland.

Oh man, was it fun. And stressful. And amazing. I most definitely:

• Missed flights.
• Hung out in a basement speakeasy on Wall Street until the wee hours before catching a flight to LA.
• Got busted in Vancouver alongside Gala and Kat….for leaving approximately five glitter stars in our apartment.
• Took my first train ride up the east coast to Penn Station.
• Had a very bad Air bnb experience in Melbourne involving a black leather bed and no wifi.
• Lost my luggage on the way home from Canada.
• Visited the rental car place in LA so many times that they started recognizing me.
• Waited at the wrong baggage carousel with Kat and Gala in New Zealand for close to an hour (LOL).
• Took my first ever flight on Emirates and all I have to say is….walnut toilet seats.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

2. Moving out of my comfort zone (literally).

While I loved the safe cocoon of my home office, I started to feel like the daily Dr. Phil sessions and absolutely no separation from work and home life were getting the best of me. And then, literally out of a conversation at my neighbor’s party over the summer, the most perfect office fell into my lap. It was:

• Close to home.
• Affordable (!!!).
• Full of creative makers and doers.
• Managed by the most awesome landlords.

I’d say that it was too good to be true….but I’m sitting here right now typing this and it’s most definitely all true. Getting my first real office felt very grown up and as soon as I settled in, things really went into overdrive work-wise.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

3. Facing fears.

I know that for some of you, public speaking is no big deal…but it was a new realm for me. Hitting the road with The Blogcademy across 13 classes (one of which was filmed live!) on 3 continents in 2014 really forced me out of my normally introverted comfort zone and I wouldn’t change it for anything — I met so many amazing women in the process, many who became clients and friends. And now, I’m helping a handful launch their new businesses.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

4. Trying out new creative mediums.

Digital products were something that had always escaped my grasp. I had a million ideas (actually, they’re all taped to my wall behind me right now) but my client, travel and blogging schedules were so demanding that the time was never there to explore what I actually wanted to release. That all changed with Blogcademy Home School. We released bite-sized modules of business and blogging topics and they took off big time. We’ve now sold thousands and it made me realize that your first time creating an offering won’t be perfect because there are so many unknowns….but you shouldn’t ever hold yourself back. Your knowledge and skills are valuable.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

5. A new (furry) bundle of joy.

We had a baby squirrel. Wait, what?! Well, technically, we didn’t invite him into our house…he chose us. Over the summer, I was standing in the customs line at JFK when Joey called to tell me that he’d found a newborn squirrel in the bottom of our furnace. I don’t know how he’d managed to survive the 30 foot fall from the top of our chimney! We named him Chubs because he had a cute little belly….and now he’s thriving. He plays with Rocky, he just had his first Christmas stocking and even though he drives us crazy burying nuts under our rugs and in my hair, he’s part of our family and I love the little guy very much.


6. Working (way too much).

I’m working (haha) on another post about what this year has been like to post next week over on the Branch blog but all I have to say is that a lot can happen when you show up, roll up your sleeves and give it your all every day. In 2014, I:

• Designed a line of fragrances, lotions and hair mists that are now sold at Anthropologie.
• Created a logo for my aunt’s art studio (we’ve been close since I was a baby so it’s nice to give something back!)
• Designed a book for a fine art photographer….and spent the day at her beautiful Malibu compound.
• Designed a boatload of tote bags, digital courses and two new websites for The Blogcademy.
• Developed media kits for some of my favorite humans on the planet.
• My work was featured on The Dieline twice.
• And now….I’m working on the branding and website for a real-life princess.

All in all, I opened nearly 100 separate projects. It’s all been a bit surreal.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

7. A small fortune spent on photo booths.

It’s one of my guilty pleasures and hey, it’s not as bad of a vice as some others I could have! I pulled every friend into my photo booth shenanigans from coast to coast and in return, ended up with many calls from my mom who does my bookkeeping: “What are all these random $4.00 charges in a row from?!” No comment.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

8. Having the best day ever in New York.

When I ended up with one free day in New York over the Summer, Gala and I set a challenge: how much could we cram into it? Highlights included a visit to the Big Gay Ice Cream shop, a stroll through Central Park, dinner at the one and only Michael Jordan Steakhouse and a party at a mansion where the fireplace was overflowing with gleaming disco balls. Only in New York.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

9. Realization: my home away from home is Palm Springs.

It’s such a close jaunt from Portland but so dramatically different. And, that’s why I love it. The pace of life creeps by so slowly. The sun is always out. There are palm trees everywhere. The midcentury modern housing is plentiful. The locals are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met (one even delightfully gave me a tour of his condo!) I’m setting some big goals this year so I can spend more time there in the future…and maybe you’ll come visit me? Just not all at once! That would be intense! 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

10. Feeling content doing my own thing.

I know that statement sounds a bit vague but what I mean is that I’m not afraid of doing things my way anymore. All that time I spent showing up to jobs I didn’t really like because I was scared of breaking the sense of routine, of not being able to pay my bills and of letting people down was good because now I appreciate my current way of life a lot more. The little, unspoken luxuries of saying no to things I don’t want to do, taking lunch when I want, listening to whatever music I want (trust me, my musical choices got turned off in the offices I worked at more times than I can count!) is priceless.

Freedom is a beautiful thing and though it brings a whole new level or responsibilities along with it, I’m more than up for the challenge. If your goal is to break out of your old job / routine / life in 2015, I hope I can inspire you in some way to take the leap because it’s entirely possible. I’ll be over here, cheering you on.

Nubby Twiglet | Looking Back at 2014: The Year In Review

Don’t you just love the feeling of a fresh start that a new year holds? I’ve got my #create necklace on, I’m listening to a great Spotify playlist and I’m ready….to let go, live out loud and take all these dreams I have scribbled on sheets of paper and make them a reality. Have an amazing New Year’s, everyone. Stay safe….and I’ll see you back here soon!

Photos: Diane + Mike, Shell De Mar and Made U Look.

40 Blog Posts Of 2014: My Top Picks


Thanks for hanging out with me this year! I’m signing off until the end of the year to spend some time with my family but before I hang up my blogging hat, I wanted to share my top 40 posts of 2014 with you. Enjoy and have a happy holiday! -Shauna

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts

Design Tips and Tricks

1. 10 Tips To Get Your Work Noticed (and Land a Job!)

2. Prove You’re Capable Of Greatness Through Self-Initiated Projects

3. Search Out And Define Your Niche

4. Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions

5. One Year Of Running A Design Studio Plus 5 Tips For New Business Owners

6. Walking The Fine Line Between Inspiration and Imitation

7. Embrace Those Quiet Times…and 10 Ideas To Drum Up Business

8. My Game Changing, All-In-One Camera

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts


9. The Key To Building an Engaged Audience Plus 30 Ideas For Fresh Content

10. Successfully Selling Yourself Without Traditional Advertising

11. Create A Blog Manifesto

12. Keep Your Blog Files Organized

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts

Travel (Both Near and Far)

13. 15 Things To Do in New York City In One Day

14. Living It Up In San Francisco At The Haunted Mansion

15. McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse

16. A Less-Traveled View Of Palm Springs Plus 10 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Stay

17. The Venice Canals

18. The Ultimate WTF Moment in The Netherlands


Life Advice

19. What’s Your Personal Mission Statement?

20. Stop Playing It Safe

21. Can You Sum Up Your Focus For the New Year In One Word?

22. The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change

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

24. Fight The Fear

25. Stop Overthinking It

26. Say No For The Right Reasons

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts

Personal Style

27. A Casual Weekend In Venice

28. The Golden Hour

29. Black On Black

30. Tropical Stripes

31. Poolside In Palm Springs

32. Face-Off In San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts


33. 5 Benefits Of Having A Creative Workspace Outside Of Your Home

34. 15 Awesome Artists To Cover Your Walls

35. Incredibly Strong DIY Shelving For Under 25 Dollars

36. The 2015 Day Planner Roundup

37. Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2014: My Top 40 Blog Posts

And….The Best For Last

38. The Bathroom Saga

39. The Unexpected House Guest

40. A Studio Space Is In The Works

Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All…Blogcademy Washington, D.C. Proves You Wrong!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

It goes without saying that every Blogcademy class brings out an eclectic mix of characters but Washington, D.C. was in a league of its own. In this particular audience, we had:

1. A real life princess (with an awe-inspiring wardrobe to match).
2. A 12 year old Girl Scout (in floral print Doc Marten boots).
3. A hip hop artist (all the way from Miami).
4. A pug (though I’m not positive she was taking notes).
5. A professional fire-spinner (enough said).

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

It was one of our best classes all year….and I nearly missed it. The Friday before class, I was sitting in LA, waiting to board my flight when it got delayed. And, delayed again. And again. If I got on it, there was no way I’d make my connecting flight so I booked another ticket from my phone as I watched it board. The stars aligned and I made it to D.C. at 2 a.m. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling fresh-faced the next morning! But, all that was pushed aside when our class began trickling in. They were beaming, incredibly welcoming and excited to learn — their energy was truly infectious.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

During class, we have a lot of students who are wondering where to start. They have full time jobs, they have families, they have side businesses…their lives are very full before blogging even comes into the picture. We always remind them that it’s not about being the best blogger ever right out of the gates. It’s about taking the time to develop your voice and style. There’s no race to the finish line.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

The most important reason to begin blogging is because you love it and as you find more time, you can work more posts into your schedule.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Mel was such a bright spot in our class, making the rounds and chatting with everyone on breaks — she’d traveled down all the way from Nova Scotia! And, we always love a student who’s perfectly on brand. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

There’s never a lack of style in our classes, that’s for sure! Running a blog that stands out from the pack really comes down to being unique and owning who you are.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Oh, Anna! Our youngest student ever, she’d been working towards earning a Girl Scouts badge for blogging. Anna came to class ready to take notes and kept right up. All I have to say is…she more than earned that badge!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Look at those smiles! I think even Harpo the pug was smiling!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

Thank you to our awesome mix of D.C. sponsors including Remixed By Jacki head scarves, WordPress For Beginners books by Reeta Krishna, Pink Samurai hand-knit scarves, Crown and Glory sparkly ears and of course, OSI for printing our custom tote designs!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

And finally, a special thanks goes out to Erica, the most kick-ass, organized intern in all the land! We adore you!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Washington D.C.

2015 Dates

We’re only doing a handful of live 2015 dates so snatch up your tickets as soon as possible if you’d like to join us in LA, Austin, London, San Francisco, New York, Melbourne and Sydney to learn about blogging, make some new friends…and take plenty of ridiculous photos. After all, learning should be fun!

Photographer: A Muse Photography.
Intern: Erica Baker

The Week In Pictures: 12.19.14 | Happy Holidays!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Welcome to the very last Week in Pictures of the year!

Like many of you, I’m in a sprint to the finish line to wrap up lots of projects and obligations…and then take a major break. My holiday party is tomorrow night and I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends and also sampling Joey’s famous boozy fruit punch. He changes the recipe slightly every year so it’s always bit of a surprise.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

We’ve put our tree and stockings up and in case you were wondering, Chubs has a stocking, too! So far, he’s just asked Santa for a big stash of nuts. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week, there were a lot of photos taken in my office…because I spent most of my time there. It’s all good, though because I’m wrapping up three branding projects and sites for super savvy, inspiring women (and hey, I met them all in San Francisco! Holla!) that launch on the 1st of 2015 and watching my clients step into new lives (literally quitting jobs, going out on their own, giving it everything they’ve got) is inspiring me big time. I still remember that same scared / excited / adrenaline-pumping feeling I had when I launched Branch a year and a half ago. It feels good to be in this spot on the other side now, cheering them on. I can’t wait to share all these new projects with you (and the women behind them!)

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m always flipping through my magazine subscriptions (these days, it’s W, Elle, Lucky, Bazaar and Marie Claire) and looking for fresh inspiration. Since I spend my days designing, I try to look in different sources like fashion and skate / surf magazines. Without fail, fashion magazines usually lead me down the rabbit hole of shoes and more shoes. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My suitcase home from Australia was stuffed to the brim with packaging references like this beautiful bottle from Greene St. Juice which is doubling as a fabulous vase now.


Rocky is all ready for Santa! Happy holidays and thanks for (virtually) hanging out with me this year. It’s been awesome getting to know so many of you both here and in person at The Blogcademy. Thank you for all of your comments, emails, tweets and being the best audience in the known universe. Sending lots of love your way!

Link Love: 12.18.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Area X — The Southern Reach Trilogy

• 15 of the most creative Christmas trees of all time. So many great ideas!

• A step by step guide on how to chase your dreams.

• I don’t know about you…but I’m pretty desperate to own some Feliz Llamadad wrapping paper.

• Jessica Walsh has some simple advice on how to stay passionate in your career.

• The best book covers of 2014.

• Prioritize what you need to get done…so you can go live your life!

• What are the stories behind the products you use every day?

• The single biggest reason most entrepreneurs fail and more importantly, 5 things you can do to overcome it.

• 20 last-minute gift ideas for the designer in your life.

• The secret to the rise of the Uber economy is wealth inequality.

• How do you deal with chronic complainers?

• Freelancers, listen up: the best new workspaces might be tucked inside your local library.

• Find out how to deal with nightmare clients who think they can design!

Image: Area X — The Southern Reach Trilogy. Written by Jeff Vandermeer. Designed by Rodrigo Corral and Tyler Comrie.