2015: The Year Of Taking Accountability and Focusing On Quality Over Quantity

Nubby Twiglet | 2015: The Year Of Taking Accountability and Focusing On Quality Over Quantity

This year is about setting intentions…and actually following through with them.

At the end of 2014, I set a simple yet power-packed intention for the new year: to create more. During 2014, I’d felt myself fall into the trap of spending too much time sitting on other blogs and social media and getting caught up in busy work that often filled my days in ways that I didn’t really want to be spending it. Life is too short.

Then, January 1st came. The universe must have heard my intention loud and clear because I haven’t stopped since. Well, I did take a break earlier in the week to make a trip to IKEA — and while killing time with my aunt in a returns line that didn’t seem to budge, we started talking about 9 Star Ki. “This is your year to make things happen,” she said. You’ve been building up to it…it’s going to be a full one.”

I may have said, “I know.” Or at least, that’s what I was thinking.

I spent last year sitting next to a handwritten list of products I wanted to make…and not a single one happened. I collected folders of inspiration and made outlines but actually getting the hard work done? Not even close.

It was my own fault — I didn’t make the time or set priorities. Instead, I jumped from one new client project to the next and traveled the world — both are amazing but I didn’t stop long enough to have this conversation with myself:

“What do you want to do?
Everything on that list.
Okay, then go do it.”

Simple, right?

Nubby Twiglet | 2015: The Year Of Taking Accountability and Focusing On Quality Over Quantity

In the first year of launching a new business, it often comes down to putting all of your time and effort into other people’s brands and that in turn builds your own through word of mouth, exposure and notoriety. It was a good year. But, that list of projects I want to launch is still taped to my wall.

This year, in an effort to create more, I’m going to be blogging here a little less. My focus has always been quality over quantity so I want to do fewer, but higher quality posts that give you more value.

Much of the content here will be the same. Link Love will still be every Thursday. Fridays will still be The Week in Pictures but I want to focus on sharing just 3 to 4 really great shots (quality over quantity once again) and then include a personal story at the end with insight into what goes on over here day-to-day. The real stuff. And then, the most exciting addition is a new column I’ve been planning for the last month — Branded will feature the photos and details of brands I love. I shot photos of many products and shops during my time in Australia and New Zealand that I can’t wait to start sharing with you next week.

I’m still settling into the post-holiday break and trying to find my blogging and work groove….but I’ve been glancing over my shoulder at that list. And by the end of this year, I hope to have a whole bunch of offerings that will make your creative / small business existence a whole lot easier. Good, useful stuff.

Now, it’s time to dig in and create.

My challenge for you is to simply ask yourself what you really want to do with your time. And then, go do it.

Photos: Urban Safari.

I Died And Went To Prop Heaven: The Blogcademy Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Melbourne, you are one amazing city (and not just because you know how to make the best chai lattes in the universe).

I’ll admit it, I was a little thrown off by the first few days of our trip, though — to say that it got off to a rocky start is a slight understatement. So rocky in fact that Kat and I comforted each other the night before class, sipping wine in bed and falling asleep to Michael Bolton videos on Youtube (there’s nothing quite like a familiar voice to soothe your soul). When you’re traveling and a handful of things go awry, it can feel like the end of the world without the usual comforts of home nearby.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

I woke up for class the next morning, hoping for the best and then…we ended up in a traffic jam like no other. But boy oh boy, all my worries disappeared when I sauntered into The Establishment Studios.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Housed behind a totally nondescript door was a treasure trove of props, colorfully painted walls and enough furniture to outfit an entire boutique hotel.


To me, it was the equivalent of winning the prop lottery. Industrial racks filled the far corner of the space lined with antique dishes, vases, taxidermy, wallpaper, books and every trinket imaginable. You could basically be the star of Instagram if you had this haul in real life.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

And, our class. Our class! Their sense of style blew my basic black dress and sneakers away. And, their personalities shined just as brightly — just check out that class photo below!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Cath and Steph had flown in from Port Douglas, a.k.a. the ultimate paradise. I loved these two — their big smiles and great questions livened up the front row.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

What’s a class without a few ridiculous selfies as keepsakes?! Kobi, Anna and Tillie were instant BFF’s.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Some of our still life compositions got….ahem, very creative.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

I don’t remember my class photos EVER being this lively. I mean, if school was this fun, I never would have wanted it to end.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne


Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

On breaks, we took full advantage of this gorgeous white room, covering it in confetti. On my to-do list for this year is to practice my throw — that robotic stance isn’t the most welcoming!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Green Press brought by oodles of delicious juices and dear lord, I want a case of the almond vanilla sea salt flavor. If they ever make it to the Northern Hemisphere, I’ll be the first in line. #fangirl

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

By the end of the two days, our class was ready to move in and make the prop studio our permanent residence. Oh, maybe that was just me. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Melbourne, I love you. I love your alleys, your array of well-branded juice bars, arcades of random shops, your appreciation of a well-blended chai and your beautiful walls of graffiti.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Special thanks to our Melbourne sponsors including: Brand Me for the mugs and colored pencils, Reeta Krishna for the WordPress For Beginners books, Pepper Ink for the tattoo transfers, Fizzy Bunting for the confetti, Violent Maiden for the eyeshadows, and of course, Crown and Glory for the sparkly ears (an absolute necessity).

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

Branded Photo Booth strips? Nothing is better than coming to class….and having your favorite vice waiting for you. Thanks to The Photo Booth Guys for making dreams come true (hire them for your next party — their setup has an INSTAGRAM PRINTER!)

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Melbourne

We’re only doing six in-person classes this year (because an online version of our workshop is launching on January 29th!) so if you want to join us, learn in person and get some extra one-on-one feedback about your blog and small business, here are the cities to make that happen in:

February 28 – 1, 2015

June 13 – 14, 2015

September 12 – 13, 2015

September 19 – 20, 2015

December 5 – 6, 2015

December 12 – 13, 2015

Come on out — I can’t wait to meet you in person!

Venue: The Establishment Studios.
Photographers: Urban Safari and Madeline Kate.

Kicking Off The New Year In Style: My Office Tour…and a Giveaway!

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

I spent a solid 10 years of my life sitting in other people’s offices…never feeling like the surroundings really reflected who I was.

And, that was totally fair — after all, I was getting paid to show up and do a job! The thing is, I’d always dreamed of having my own space. In the ideal scenario, I wanted somewhere that fit my personal taste and made me excited to get out of bed every day (even on Mondays and the occasional weekend).

At the same time, my practical side kicked in — I didn’t want to go into massive debt just for the sake of having a pretty space. No matter who you are, that’s just a terrible business move! So, I waited it out, working from an extra room at home…until the perfect spot landed in my lap during the Fall. I moved in November 1st and quickly got to work making the surroundings feel relaxed but stylized and documented the process in Anatomy Of An Office.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Thanks for virtually joining me as the space came together over these last few months. Now, it’s time to kick off the new year in style and help YOU pull your own space together. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter an awesome $200.00 giveaway courtesy of UncommonGoods! They have a ton of great home and office items so you can put the perfect finishing touches on your space!

The Tour

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Let’s start with a good ol’ before and after. As these things usually go, I didn’t get many great before shots. I came in, took a quick tour, came back a week later when the construction was finished, signed the lease and moved in. Both of these shots were taken from the entrance, just at slightly different angles. The main differences between the shots: the old popcorn-textured ceiling was removed, plywood sheets were installed for the flooring, window casings were built in and the brick wall to the left was painted white.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

It’s time to move onto the desk area. I already had a spare desk and an Aeron chair from my old office so I kept those around. My desk area has a massive set of windows directly behind it which is great for a dose of natural light.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

I’m all about having a tidy surface and clean off my desk every night before I leave. It’s almost like I’m giving myself a clean slate for the morning. Each morning, I walk in, plug in my space heater (old brick buildings are COLD!), set down my cup of coffee and light a candle. It’s nice to have those little rituals to start your day.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

I also have an affirmation from Kikki K taped to my computer. It’s a good reminder that even when the unexpected things hit (because they always do!), a positive attitude will go a long way.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

I’m really big on matching office supplies. As soon as I signed the lease on my new space, I ordered orange goodies from Poppin. Their stuff is super solid and comes in tons of punchy colors. And of course, an eccentric pencil holder is a must!

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Moving on, directly behind my desk is a bookshelf I’ve had for a decade. All of my design books and reference magazines and catalogs are housed in it by color.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

On the white brick wall next to the bookshelf, I have a large inspiration board. This is my view when I glance over to the right side of my desk. If you missed the DIY, you can build your own by following these steps!

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Moving down from the inspiration board along the edge of the white wall, there’s two orange chairs divided by a round yellow table. My brother is the ultimate thrifter and found these chairs for $40.00 each at a swap meet somewhere in California. I’m really big on the necessities not being ugly — this garbage can holds a lot but isn’t an eyesore.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Moving to the opposite side of the room, I have a row of built-in shelving that allows me to change out the artwork. It’s built out of door frame trim and you can make your own here! I usually have a mix of coffee table books, records and inspirational sayings rounding out the mix.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Directly below the shelving is a white credenza — this is where all the basics are nicely hidden including dishes, props, a scanner, wacom tablet and extra supplies.

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

I picked up a bunch of yellow cardboard storage boxes from IKEA to hold things like art supplies, Pantone books and candles. It’s a simple way to keep the clutter contained.


Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Everything in my office can be sourced from this handy list:

• Blanket: Cross by Pia Wallén.
• Brutalized Gainsborough print: Chad Wys on Society 6.
• Colored trays: Kaleido Trays by HAY.
• Credenza: Alba by CB2.
• Desk: Parsons by West Elm.
• Eiffel Tower sculpture: HomeGoods.
• Floor lamp: RANARP by IKEA.
• Footed bowl: UncommonGoods.
• For Like Ever Print: Bright Yellow by Super Rural.
• Fuzzy pillow: Anthropologie (made in different colors now).
• Garbage can: UncommonGoods.
• Gelato candle: Mozi Australia.
• Magazine files: TJENA by IKEA.
• Office chair: Aeron by Herman Miller.
• Pens and scissors: Poppin.
• Round table: Stockholm by IKEA.
• Rug: Moroccan Trellis by Nuloom.
• Sculpture With A Spectrum print: Chad Wys on Society 6.
• Storage boxes: TJENA by IKEA.
• Today I Am affirmation: Vision Board by Kikki K.
• Toucan pen holder: UncommonGoods.
• Tray and pencil cup: Marble by H&M (no longer made).
• Wire chairs: Ethel by The Bend.

Thanks for checking out my space….now it’s time for the really fun stuff below!

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

UncommonGoods Giveaway


For this giveaway, I’ve partnered up with UncommonGoods, an independently founded B Corp based in Brooklyn with a focus on supporting artisans and giving back to the community. Pretty awesome, right?

They’re giving one lucky reader a $200.00 voucher and you can spend it on whatever you’d like…but here are some of my suggestions to get you started:

Nubby Twiglet | Branch Office Tour and Giveaway

Source: 1. Greek coffee cup, 2. cockatoo pencil holder, 3. unzipped glass bag, 4. footed bowl, 5. ampersand serving board, 6. apple trinket box, 7. tubular garbage can, 8. agate coasters, 9. footed mug, 10. porcupine pencil holder, 11. heart server and 12. whale stapler.

To Enter

It’s easy to enter the giveaway:

1. Like UncommonGoods on Facebook.

2. Like Nubby Twiglet on Facebook.

3. Leave a comment below letting me know what you’d spend your UncommonGoods winnings on!

Pssst! Need some ideas? They have THOUSANDS of items to peruse including handmade / personalized / gift options here, here and here.

The fine print: Contest is open to everyone over the age of 18 worldwide. You have until 11:59pm PST on Friday, January 9th, 2015 to enter. One winner will be chosen at random. Use a current email address when you leave your comment so I can contact you! Once contacted, you will have one week to respond and claim your prize. The prize may not be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered. Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties. My decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No purchase necessary.

Good luck….and happy new year!

Special thanks to UncommonGoods for sponsoring this giveaway. All photos and opinions are my own.

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