The Month + Links: August 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

I feel like this time of year is packed with a lot of transitions — how about you?

As we head into the last few months of 2017, life is shifting into high gear and it’s been a challenge to stay focused and productive with so many changes happening at once.

Let’s dig in…

The Month

1. 10 Year Blog Anniversary

Just writing this makes me a bit sentimental! In August, I celebrated 10 years of blogging in this spot. Crazy, huh?! Thinking back to 10 years ago, I was 25 years old and just starting my graphic design degree after taking a year off from college. I worked at a shoe store and had a lot of roommates. I also ate plenty of ramen. #collegelife

Things were chaotic but exciting and there were way more unknowns than knowns. Like most people in their mid-20s, I was still trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in. I didn’t have any professional design experience, I wasn’t married, I didn’t own a house or run my own business.

Looking back, this blog gave me an outlet to share during the many ups and downs and also provided me a with foundation to later launch my design studio — and I am forever grateful for that. This place will always be home. I love you guys!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

2. Finally Going Vegan

I say “finally” for a reason…I’ve fluctuated between being vegetarian and pescatarian since 2004 but always held off on going vegan because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the willpower to stick with it. The thing is, Joey has been vegan for 25 years (that’s not a typo!) and does all our grocery shopping and cooking. A month ago, I had the realization that I was eating vegan about 75% of the time without trying and with a handful of adjustments, I could make the change.

Now that I’ve been at it for a few weeks, it’s become easier — if I want a treat, my local coffee shop has vegan banana bread. Daiya makes an awesome vegan yogurt (I’m actually eating one now!) And, let’s talk about pizza (because life without pizza isn’t worth living, right?) Baby Doll makes the best vegan pizza around.

Diet is such a personal thing and everyone has to make a decision about what’s right for them but I’m so glad I made the switch.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

3. Slowing Down and Speeding Up

Summers are usually slower for me — my small business clients are on vacation with their kids, traveling and taking time away from the daily grind to live it up. For some reason this year, that didn’t happen. Projects got stacked on top of more projects and a few great opportunities came up that I didn’t want to pass on. That meant less sharing here and less time online in general. Instead of feeling guilty, I gave myself a blogging break and focused on getting the work done.

September always feels like the perfect time to jump back into routines — it’s that infectious back-to-school energy and shift to cooler weather, not to mention my birthday, Joey’s birthday AND our anniversary! It’s a time of renewal, reflection and an opportunity to re-set and make the most of the rest of the year. I’ll be 36 in a few weeks and the old cliché I used to roll my eyes at as a kid is so true — as you get older, it really does feel like time speeds up.

4. Big Branch Shoot

At the end of September, Branch will be celebrating 4 years in business! I still remember how scary it was stepping away from the safety net of working for other design studios. For the first year, my only goal was to bring in enough business to not have to go back to a day job. Every day brought new challenges but I never regretted the change.

As we’ve grown, I’ve decided that it’s time to step up and book a full-on creative studio shoot. I’m flying to the east coast in mid-September with a bundle of props and a shot list to finally make this dream come true. It’s definitely anxiety-inducing but instead of sitting at my desk and fearing the unknown, it’s time to put my trust in a creative team and see what unfolds.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

5. Saying Yes to New Opportunities

One of the things I’ve been working on this year is being more spontaneous and open to opportunities. Instead of overthinking it, I’m practicing saying yes. My friend Sarah asked me to help her with a workshop in Washington, D.C. a few weeks back and even though we’d only ever talked over Skype and email, I flew across the country and spent 3 days with her. It was AWESOME!

I made friends with an amazing group of women, shared a bunch of still life styling and social media tips during our day in the photo studio and we spent our nights exploring Old Town Alexandria — so colonial, so cute! Yes, I was nervous, yes, I questioned what I was doing as I boarded the flight, and yes, I AM SO GLAD I did it! Say yes…and see where it takes you!

6. Mini Summer Vacation

Last week, I took a few days off to fly to New York and visit Gala. We made the most of our time together, cramming in her rooftop event at The Wing, a goddess-themed birthday party where we were hand-fed grapes, apartment tours, plenty of good food, a massive closet clean-out (and two trips to trade it all in at Buffalo Exchange!), late night living room dance parties, hotel room chat sessions with Alexandra at Public, long walks along the river and plenty of cuddles with her dog Cleo.

As I get older, I’m reminded of how important friendships are. We live on opposite sides of the country yet we always make the most of the time we do have together.

7. More Ch-ch-changes

Ah, man. There’s even more to share with you but the biggest change of all involves its own post because it’s too special to just tack onto the end of this list. Tune in Tuesday for the big news!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

The Links

• Hurricane Harvey is on everyone’s minds here in the U.S. this week. Here’s a list of how to help. Brené Brown is bringing up something we often forget about in the midst of donating: underwear.

• Ugh. Supposedly 6 hours of sleep is as bad as none at all!

• With some strategy and style, you can do a surprising amount with a 300 square foot living space.

• I love this advice so much: Leap when you’re almost ready.

• The 3 types of bullshit feedback…and what to do about it!

• Did you see the IKEA x HAY design collaboration? So good!

An honest cover letter is so painfully accurate! #guilty

• It would be amazing if Adobe integrated the Playful Palette into its programs.

• These freelance achievement stickers are so true…and so funny.

• When should you buy your plane ticket to get the best pricing? This is something I’ve always wondered about!

• Timeless advice: It’s never too late. There’s only one finish line in life!

• As a creative, it’s important to be aware of the 12 stages of burnout.

• What’s it like to work for your hero? Pretty cool…and full of surprises.

• I love this concept! Try Studio is a platform that lets its users take one-on-one private lessons in all things creative!

• If you’re interested in looking at your career prospects in a new way, check out Ellen’s monthly column called Career Forecast which combines practical advice with astrology and key dates.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an inspiring, productive September! -Shauna


Photos: 1. Loving all white manicures these days. New book from Bluestockings and tray from the Fred Segal x CB2 collection. 2. Iced chais at The Wing. 3. Summer vacation snapshot in New York. 4. Chubs loves climbing the curtains! 5. More cute views at The Wing.

Tools Of the Trade: Open Foundry

Nubby Twiglet | Tools Of the Trade: Open Foundry

My newest obsession for finding on-trend, high quality type options is Open Foundry. It’s a platform for open-source fonts (read: FREE!)

A lot of free font sites focus on quantity over quality with little sense of organization and digging through the thousands of options can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack — I often find that it takes more time than it’s worth.

I love the “Hot 30” focus of Open Foundry. Scroll through the current picks quickly, click on the live type and test it out in a few seconds to see if it’s a good fit before downloading.

This site is such a breath of fresh air and I hope you find some great fonts for your next project!


Find more Tools Of The Trade posts here.
Featured photos: Evan Kirby and Mona Eendra via Unsplash.

Latest & Greatest: Fred Segal x CB2 Collab

Nubby Twiglet | Fred Segal x CB2 Collab

I recently came across the new capsule collection by Fred Segal for CB2 and had to share!

It has a warm, retro-cool California vibe going on that I really love. The mix is really unexpected and fun complete with a bold pineapple table, palm tree lamp, shaggy rugs, neon signs, brass desk accessories and more.

Nubby Twiglet | Fred Segal x CB2 Collab

I like the balance between relaxed and polished paired with clean lines. There hasn’t been any feedback on the quality yet since most of the line is on pre-order but all the CB2 items I’ve ordered in the past have held up really nicely.

CB2 has been killin’ it on the designer collabs lately — the Ross Cassidy and Matthew Williamson collections are also great.

Nubby Twiglet | Fred Segal x CB2 Collab

All images courtesy of CB2.

Getting Organized For Instagram: UNUM App

Getting Organized For Instagram: The UNUM App

Have you ever posted an image to Instagram only to realize that it isn’t quite right? Maybe the coloring is off or it ends up shifting your feed into feeling different than you were expecting. I often posted photos only to quickly delete them because I had trouble visualizing what the flow would look like.

For the last year or so, I’ve also struggled with posting as consistently. I’ll travel or take tons of great photos around the office but then I settle back into a lengthy to-do list and deadlines, quickly forgetting about all those images.

And, as people continually lean more towards quality over quantity on Instagram, I don’t want to over-post and overwhelm my followers in a quest to get the content out there before it gets lost in the depths of my camera roll.

While I tend to post more off-the-cuff content on my personal account (@nubbytwiglet) in an attempt to keep it an authentic reflection of my life, my business account (@wearebranch) is much more polished and I’m often weighing different color stories and compositions before posting.

Like many of you, I’d heard of apps that could organize and pre-schedule my content but I never really found anything that meshed with my design style and quest for simplicity. That all changed last week when I discovered UNUM.

First off, UNUM has a really simple, minimal interface. You can pre-schedule images and captions but I tend to use it primarily as a content grid to visualize what I want my feed to look like.

Now, instead of waking up and digging through the thousands of images on my phone to figure out what to post, I already have a backlog 20 images with a nice mix of old favorites and new shots queued up and ready to go.

One other nice touch is that you’re able to toggle between multiple accounts so if you’re like me with business and personal profiles, you don’t need to log in and out.

This app has already saved so much time and I hope it does the same for you, too.

What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

Summer is in full swing and as things heat up, I’m gravitating towards clothing that is lighter and more breathable. One of my recent finds is this t-shirt dress and it’s been in constant rotation over the last month (see it here and here also).

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

What I love about this piece is that it’s affordable (under $50.00!) and super versatile — the pre-tied front adds visual interest and gives it shape. Wear it with sneaker wedges and minimal jewelry for a daytime look and add boots and a bold necklace to transition to nighttime.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

Little Rocky joined me for a few photos — I’ve known him since he was 3 and now, he’s 10! I don’t know where the time goes. To even get him to look at the camera, you have to promise him cheese! He knows all the tricks to get what he wants. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

I’ve always found summer clothing to be trickier than that of the colder months because I love the look of layers. Tanks, cut-offs and sandals aren’t my thing so this dress gives me some polish without holding in the heat.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

I wore: Forever 21 straw boater hat, Urban Outfitters T-Shirt Dress, Zara boots (no longer available) and YSL “Y-Mail” bag (no longer available).

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Black and Pompoms

P.S. Thanks for your comments on my previous post — it’s really good to be back! I’ve missed you guys a ton. xoxo