The Week in Pictures: 1.4.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

My dream skirt courtesy of Carrie Hammer

How’s the new year treating you so far??

Before the holiday break hit, I made a huge, ambitious list. I promised myself that I would stay home for once and wrap up loose ends and start off 2013 feeling more prepared, refreshed and ready to take on whatever the world had in store for me. Though I made huge strides, I didn’t quite make it…or even come close, really.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Window shopping with my brother over the holiday break at Yo! Vintage

Being on vacation is hard — even though your logical side tells you that it’s time to organize receipts and prepare for taxes, your illogical side says, “Hey, go blow through all those gift cards! You know you need 3 new black sweaters! DO IT!” And so it goes. Let’s face it — self-control and vacation DO NOT go together!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

My Christmas present from Joey. He knows me well!

The holidays were great though. For Christmas Eve, Joey, Rocky & I headed out to the country for our usual, untraditional gathering with my dad’s family. It was so damn nice to get out of the city, shove my phone in my purse and barely look at it all night. We came home that night and ripped through our presents. Joey got me a few things I am still jumping for joy over. Like these studded Zara shoes.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Researching, non-internet style

I wish I could say that the last week of 2012 was relaxing but between preparing for a two week trip to Europe in mid January (we’re teaching two Blogcademy workshops in London! There’s still a few spots left on the second date if you want to join us!) and then trying to stay calm as Joey did some major renovations on the house including ripping out part of the kitchen ceiling (a serious disaster that took a solid week to complete. EEK.)

Not that that’s a bad thing. There’s progress all around and as I mentioned last week, progress is sometimes uncomfortable but it’s absolutely necessary for us to grow.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

New Year’s Eve photos with Joey & an amazing little notebook from Sian

I’m so excited for this year. There’s always that intoxicating feeling of a fresh start, fresh intentions and that maybe, just maybe, anything’s possible. I’m really feeling that optimism, especially after seeing an 8 page feature about myself and hometown finally hit newsstands in the new Computer Arts Collection issue. So surreal. More on that Monday!

Happy 2013, friends! Hope it’s off to a great start.

Link Love: 1.3.13

link love

link love

Arizona Muse by Paolo Roversi

• This should keep you busy for awhile: The New Yorker rounds up the 100 best lists of all time.

• 40 cool things to do with your posts AFTER you hit publish!

• The Pantone 2013 calendar is pretty great.

• The Everygirl has a great roundup of articles that will help you get smart about money in 2013.

• If you have an interview coming up that you want to ace, these tips will help you make that great first impression.

• I love this advice on delivering on your promises.

• If you’re feeling overwhelmed by blogging and having difficulty figuring out a routine, Jasmine Star has some great advice you can apply right away.

• No matter how old you are or how long ago you may have finished school, have you made a commitment to never stop learning?

• The 25 funniest auto corrects of the year will having you laughing so hard you’ll cry. Promise.

• Flickr is making quite the comeback! Its photo app has been getting rave reviews and this post shows the top 10 Flickr for iPhone tips.

• If you’re backing up WordPress, don’t make these 9 mistakes.

• Breanna Rose shares her favorite web fonts. Always good to have a few go-to’s on hand!

• Gala’s New Year’s prayer is inspiring and will help you dream big!

It’s Time To Get Organized!

A new year means the chance for a fresh start for many of us.

Along with all the usual resolutions, a lot of us aim to get more organized (or, at least the OCD Virgo in me does!) I associate organization with feeling more calm, cool and collected. When I’m able to find what I need when I need it, life doesn’t feel so chaotic. These are a few fail-proof ways I employ to keep my home, belongings and business organized.

Possessions As Art

Nubby Twiglet Get Organized

When it comes to organization, It’s not just about making sure all your possessions are put away just so-so. I like the idea of treating some of my favorite belongings as art. I’ve always had a few pairs of shoes sitting out in my office (what can I say, I’m a shoe freak) but they’d get so dusty. When I saw this storage solution in Lucky Magazine, I jumped on it. These Z Gallerie glass bell jars add a nice, dramatic touch and are more affordable than they look. We also have another in our living room.


I am very particular about the way my invoices look even though I know that means way more work for me as a business owner. I encourage you to come up with a consistent set of naming conventions that work for you. I have a folder called INVOICES and for each job I start, I set up a new job folder labeled with NT000_CLIENT_NAME. Inside of that folder is an InDesign document of the client’s invoice and another of the work order / contract.

I am strongly considering switching over to Pancake, as it makes invoicing, sending and receiving payments a lot more seamless. And it tracks who has and hasn’t paid up! What makes Pancake even more unique is that there’s a one-time fee to buy it outright versus a lot of other services which charge you a monthly fee. For more invoicing insights, check out this post by Breanna Rose.

Sorting By Color

Nubby Twiglet Get Organized

One of my no-fail tricks for staying organized is to sort items by color including books, shoes, socks and clothing. I tend to never forget the color of an item and this solution has served me well for the last few years. And, it looks great. As in most old houses, closet space is very very limited where we live so I have two oversized freestanding IKEA closets pushed next to each other. One holds only coats, skirts and dresses, arranged by item and then by color. The other holds only shirts and sweaters (shown above). I like peeking into a rainbow every morning.

Blog Content (Offline)

Nubby Twiglet Get Organized

I keep my blog post content very organized since I sometimes have ideas that may not go live for a few weeks. There’s always a folder on my desktop called BLOG_UPCOMING and each potential post gets its own folder. When you click in, this is what it looks like: a text document of the post, the web-ready assets and a folder of the edited PSDs. Once a post goes live, I drag the final web-ready jpegs into another desktop folder called BLOG_2013 so I always have a clean backup of all my edited online content.

Business Record Keeping

I’m not great when it comes to numbers and keeping business paperwork organized. I’ll admit to being hit with “Did I remember to send that invoice out and did it get paid?” a little too often. For 2013, I’ve vowed to keep better track of my business income and all the fun details that go along with it and in the process, I discovered Zoe Rooney’s small business record keeping spreadsheet. Since I’m exclusively on Macs and already have Numbers software, it’s perfect. Easy enough for me to understand with all the basics ready to go.

Even though I’ll be using this spreadsheet, I still print out every single PayPal invoice and keep every single receipt in a zip pouch next to my desk. Better to be safe than sorry if your accountant or, god forbid, The IRS calls! Speaking of accountants, I only ever use a CPA to do my business taxes. It’s worth the extra money and remember, the fee you pay them is a business write-off.

Office Storage

Nubby Twiglet Get Organized

The best investment I’ve made in my office setup is picking up two flat files from IKEA. Having everything I could ever need from stationery to stamps to proofs to old notebooks in one place is such a time saver. And, when pushed together they make an awesome tabletop when I’m working on other projects.

Hopefully these organizational tip methods will inspire you, too.
Anything else I didn’t cover that you’re still curious about? Let me know in the comments!

Getting Serious With Facebook!

Nubby Twiglet Facebook

Come join me on Facebook!

I stayed away from setting up a business page on Facebook until now because I already had a personal Facebook page anyone could add me on and the thought of keeping up on yet another social media profile made my stomach turn. I’m sure you can relate…

When I start something, I like to follow through and I wondered how in the world I’d keep up with Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, my personal Facebook, The Blogcademy Facebook, my blog and a Facebook business page. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to stop making excuses and just pull the trigger and get on with life!* Though I’m more of a Twitter girl myself, there are plenty of people out there who prefer Facebook and plus it’s a great place to create a community feel and share more work in progress photos. It’s a chance to have a different kind of conversation than I do on Twitter.

So, enough blabbering — I FINALLY have a Facebook page for my business. Come “like” me and introduce yourselves! And if you want to follow along on my personal account as well, I’m still there…though sometimes the dialog with my family can get a bit embarrassing. Haha.

*Note to self: Sometimes, you can make all the excuses in the world about why you shouldn’t do something but then realize you should do it anyway. Don’t be so stubborn.

The Brand Audit Part 02

the brand audit

Photo by Lisa Devlin

In its most basic terms, a brand audit is an assessment of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. When thinking about your own brand, it’s a two-way street. Ask yourself the following:

1. What’s the view from the inside out?

Are you actually coming across as who you say you are? How do YOU feel about your brand? Are you reaching the audience you’re hoping for? Is what you’re offering differentiated enough?

2. What’s the view from the outside in?

Who do your readers / customers think you are? What kind of feedback are you getting? Is there any sense of passion? Any sense of loyalty?

Here’s a challenge: gather up a solid mix of what you’ve sent out into the world over the last year. Take screen shots of your social media profiles. Of your bio page. Of your logo. A handful of blog posts. E-newsletters. Presentations. Gather up your collateral; business cards, stamps, stickers, products and so on. What does all this stuff convey about you and your branding? Is it consistent? Does is say what you want it to say?

What do you want your brand to stand for? This is your chance to move into action.

When it comes to my own brand, I had one key inconsistency between the online and off. While my name is Shauna, I often used a nickname online, Nubby. It was a holdover from when I was in high school — when I first made my way onto the internet in 1997, everyone I knew had a persona. Part of that was due to the fact that at that point, the world wide web was still a very big unknown. A lot of that mystery evaporated in the decade that followed but most noticeably, at least to me, with Facebook, where everyone is who they say they are (or at least we hope!) Now, with a constant internet connection on us all times, the online and offline have merged into the same reality. While I always valued having a distinct divide between the online and off, I’ve since realized that it’s all mashed together now and above all, I value consistency when it comes to myself, my brand and my business.

At the same time, over the last few months I’ve been doing a lot of growing beyond just Nubby Twiglet, my blog and studio. While this blog will continue on as it always has, I’m also thinking ahead to what the future holds: The Blogcademy continues to grow and I am working towards launching another business in mid-2013.

The one common thread between all of these projects I’m working on is myself. As you’ve probably noticed over the last few months, I’ve transitioned all of my social media accounts over from just being under Nubby Twiglet to being under my name, Shauna Haider so that as I grow as an entrepreneur, they will grow with me.

During my online brand audit, these are some things I took into consideration:

1. Naming.
Do all of your handles across your social media accounts follow the same naming conventions? I generally use this as my thought process: Nubby Twiglet is more well-known but I am the founder of my business and the voice behind the accounts. So for example on twitter, my handle is @nubbytwiglet but right next to it is my name, Shauna Haider.

2. Introductions.
Do all of your social media intros match? Think of this as your 10 second elevator pitch. How can you say as much in as few words as possible? Mine looks like this (and yes, I hate the cluttered background of the new Twitter headers so for now, black it is!):

the brand audit

In short:

a. Who are you?
What’s your name? What’s your company’s name?

b. What do you do?
What defines you? Is it a business? Is it a hobby? Being a parent? Something else? Tell us!

c. How can we contact you?
Include your email.

What’s something random you can tell us about yourself? What are you passionate about? What makes you excited? This makes you relatable.

3. Profile Photos.

This is a huge one. Do your images match across your profiles? A lot of people are very visual and though they might not remember your handle, they just might recognize you. For all of my accounts, I use the same photo of myself but if you’re a company with multiple employees, consider using your logo instead.

4. A Short & Long Bio.

When people visit your site, chances are that they’re curious as to who you are (I sure am — I always click on the About section!) When it comes to bios, I like to first get to the point. People are busy and chances are, they don’t want to read a novel about you so that’s where the few-sentence intro comes in handy. And then, if you want to read more, you can continue on.

5. A Consistent Voice.

I never, ever want to feel like I’m talking to a robot. While it’s important to be professional online, especially if you’re running a business, it’s equally as important to be relatable. How can you inform, help and entertain people in a style that’s true to you? The tip I’ve always remembered is that you should write blog posts (and social media updates for that matter) as if you’re talking to your best friend. Be natural.

6. A Consistent Image.

This is going to sound basic but I come across it often so here it goes: Does your website match your blog match your social media backgrounds? Does everything you do feel like it’s part of a bigger picture? If all your online brand components aren’t consistent, it can create a lot of confusion. If you can’t get on the same page with your brand, how can you expect others to? Think about the colors you’re using. The fonts. The logo. The backgrounds. The photos on all of your social media accounts. Everything. It should all tie back together. Whenever I complete an identity for a client, they receive a PDF guide with all of their lockups, fonts and swatches in one place. I’ve seen corporate identity guides close to 100 pages on length but for us small businesses and individuals, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Just focus on the basics.

7. Define who you are and what you stand for.

Ask yourself why what you do matters through the following:

What value are you providing to your readers and customers? What makes your content unique? What’s your secret recipe? If you’re a blogger, think about your formula for developing original content — this is what differentiates you from everyone else.

I also like the idea of creating a slogan. My slogan on this blog is Design, Marketing and Style Magnified.™ I’m telling you upfront what this blog is about — not only design but also business-related content and “style” (lifestyle / personal style). To be fair, this is about four years old and probably could use some retooling to be even more specific but that perfect string of words hasn’t come to me yet!

So there you go. Brand audits are meant to test if you’re coming across as who you say you are, if you’re actually saying what you think you’re saying and if people are hearing what you want them to hear. It’s about creating a consistent message.

Readers: Is there something you’ve noticed about your brand that feels less consistent than you’d like? Have you ever overhauled one of your brands or shut one down? What did you learn from the experience?

2012: The Year In Review

2012 Recap

It seems like year in review posts (mine included) are always focused on the highlights which is only fair — who wants to dredge up and relive the bad? 2012 is different though. While it is (was) full of high points and memorable moments, even more importantly, it was full of major growth. And while growth is good in the long run, when you’re in the midst of it, it can be difficult. There were a lot of times behind the scenes this year where I was bummed out — I missed a lot of parties, a lot of time with friends and even time with family due to work. My 31st birthday hit a few days before I left for The Blogcademy and I’m not even sure I went out for that! But the payoff was immense. Every year up until now has felt like a steep climb and like I was just trying to hold onto the momentum I’d built. In my mind, it was a slippery slope but maybe that’s what your late 20′s are about…just trying to get some steady footing in life.

This year, nearly everything finally felt right — like my plan was clear and maybe the life I’d been wanting to live was actually a reality. There were still plenty of uneasy moments but more often than not, the good outweighed the bad. And that is something to be very grateful for.

Here are some of my favorite moments of this year. Taking a trip down memory lane…

2012 Recap

This was the first year I did D.I.Y. projects on the blog. I’m pretty open about my lack of crafting ability — on the other hand, Joey excels at it and he helped make a D.I.Y. skateboard and some custom Christmas ornaments. Thanks to your positive feedback, I’m already bothering him to come up with some new ideas for 2013.

D.I.Y. Posts:

Customize Your Own Skate Deck
Holiday DIY: Customize Your Ornaments

2012 Recap

It’s weird to think about but when my trip to Las Vegas with Gala rolled around in February, I’d never met Kat in person. She was a longtime client of mine but we’d never hung out as friends. I met Kat that first night in Vegas to hand off magazine proofs and her, Gala and I felt like old friends right away. I had no idea that a few days together would turn into the adventure of a lifetime with The Blogcademy launch just a few months later. Some things are just meant to happen.

Being in Vegas with two other ambitious bloggers and a few wedding photographers naturally led to completely insane photo shoots scattered across casino campgrounds and ghost towns. We hit the road with fresh bouquets of flowers and garbage bags stuffed with clothes along with wedding photographers Lisa Devlin and David McNeil for a day that felt very cinematic.

Las Vegas Shoots:

• An Afternoon at Circus Circus
Ghost Town Glamour Girls
Sequins and Smoke Bombs

2012 Recap

Laugh all you want but one of my biggest personal moments this year was traveling to Halfway, Oregon with my friend Joey to visit Nigel, a llama I love very much. Driving 8 hours to visit a llama might seem extreme but we have a long history together! And Halfway was amazing. We were left with the keys to a massive bed & breakfast on 150 acres and a plate of freshly baked cookies. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the country, that’s for sure.

The Journey To Halfway, Oregon

2012 Recap

I’ve been to LA a lot of times and it’s aways been great but this time, Gala thought we should mix it up. In June, we traded in our usual West Hollywood digs for The Viceroy in Santa Monica and it totally changed the way we saw LA. Walking everywhere and being a few minutes from the beach was a huge relief (on our past trips, we spent hours in traffic). We did yoga, ate yogurt for breakfast and rode bikes along the beach. By the end of our stay, we were feeling very “Californian” and digging our newly adopted lifestyle! The Made U Look girls came by The Viceroy and shot us with mostly film — I’ll always treasure the snaps they got.

Santa Monica Posts:

Polkadots in Santa Monica
The Library
Santa Monica Pier
The Viceroy
• The Week In Pictures: LA 2012

2012 Recap

I made myself a promise this year: no matter what, I was going to make time to visit the Oregon Coast. Neither Joey nor Rocky had ever been! Joey is a warm, California beach type of guy but to my surprise, they both loved it. We stayed in a suite overlooking Cannon Beach and that’s still one of my best memories from this year.

Our Trip To The Oregon Coast:

• Cannon Beach

2012 Recap

I’d been wanting to redesign my blog and update my branding for a long time but it just kept getting put off. Finally, there were no more excuses — my five year anniversary was quickly approaching in August and I made the deadline just in time thanks to Star’s responsive dev skills.

Anniversary Post:

Cheers To Five Years

2012 Recap

One of the biggest shifts I felt in my career came with attending the Design Life retreat in Palm Springs. I still remember when the invite landed in my inbox a few months before — I had to let it sink in for a few days before I even responded. The list included a lot of people I admire and I was a little freaked out. I finally said yes and it was one of the best things to happen all year. Being around so many of my female peers and having an open dialogue where we could openly share tips and talk about our struggles really impacted my mindset for the better moving forward. Star came along for the ride and we ended up having crazy conversations about pickup artists, tarps and Burning Man late into the night. Oh, and The Ace had a photo booth that accepted credit cards. Always dangerous. Haha.

2012 Recap

Palm Springs Posts:

The Week In Pictures: Palm Springs
The Parker Palm Springs
The Saguaro Palm Springs

2012 Recap

We didn’t do any major house renovations for most of the year but some of the small updates were pretty awesome. We added a new light to our dining room, a dreamy blanket to the living room but most exciting was the crawlspace Joey remodeled and miraculously turned into a shoe closet.

House & Decor Posts:

• Notes on Making A House A Home
• The Shoe Closet
Adventures With Flat Files and Serious Organization

2012 Recap

Once or twice a year, I come up with a style direction. It helps me stay motivated with dressing up and inspires me to switch things up. To me, personal style is just another form of art. It’s all about layering, combining textures, pulling together color combos into something that feels uniquely you.

Style Posts:

Style Direction: Ladylike Urban Warrior
Style Direction: School’s Out Forever
What I Wore: Future Nurse
What I Wore: The Streets Of Soho
What I Wore: Playing Tourist

2012 Recap

Since a good majority of my life is spent doing design, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite projects from the last year. The most ambitious by far was the second issue of Rock N Roll Bride magazine which clocked in at 80 pages. I did all the design and production and it reminded me why that one year I spent at a studio here in Portland doing all production for 8 hours a day was worth it (I think). I also did some fun stuff for Luke Copping and The Blogcademy.

Favorite Design Projects:

Rock N Roll Bride Magazine Issue 2
Luke Copping Print Portfolio
Luke Copping Magazine
The Blogcademy Website
• Solestruck Retail Projects

2012 Recap

Towards the Fall, I’d started making some realizations about my brand. The Blogcademy was going strong and with another project launching in mid-2013, I needed to get real and make some changes. I’d started blogging in 2001, began this blog in 2007 and knew it was time to do a brand audit to get my online and offline lives aligned. In the process, I realized that using a nickname online was limiting me since I was now managing projects beyond just Nubby Twiglet. I started transitioning my social media profiles and about page over to using my name, Shauna and creating clearer processes to deal with multiple businesses. I’m almost there…there will be a follow-up post on brand audits very soon!

Personal Business & Design Collateral Posts:

• The Brand Audit
• Rubber Stamp Crazy
Make Your Own Stickers
Media Kit Insights: The Who, What & Why

2012 Recap

This was my favorite picture of Rocky all year. I never knew that a 9 pound creature could make my life so much better. I always joke that meeting Joey was like a 2-for-1 special. I couldn’t have one without the other! He’d already had Rocky for a few years and they were totally inseparable. For those of you that are curious, he’s a powderpuff Chinese Crested. But he sometimes resembles a dwarfed goat. Or a tiny pony. Haha.

2012 Recap

If you know me or read this blog regularly, you’ve no doubt gathered that I love shoes. I worked in shoe stores for five years before becoming a designer and it put me on a path of obsession! Luckily, I’m friends with the folks at Solestruck and they invited me to do a feature with these spiked sneakers. My friend Shaun at Mutt did the shoot and it was my chance to show just how in love with these shoes I really was. ;)

Solestruck Collaboration:

• Solestruck and TBA: A Tale of Obsession

2012 Recap

One of the funniest moments this year was heading out to the Mötley Crüe and Kiss concert in another state with my brother, totally spur of the moment with no tickets. It was a Sunday night and The Blogcademy was going live the next morning but I knew it was a once in a lifetime chance. We showed up, grabbed general admission tickets and walked in right as “Shout At The Devil” was playing. It was pretty perfect. I rolled home super late, wrapped up the last of The Blogcademy graphics and we launched on time!

2012 Recap

The biggest highlight of my year by far was starting The Blogcademy with two friends, Gala Darling and Kat Williams. Blogging has played an important part in our lives and it’s how I connected with both of them. We’d all been individually talking about doing workshops (and Kat had already had one, School Of Rock) but after meeting in Vegas in February, we realized we’d be much stronger as a team. Creating a strategy-based blogging workshop just felt right. We’ve all had a great number of successes and failures and learned a great deal along the way and it was the right time to share that knowledge with other bloggers. Flying to New York and teaching that workshop was a game changer. Meeting 30 ambitious, excited women and making friends with a lot of them, not to mention getting to travel with two of my closest friends made me incredibly fulfilled. Not to get all cheesy…but it was a dream come true.

The Blogcademy Highlights:

The Blogcademy 01: New York City Recap
The Blogcademy Website 2.0
The Blogcademy Magazine
• The Blogcademy: A Branding Workshop

2012 Recap

As a blogger, I believe that we all have life experiences and insights that are valuable and that can help others. Even though it’s not as often as I’d like, doing an advice column and helping aspiring creatives is one of my favorite parts about this blog. My goal is to do a lot more of these next year.


• Does Blogging & Self-Promotion Make Me Vain?
11 Tips For Acing Your Next Design Interview
More College Degrees?! What Do You Really Want?
• What’s Your Secret To Shooting Great Photos?
• How Do I Build My Font Library?

Thanks for joining me for this (very long) recap. I’ll see you back here on January 1st — in the meantime, catch me on Instagram. Any big plans or projects you’re working on for the new year?

Happy Holidays, Friends!

Happy Holidays 2012

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great holiday break so far! I’m stopping in to wish you lots of love from myself, Joey and one very grumpy dog in a Santa suit (Rocky). We had our family gathering and opened presents last night — feeling very thankful at the moment. I’ll be back tomorrow with a year-end recap. See you soon! xo