Monthly Archives: January 2014

Project Spotlight and Giveaway: Olivine You Are Beautiful Lotions


Over on Branch, I’m sharing our first project of the new year, a line of scented lotions called You Are Beautiful. Over the last year, we’ve been taking on more lifestyle and beauty clients and this one was especially fun to be a part of. The packaging is very sleek with black type printed directly onto glass bottles which is contrasted with a more tactile element of etched wooden hangtags affixed with gold-laced twine.

To celebrate this launch, Branch has partnered up with Olivine to give away a lotion to 3 winners. The contest is open to residents worldwide. Click through to enter now!

Facing My Fears: Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

We all have fears, some irrational, some not. One of mine has always been a fear of heights. I am fine in enclosed spaces like on planes (and that’s a relief since I just did a 13+ hour flight to Australia a few months back). But being outside and dangling from ropes with nothing underneath me?! Well, let’s just say that the idea left me scared shitless. At the same time, I didn’t want to be the only one sitting this adventure out so I put on my best pokerface and climbed in the van headed for the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest in the world!

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

When we arrived at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours, our first order of business was to pick out a helmet. Safety first! We each grabbed the one that most closely matched our likenesses: Kat went with Cat Woman, Gala took Tank Girl and I grabbed…Mini Me. Haha. Next, we were strapped into full body harnesses which made us walk like we were wearing very stiff diapers. Glamorous!

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

After hiking a quarter of a mile up to the platforms, we were given a safety talk. You can bet I hung on every last word of what our instructor said! With a total of 5 platforms, you’re given the opportunity to take in a bird’s eye view of both the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites bump up next to each other!

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

As you can see, I was a little apprehensive on the first run. The tour guides could sense it and made every effort to fill me with fear. And being gullible, I believed it all! When we were instructed to wear comfortable clothing, I figured that it was still an opportunity to be stylish. Maybe to impress a few monkeys? Who knows. I wore a Vogue shirt, Forever 21 windowpane leggings and Zara motorcycle boots. Hey, you’re only going to live once so you might as well overdress every opportunity you get!

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

Gala and Kat were much more zen about the whole concept of flying through the trees attached to a pulley system.

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

Me? Not at all. There I am, sizing up the next platform.

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

Can you spot me up there? As the we moved along to each platform, a new twist was introduced. On one, we were flung down the line as fast as we could possibly go, only to be stopped a split second before we hit the wall. Ahhhh! And on the final platform, we flipped upside down and inched along with no hands. I managed to do that one and it was pretty magical — I felt like a superhero. Did I mention that this all took place on Halloween?!

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

We were rewarded for surviving our jungle surfing adventures with three scoops of tropical fruit-laced ice cream (including wattle seed!) at Daintree Ice Cream Company.

I don’t have a so-called bucket list and needless to say, jungle surfing was never on my radar of things to do. But looking back, I am so glad I did it. Facing those fears and just going for it leaves you feeling exhilarated and thinking, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad after all.” If you ever get the chance, just go do it! If I can, you can. Truly.

Nubby Twiglet | Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest

Location: Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours.
Photos: Janneke Storm.
Special thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for making this post possible.

The Week In Pictures: 1.10.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

How was your week? Mine was very…full. On Saturday, I unchained myself from my computer and Joey and I went out for breakfast and coffee. During the week, we make coffee at home but on the weekends we like to treat ourselves. I love the atmosphere at the Stumptown on Belmont. And, the heart espresso art is always an added bonus!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

A friend brought by homemade fudge in a Le Parfait jar. I’ve had a few late nights of working on client projects this week and it’s been welcome company. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I forgot to post this last week — as I was cleaning out my office closet at the beginning of the new year, I found my stash of Urban Outfitters catalogs! Much of these date back to 2008. I always refer back to them for inspiration when I’m working on lookbooks.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

All I have to say about the above photo is, “AHHHHH!” I’ve mentioned a few times in the past that there are a few rooms in our house I’ve never, ever shown. The bathroom on our main floor was one of them. It was absolutely disgusting. So bad in fact that I hadn’t used it a single time since we bought our house five years ago! Finally, with a chunk of time blocked out, Joey demolished the entire thing. This is what we were left with. I should mention that it’s looking slightly better now (no more rubble!) and within a week, we’ll have white subway tile to the ceiling! I know nothing about construction so I spend my days hiding out in my office with the door closed. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

We’ve been on the hunt for a new breakfast spot but nothing we’ve tried lately has been that great. We finally stopped into Jam and loved it. Do you have any other recommendations for vegan-friendly breakfast places?

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

On Sunday, I got a text that my family was meeting up at Edgefield, one of my favorite places to go when I want to escape city life. I ended up at the bar that sits at the base of a golf course (I did try golfing there once and made an absolute fool of myself!) and sipping a martini while watching the sun set. Before I’d left for the night, I’d looked up plane tickets on my phone and agreed to join my grandparents on an upcoming Reno trip. Good times (and gambling!) are in my immediate future.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’ve been working on setting some solid business goals because Branch has been crazy busy with client work and I need to figure out where we want to take things. Getting so much work so quickly has been awesome but I want to make sure we’re taking on the right kinds of projects and focusing on what we want things to look like for the future.

And with that, I need to wrap up some work so I can head to a fancy cocktail gathering at Alexandra’s new place and then, I’m going out to a goth club. Pretty much my idea of a perfect night. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 1.9.14



• I applaud Alexandra Franzen for writing about a tough topic that has touched almost all of us that share our lives online: hate blogging and bullying. These 555 words just may change your life.

• Fascinating portraits of Michael Jackson impersonators.

• I love this beautifully designed free calendar download from Observant Nomad.

• Photographer Greg Alessandri documented the diners across New York City throughout the 1990s, most of which are now sadly gone.

• Bri just bravely shared her experiences with anxiety and insecurity.

• I always love catching glimpses into Anna’s home (partially because we both share a love for black walls).

• Looking for awesome things to do in New York? This Pinterest board will make your life a whole lot easier!

• If you’re a blogger, please take the time to read Kathleen’s post about why she quit Google Analytics.

• My newest fashion blog obsession: Micah Gianelli. Avant garde looks that are straight out of the future.

• If your makeup brushes are in need of a good cleaning, this post will get you motivated to follow through.

• Are you on the lookout for American made workout clothes? Here are three great options.

• When it comes to setting goals, if something scares you, it might be a good thing to try.

• This upcoming Bill Cunningham exhibit features work from his Façades series in which he placed models in period costumes across New York City.

• A Beautiful Mess just put together a really awesome post all about juicing basics.

• How should you handle your parents not liking who you want to marry?

Photo: Philippe Salomon.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Blog Log #13: The Key To Building an Engaged Audience Plus 30 Ideas For Fresh Content


Nubby Twiglet | The Key To Building an Engaged Audience Plus 30 Ideas For Fresh Content

The quickest way to grow your blog doesn’t hinge on implementing the latest SEO techniques or posting a lot of pretty images. If you want an audience that’s engaged and keeps coming back for more, create genuinely helpful content.

If you poke around the internet, you’ll notice that a majority of the most popular blogs are heavy on content that teaches you something. Whether it’s how to live a better life, how to tie a scarf or how to whip up something new in the kitchen, people are always searching for opportunities to learn something new, even if it’s ridiculously simple.

Think about it this way. When you sit down to google something, would you key in:

Popular lipstick shades or how to pick flattering lipstick shades?
Graphic design portfolio or how to build a print portfolio?
Cute hairstyles or how to style short hair?
Chunky sweater styles or how to style chunky sweaters?

Audiences want applicable advice that is helpful and benefits their lives in some way. The concept of being helpful can feel a bit daunting at first. After all, not all of us are gourmet chefs, DIY masterminds or decorating geniuses. But, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. When it comes to being helpful, we each have a unique set of talents and life experiences. We just tend to assume that everyone else knows how to do what we do. You’d be surprised at how popular some of your tried and true skills can be when turned into a series of blog posts.

To be genuinely helpful, the key is to think of little ways to add a twist to what you already enjoy doing.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

1. Bake your way through a stash of favorite family recipes and photograph the results.

2. Review the books that have had the biggest impact on your life.

3. Break down your favorite makeup and skincare routines along with the products you recommend and why.

4. Document before and after shots of your home renovations with how-to guides.

5. Are you a green thumb? Create guides around what grows best in which climates.

6. Tour your city’s food carts and let us know your top picks!

7. If movies are your passion, create guides of must-see films broken up by genre.

8. Did you bypass college and follow a self-taught path to the career of your dreams? Tell us how you did it!

9. Share styling tips on how to get creative with a very limited wardrobe.

10. If you’re a master at smoothies, create a series around your favorite recipes.

11. Do you have a knack for hairstyles? Let us know the best ones for long, short, updos and more!

12. Create a series of helpful email templates related to your industry.

13. Share your tried-and-true social media tips and tricks for each platform.

14. Develop a series of paint swatch combos for the color challenged.

15. If organizing is your thing, share before and after shots alongside your sources for supplies.

16. Do you have a talent for modifying the mundane? Share your best IKEA hacks!

17. Are you a web designer? Let us know your favorite web font combos.

18. If you’re a thrifting champ, create guides for cities you’ve visited.

19. Is bartending your specialty? Share recipes and photograph your best drink concoctions!

20. Review your favorite restaurants in town and come up with your own rating system.

21. If you’re a shoe obsessive, create guides for the best shoes from working out to going out.

22. Is traveling your passion? Create guides for each locale you visit including transportation, dining and hotels!

23. Create a series of style posts centered around a favorite wardrobe staple.

24. Do you have a specific way of shooting and processing your photos? Show us how you do it.

25. Have you mastered how to clean your house without using harsh chemicals? Teach us your tricks!

26. If you’re a creative that’s burnt out on “pinspiration” posts, inspire us through real life mood boards.

27. Run your own business? Create an advice column centered around what you’ve learned.

28. Have you pulled off a career change into a completely different industry? Break down how you did it!

29. Are you a fitness junkie? Share routines for busy, on-the-go types.

30. Is event planning your passion? Teach us how to make gatherings and parties run more smoothly.

When it comes to building an engaged audience, be genuine, be helpful and share what you know.

Your turn: What are some recent helpful posts you did that were a big hit?

Image: Alexa Loy Photography.