Category Archives: Nubby

The Brand Audit

the brand audit

A is for audit.

In my case, I’ve been in need of a brand audit for quite awhile. The cool thing about being online regularly since 2000 is that I’ve built up a recognizable brand. The bad thing about being online that long is that there’s a lot of inconsistencies that have developed over time.

One issue I’ve been having is that my social media platforms just aren’t consistent and this is something I’ve been meaning to remedy as soon as I’ve had time. Remember when life was simple and all we had to worry about was Live Journal and Myspace (yes I’m dating myself!) My handles, avatars and bios need to be cleaned up and yes, I need to get to work on my Facebook business page (don’t lecture me — I’m already managing two Facebook accounts and just thinking about running a third gives me heart palpitations!)

What this all comes down to is taking a step back from the brand I’ve built and figuring out what’s working and what’s not so I can move forward more consistently in 2013.

The tricky part of my brand (and I know many of you also fall into this boat) is that I’m very intertwined with it, perhaps too closely at times. I’ve been sorting through handles on my profiles, trying to determine which I want to keep under my business name, Nubby Twiglet, and which I want to be under my name, Shauna.

This has become more of an issue this year in particular because I’ve been expanding beyond Nubby Twiglet with the launch of The Blogcademy and have another separate venture launching early next year. Since both of these are outside of Nubby Twiglet, I’ve been using my name much more prominently across key social media accounts in the spirit of being the recognizable link between these brands. In the future, Nubby Twiglet will be one of many businesses I have so I’m thinking about what makes sense going forward. This might sound a bit convoluted now but I promise, everything will reveal itself in time!

All of this probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to most of you, it’s just a fair warning that you may see some of my social media handles and content shifting over the next few weeks as I figure out what works best for me. Nubby Twiglet began at 18 when I pushed two of my nicknames together and eventually became the basis of my senior thesis for my marketing degree in 2005 (do you want to see it? I’ve never shown it online!) And, it will always remain the name of my blog (don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere!) Now at 31, I’m ready to expand into more varied areas so you’ll see me using my name, Shauna more visibly. It’s been a long, strange, intriguing journey watching how blogging and design has unfolded over the last decade and I’m more excited than ever for the future.

Once my brand audit is complete, I’ll be sharing more about the process and some tips for how you can make sure your brand is aligned consistently as well. Stay tuned!

*Photo by Lisa Devlin.

I Left My Heart in Los Angeles

nubby twiglet la 2012


How have you been? I returned from an awesome LA getaway with Gala mid-week and have been playing catch-up with family, emails, projects and life in general ever since. I took a ton of photos and shuffling through them makes me smile big time. Tune in on Monday for a (late but awesome) Week In Pictures featuring the usual suspects: palm trees, In-N-Out, bike riding, shopping, chillin’ on the beach and so much more. I hope you’re having a great weekend! I spent the day cleaning like a madwoman, running errands and freshening up my office (nothing like a change of scenery to make you re-evalutate your own surroundings). Still getting back in the swing of things…slowly but surely. Much love!


Journey to Halfway: Part One

what i wore

what i wore


I spent the weekend in Halfway, Oregon, a sleepy town with a population of less than 400. Because of the slow pace (and lack of cell phone reception and wifi), two days felt like five and it was one of the most relaxing weekends I’ve had in years. I have so much more to share about this voyage but for now, here’s what I wore during my stay at the local bed & breakfast. I spotted this ASOS dress on Gala awhile back and I knew I had to have it. It’s a soft, unstructured cotton that was comfortable enough for the six hour drive each way.


what i wore

what i wore


I Wore:

Skater Dress with Contrast Piping, ASOS
Patent Heels, Dries van Noten


what i wore


My outfit was heavily inspired by the color combo of my new BFF, Rhubarb (below). Isn’t she adorable?! I’ll be sharing more about how I met Rhubarb and my life-altering Halfway visit this Friday.


what i wore


P.S. The winner of the Motel giveaway is Ivy drawn via Random.org). Congratulations!!


The Week In Pictures: 2.26.12 // Las Vegas Part 2

las vegas 2012


las vegas 2012

Yes, this is really Vegas.


Welcome to part two of our adventures in Vegas! If you’re just tuning in, catch up on part one here.


Thursday / Day 04

las vegas 2012

Vegas definitely made me want to wear more brights


We started off our morning passing the faux Arc de Triomphe on our journey towards more dark casinos and gigantic malls. My favorite shops are tucked inside Ceasar’s Palace and it’s always a trip stopping by there because marble, fountains and statues are everywhere. Oh, and let’s not forget the massive portraits of Elton, Celine and Rod.


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Caesar’s Palace is the epitome of Vegas glitz


las vegas 2012


We engaged in a bit of window shopping but finally found our holy grail inside the MAC Pro store, with walls merchandised in an array of rainbow pigments.


las vegas 2012


After posing next to an amazing bronze Sigfried & Roy statue, showgirls and a group of Elvises, we took a break in front of a McDonald’s to eat some ice cream.


las vegas 2012


A Michael Jackson impersonator with a striking resemblance to Corey Feldman in pancake makeup would not stop giving us the eye. But man, could he dance! Multiple awkward crotch thrusts later, we said our goodbyes moved onto our next adventure.

That night, we found another winner for dinner, Holstein’s. Located inside the Cosmo, they specialize in gourmet burgers and booze-filled shakes. I had the best vegan burger of my life, seriously. They take American fast food to a whole new level.


las vegas 2012

Bond, The Cosmo


Because we’d been so busy in the days leading up to our shoot, we’d barely had time for a drink (I know, I know…in Vegas, that’s nuts.) So, we ventured out to Bond, a glamorous crystal and LED-drenched hangout with cushy seating and massive chains (?!). This bar was a definite highlight of the trip.


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Dancin’ the night away at King Ink


One drink later, we moved on down The Strip. With the promise of free admission, we were lured into King Ink inside The Mirage with a tattoo parlor in the back…but the place was completely dead. We did what any other visitor would do on their last night in paradise: we made our own party, dancing through the center of the back patio. When in Vegas, one thing you’ll quickly notice is that music is piped in everywhere. You’ll find tunes blaring all along The Strip, whether it’s at the Bellagio water show (my favorite was when the fountains moved in time to Billie Jean) and coming from every restaurant, bar and hotel complex at top volume. If you’re in the mood, just dance your way through it all, like we did. Gala, Kat and I had dance-offs every morning and night in the Cosmo elevator to fellow passenger’s horror (some looked away, others wouldn’t even step in).


Friday / Day 05

las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Chinese Gardens, The Palazzo


I have no idea how five days flew by so quickly but we weren’t quite ready to drown away our sorrows. Instead, Gala and I danced down the strip one last time, past the Bellagio fountains and into the beautiful Chinese New Year-themed gardens.


las vegas 2012

Herve Leger, The Palazzo


After a few more last-minute peeks inside glamourous boutiques, it was time to hop in a cab to catch flights back to opposite coasts. Vegas is what you make of it and this particular stay was pretty awesome. In hindsight, here’s a list of what I’m glad we did and what we’d do differently next time (because, there’s always a next time):


Things I Am Glad We Did

• We took the time to hang out at multiple casinos and people watch. Vegas is the people watching capital of the world. This is partly because big hair, false eyelashes, sequins, spray tans and miniskirts are all considered acceptable at all times.

• We tried a new restaurant every night. Because of this, we got to experience a variety of great atmospheres.

• We switched it up and stayed at a new hotel. When you stay at the same place every time, your surroundings become familiar and stale.

• We made multiple trips outside of The Strip. This gave us a better idea of what Vegas was like beyond the confines of the manufactured metropolis.

• We browsed but barely bought anything. We peeked into many stores and admired a lot of beautiful objects, but beyond that, we really focused on spending quality time together. Stuff is just stuff. Memories (and photos) last forever.

• We used every possible opportunity to dress up. There’s so many amazing sights to shoot and posing in jeans and a t-shirt just doesn’t convey the same energy. Vegas is one of the few places where you can truly go overboard so embrace it!


Things We Would Do Differently Next Time

• Bring more cash. The ATM fees average $5.00 on The Strip (ouch!) and cabs charge a hefty fee if you use your card.

• Check Yelp reviews before visiting restaurants. The newest, hottest places weren’t necessarily the best.


las vegas 2012

Eat your heart out! Here’s our best Criss Angel impressions.


• Check out a few shows. We’d talked about seeing David Copperfield, Peep Show, Criss Angel and Bite. But time got away from us and we never had a chance to make it happen. This gives us an incentive to come back.

• Skip the room service. It tends to be overpriced and not very well done.

• Book a massage. We ended up walking a few miles a day and were exhausted at the end of each. Next time, I’ll leave more time at the end for some pampering.


las vegas 2012

Our view from The Cosmo


Viva Las Vegas! Have you been? Did you love it or loathe it? Anything we should add to our list for next time?


The Week In Pictures: 2.26.12 // Las Vegas Part 1

las vegas 2012


las vegas 2012

Our view from the 52nd floor, The Cosmopolitan


After pulling a stress-filled all-nighter to deliver a bundle of client work, I boarded a plane bound for Vegas Monday afternoon. My mission for the week was simple: to take a much needed break from work, escape reality and spend some quality time with friends.

A lot has changed since I first visited Las Vegas back in 1998. This time, Gala and I both wanted to stay at the newest and most buzzed about hotel on the strip, The Cosmopolitan. With a sophisticated, urban vibe, mirrored surfaces and crystal chandeliers draped from every conceivable surface, it was an ideal choice in comparison to the overly gilded options we’d encountered during past stays.


Monday / Day 01

las vegas 2012

Crystal sculpture in the Cosmo casino


After quick flight from Portland and a five minute walk through the casino with my huge suitcase in hand, I arrived at our room at The Cosmo. It was love at first sight with the feeling of a glamorous apartment (The hotel was originally slated to be condos.)


las vegas 2012

Night One with Kat and Gala. Wearing: Sonia Rykiel for H&M sweater, Shareen Vintage skirt and H&M tights.


For our first night in Vegas, Gala and I met up with our friends Kat and David McNeil for a drink at the lobby bar, Vesper, a shimmery tundra named after an obscure James Bond cocktail.


las vegas 2012

Vesper, The Cosmopolitan


Afterwards, we hit a WPPI-related party at Planet Hollywood.


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Gallery Nightclub, Planet Hollywood


During our visit to The Gallery, we fell in love with a disco ball galaxy hanging from the ceiling as well as a carousel horse and rhinestone-encrusted tub. The highlight of the night was watching David take the stage and belt out a Bruce Springsteen tune. That Brit had all the lyrics down by heart!


las vegas 2012


Back at our hotel, I found my new home — a stiletto sculpture along the edge of the casino. Prime real estate, if you ask me.


las vegas 2012


Our night ended with ill-fated, overpriced room service. Just don’t do it, ever. From them on, we saved our pennies and hit the hotel concessions stand instead.


Tuesday / Day 02

las vegas 2012

Every morning, we passed Faux Paris.


Kat, Gala and I got off to an early start engaging in our favorite holiday pastime: shopping. We were in need of a few last minute shoot essentials but came up mostly empty-handed.


las vegas 2012

Herve Leger, Caesar’s Palace


las vegas 2012

Admiring Louboutins, Caesar’s Palace


We took a short break in between the shopping madness to get our fortunes told by Zoltar. They were pretty damn good for a buck.


las vegas 2012


If you’re on the hunt for vintage, as we were, Vegas is a no-go. Really, don’t bother. After taking multiple cabs and walking miles through various parts of town, our search for vintage goodies was a complete bust (two of the stores were completely shuttered).


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Fremont Street


Between shopping, we visited Fremont Street for the first time. Fremont Street (also known as Glitter Gulch) was the first paved street in Vegas (1925) and is considered the older, original Las Vegas. It’s a fascinating trip through the past, complete with many of the original casinos from the 40s onward. Western themes and vintage typography are everywhere. Fremont is the real deal; it’s not the glammed up facade of The Strip.


las vegas 2012

This casino was past its prime but the carpet was amazing.


Drinks are cheap and plentiful, the signs for showgirls and escorts are more graphic, and the once glamorous past along this street now feels distant and faded. Cab rides run around $20.00 each way from most of The Strip hotels.


las vegas 2012

On our way out to dinner. I wore an H&M shirt, Zara skirt and Ai for Matiko boots.


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Amazing art covers nearly every corner of The Cosmo


Tuesday night was spent exploring the art and resturnts of the Cosmo (much to Kat & David’s dismay, Gala & I wanted to stop every 10 feet for a photo op) and feeling really anxious for our big shoot on Wednesday.


Wednesday / Day 03

las vegas 2012

Group shot with the team of photographers and assistants


The shoot we’d been planning for weeks was finally happening. Our hair & makeup team and photographers arrived at 9 am sharp and got to work. We ran through outfit pairings, threw our belongings into garbage bags and hit the road. The first location at Circus Circus was so much better than I could have imagined. I loved the old Vegas feel.


las vegas 2012

Goofing off between photos at Circus Circus


The scenery of the second location, a ghost town in Nelson, felt straight out of a movie and thanks to the team’s hard work, everything went off without a hitch. The entire day was brimming with a sense of optimism and willingness to come together in a way that I’ve rarely experienced.


las vegas 2012

las vegas 2012

Location two: Nelson, Nevada


That night, as we were cruising back towards The Strip in the rental car, blasting 80s rock tunes and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, I felt a surge of thankfulness to be a part of this experience with my friends.


las vegas 2012

10 hours later: the aftermath


Back at the hotel, we tiredly dragged garbage bags of clothing and vases of flowers through the long stretch of casino, resembling fallen showgirls swathed in feathers, sequins and taffeta.


las vegas 2012

Paris Las Vegas


All of our meals up until Wednesday night had been lackluster; this time, we weren’t leaving anything to chance. After scouring Yelp reviews, we decided on Mon Ami Gabi inside the Paris. If you’re grabbing a meal on The Strip, this is your place. The food was excellent and much more affordable than some of the other places we’d tried. Do make reservations; otherwise, the wait can run over an hour.

At the end of the day, I had a realization: the best moment of our trip had nothing to do with shows, shopping or glamour. It was by far the time spent in a dusty ghost town surrounded by amazing company. It’s hard to explain but Las Vegas is one of those places that can feel overwhelmingly lonely if you’re there alone. Wandering through dark casinos, I was acutely aware of how different my experience would have been had I not been vacationing with two close friends and taking part in big group-inclusive events. The artifice is fun but the people around you are what really bring the experiences to life.

Thanks for joining me for part one of this magical, glitz-filled adventure. Stop by tomorrow morning for part two!


Ghost Town Glamour Girls

viva las vegas

Photo by David McNeil


I am so sad to be leaving Vegas today and saying goodbye to my two girl vixens, Gala and Kat. Our time together culminated in an all-day shoot on Wednesday involving Airstream trailers and a dusty ghost town at sunset (I can’t wait to show you more!) We’ve spent the last few days swathed in ruffles, lace and sequins, having dance parties in the elevator, posing with statues, avoiding creepy celebrity impersonators and obsessing over magicians (we’re talkin’ about you, David Copperfield). Moments like these make me incredibly thankful. A full Vegas recap brimming with the good, the bad and the sequined is coming soon!


Viva Las Vegas!

viva las vegas


viva las vegas

viva las vegas


viva las vegas

1. Packing for my getaway / 2. Our balcony view / 3. My note from Gala


On Monday, I landed in Las Vegas for a much needed girl’s getaway with Gala and Kat. Between strolling up and down the strip for hours on end, doing magazine edits, ordering overpriced room service in the middle of the night and soaking up the beauty of never-ending bright lights, this has been an amazing experience I’ll never forget. I hope you’re having a smashing week! Tune in for a two-part installment of The Week In Pictures beginning this Friday.