Tag Archives: Consumption

Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Welcome to my brand new column, Anatomy Of An Office! This series is dedicated to pulling together a functional yet stylish workspace and over the next few weeks, I have some fun stuff planned including resources to find great (yet affordable) artwork as well as a simple shelving DIY.

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Things got real last Thursday when I signed the lease on Branch’s new space and was handed the key. With a little over a week until our move-in date, I felt the pressure to pull together the look of the space fast. Because this is a design studio, the space has to be highly functional — but at the same time, with friends and clients stopping by, it has to feel pulled together. Accomplishing both is a delicate balance!

When thinking about the space, I had a few thoughts / goals:

1. Avoid useless clutter. Everything needs a purpose. Candles, plants and artwork? Awesome. Random items taking up valuable surface space just because they look great? Not so much.

2. Invest in key statement pieces. While I’m definitely working on a budget and have some extra furniture that will work well in the space, I don’t want to run out and buy cheap, disposable items to fill any gaps. The thought of taking shortcuts only to have to throw away a lot of stuff in a few years doesn’t feel good. I’m using a desk, computer and chairs I already own but decided to splurge on a nice credenza to hold books and supplies.

3. Matching office supplies are worth it. While not a necessity, having nice sets of items you use every day (pens, stationery, coffee mugs, dishes, etc.) feels very grown-up and orderly. I love it. Because of this, I ordered some orange goodies from Poppin. I already use their yellow set-up in my home office and their stuff is fantastic.

4. Infuse your personal style within the style of your business. The aesthetic of Branch is very midcentury modern with clean lines and pops of citrus hues while my personal style (splashed across Nubby Twiglet) is more black and white with an avant garde flair. It’s important to mix in a dash of my personal style (Branch is my business, after all) so it feels welcoming — there’s nothing worse than opening the doors to a space you own and going, “Who is this? Who am I?!!”

5. Accept the imperfections. The brick walls in my new space are really rough. The rafters are unpainted. And, the room isn’t a perfect square. And you know what? I LOVE IT. I love it because it doesn’t feel like a replica of my home office, it feels like a completely new space. The thought of leaving my home office every morning to go into an exact replica of it at work just feels pointless. The imperfections of my new space? They’re what make it unique.

Thanks for coming along on this exciting new journey with me!


Item resources: Alba credenza, For Like Ever print, succulents, Nelson eye clock, Bertoia side chair, Poppin scissors, marble board, Parsons desk, wire basket, rolling table, Union rug, Chad Wys print, Poppin pens and lacquer tray.

Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Occasionally, I’ll mention some of the beauty products I love in posts but I wanted to compile my current must-haves here for you. Everyone has a routine and these are the products I constantly reach for day after day.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

1. Kate Spade Pouch: A fews weeks back, I was waiting in line at my favorite place to shop these days, Buffalo Exchange and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this Kate Spade iPad case. Since I never seem to actually carry my iPad around, I’ve been using it to hold my basic beauty products.

2. Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation: I am pretty foundation phobic. The thought of smearing flesh-toned liquid all over my face completely grossed me out for years. I didn’t feel like I needed it so I just stayed away completely and stuck with concealer and powder. Then, when I was gearing up to film my first video segments with The Blogcademy back in February, thinking about being on camera with less than perfect skin gave me a reality check. I walked into Sephora the night before my flight and asked for a recommendation. What would look natural yet amazing on video? Their immediate answer: Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation. It worked and now I’m a convert. Unless I’m going out or getting my photo taken, I still skip the foundation on most days. But when I do need it, this is it.

3. Beauty Blender: I was a bit hesitant to spend close to 20 bucks on a makeup sponge (what?! really.) but after traveling with Gala and Kat and listening to their nonstop rave reviews, I began to give in. All I have to say is that the Beauty Blender works. The edgeless shape allows you to really get into those tricky areas around your eyes, lips and nose and blend, blend, blend.

4. Coqui Coqui Perfume: I’m still smitten with this scent. Coqui Coqui smells like vacation and is hand-blended in Tulum, Mexico. My idea of heaven in a bottle.

5. Astier de Villatte Lotion: Creme Suisse is what I reach for when I’m chained to my desk all day, feeling stressed and in need of a calming scent. This Swiss-made hand cream is clove scented and very light — it soaks in immediately. It smells like nothing else I’ve ever owned and everyone who stops by to try it falls in love with its unique scent. The minimal label is great, too.

6. The Dragontree Scrubs and Lotions: When I’m not drinking coffee, I’m probably drinking chai. So when my friend Meredith at The Dragontree sent me a bundle of products to try, I immediately gravitated towards the Chai Sugar Scrub (yes, it smells like a chai tea latte in the shower!) and the Balance Lotion which is a blend of vanilla, black pepper and cardamom. Both remind me of a crisp Fall day.

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7. The Fay Farm Body Butter: When I was hanging out at Sugarbox in Vancouver, B.C. I spotted this lotion that’s handmade on Whidby Island by The Fay Farm. It’s labeled as a “body butter” because it’s so thick. I pack this when I’m traveling and use it on my hands, elbows and knees — it’s heavy so you need to use it sparingly. The coconut vanilla scent is outrageously good and I love that it’s organic and made in small batches.

8. Maybelline Mascara: I like nice department store mascara on occasion but most of the time, when I’m running out I just grab a tube from the drugstore. My pick lately has been Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara (say that five times fast!) because it gives me mega lashes with very little effort. Someday, I’ll master applying falsies but until then, this does the trick!

9. MAC Eyeshadows: Over the last year, I’ve been streamlining my makeup arsenal big time. Really, how many eyeshadows does one woman need?! After years of experimenting, I’ve settled on two colors that I reach for every single day: MAC Amber Lights and MAC Antiqued. I use Amber Lights, a warm bronze in my crease and Antiqued, a deep bronze on the outer edge. Depending on my lip color, I can easily take this smoky bronze eye from day to night.

10. Make Up Forever Blush Powder: A girl’s gotta have a little fun, though. When I really want to make those bronze-hued eyes pop, I add a dash of Make Up Forever Blush Powder in No. 58 to the very outside crease of my eyes and a dash underneath, too. It’s a bright, saturated fuchsia and somehow works with the bronze hues. Spoiler: I can’t find it online any longer but since it’s in the photo, I wanted to make sure to mention it.

11. Diptyque Solid Perfume: When I’m traveling, I tend to leave my glass perfume bottles at home. There’s nothing worse than opening your suitcase to something that’s shattered and soaked your worldly possessions! Because of this, I keep a solid perfume in my purse. I love the Diptyue Philosykos scent which smells like fig. The scent is clean, simple and fresh and the weighty container means that it’s easier to find in the abyss of my purse.

12. AcquaCures Face Cream: I’ll admit it: I’ve never had much of a skincare routine. I keep really random hours and go from being home for a few months to being on the road for weeks at a time. It’s hard for me to stick to anything long-term. I’ve tried fancy face creams but the heavy, perfumed scents burned my eyes. Then, I discovered AcquaCures, an organic skincare line thanks to Mariah, one of its founders who came to our San Francisco Blogcademy. I’m now using the AcquaRose face cream every day and have converted both my mom and husband to the line. It smells good, works great and is reasonably priced!

13. Rodin Lip Balm: Okay, so this is a bit of a splurge but I love the Rodin lip balm. Linda Rodin has a cult following and after reading oodles of glowing reviews about her line, I took the leap with this lip balm which contains jasmine, orange flower oil, shea butter, beeswax, and castor seed oil all housed in a chic lucite container. It’s lightweight and has barely any scent so I like to use it as a base before I apply lipstick.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

14. Olivine Atelier Lotion: Amongst The Waves lotion smells like a day at the beach. With mostly organic ingredients and a scent inspired by Hawaii, this intoxicating scent features a mix of ocean salt, black coconut, a variety of lilies, tonka bean and Arabian sandalwood (yum). If you love vanilla but prefer something more complex, this is for you. Full disclosure: my studio designed this product!

15. Sugarpill Brushes: I have some animal hair makeup brushes from a decade ago that I still use but as I need new brushes, I’m moving towards synthetics. I love the Sugarpill brushes because they’re completely vegan but still work amazingly well.

16. MAC Lipstick: I love a good coral or tangerine-hued lipstick when I’m going out to an event but for most days, I prefer to keep things low key. I probably own a dozen nude-toned lipsticks from MAC but the best of the bunch is Kinda Sexy — it’s a bit rosy but not too pink, not too brown and not too pale. It’s just the right amount of color, super flattering and never looks overdone.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things


Your turn: What are some of your current favorite beauty products? Anything you’d recommend giving a try?

My Game Changing, All-In-One Camera: The Sony NEX-5N

Nubby Twiglet | My Game Changing, All-In-One Camera: The Sony NEX-5N

Though I’m a long ways from being a professional photographer, I do take a lot of photos and I’m notoriously picky when it comes to cameras.

Because of this, I held onto my trusty Nikon D40 for close to five years because I couldn’t find anything I liked better. Then, I discovered the Sony NEX-5N and it was love at first snap. For the last four months, nearly every photo featured on this blog was taken with the Sony. It does everything I need and it’s super duper compact — I carry it in my purse everywhere, every single day with absolutely no chance of back pain creeping up.

Here’s a quick list of pros on why this camera rules:

• It has the performance level of a legit DSLR but is about half the size and weight.

• Unlike a lot of smaller cameras on the market, this one has interchangeable lenses.

• The photos are 16.1 megapixels! Damnnnn. Even when you zoom in and crop, they still look sharp.

• It can record full HD video. Remember the Canada video? It was all shot on this camera by Gala, who owns the same exact model.

• There’s also a tiltable 3 inch LCD screen attached to the back — this makes it possible to frame light and low angle shots that would otherwise be tricky to nail.

Honestly, there are just too many incredible features to cover here. Scroll down and check out this list
to see even more of what this camera has to offer. Even though I’ve had this camera for a few months, I held out and waited to review it to see how I liked it after using on a near daily basis and I’d still give it a thumbs up.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a solid camera for everyday shooting with DSLR quality in a compact, travel friendly body, I think you’ll love this camera as much as I do.

My Search For A Signature Scent Is Finally Over

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

When it comes to fragrances, I want to smell like I’m on vacation.

Let me explain: maybe it’s asking for a lot but with just one spritz, I want to be transported to a tropical white sand beach.

In the past, as much as I searched, I never quite nailed that feeling so I resorted to keeping things very basic. In the sixth grade, I wore Vanilla by The Body Shop every day. By eighth grade, I’d upgraded to CK One (ah, the 90s).

And beyond that, I’d pick up something here and there every few years. If I was in a perfume shop with friends, I’d grab a few tester vials but never committed — nothing ever really felt like my “signature scent,” the one that I couldn’t live without.

I just resigned myself to thinking that as much as I loved beauty products, I just wasn’t a fragrance kind of girl. My beachy fantasy would have to stay just that — a fantasy.

That just changed, though.

As I was wandering through downtown Portland with my dad over the weekend, I spotted a (new to me) store: Alder & Co. As I walked in, I was met with the most intriguing mix of housewares, flowers, stationery and beauty products (trust me, it all somehow works in this setting).

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

Lined up in the corner was Coqui Coqui, a line perfumes from Tulum in the Yucuatan Peninsula. I was intrigued because I’d never seen the line in person before — and that simple labeling with the palm trees? Beautiful. The perfumes are hand-blended in Valladolid, one of the first colonial towns in the Americas and are used at a handful of spas throughout Mexico.

I picked them up one by one and landed on the last bottle: Coco Coco. That was it. Totally it. Eureka! I bought it on the spot. If there ever was a beach-perfect scent, it’s this. It’s like lathering up in Hawaiian Tropic but not gross and greasy — it’s coconuty but cleaner, simpler and very luxurious.

So, my scent search is officially over. I’ve met my match!

Nubby Twiglet | My Search For A Signature Fragrance Is Finally Over

But while we’re on the subject of scents, I have one more thing to share with you: Love + Salt Hair Mist. Once again, it smells like the beach. For ladies like me who don’t wash their hair every single day, this spray is wonderful. It gives your hair that clean, fresh smell with hints of pink salt and coconut oil. With just two spritzes in your tresses, this will also have you feeling like you’re on vacation (and who doesn’t want that?)

Full disclosure: I designed this packaging for Branch client Olivine without ever sniffing the fragrance but my gut told me it needed to be unfussy, golden and beachy. And unlike most hair products which are in plastic bottles, this is housed in glass. It’s pretty enough to leave out on your dresser or vanity! Get yours at Anthropologie — or, try out the tester size.

So, that’s my scent story! It took me until I was 32 to find that special fragrance but I am so glad it finally happened.


I’d love to hear: Do you have a signature scent? How did you discover it? And, how did you know it was the one?

Adventures In Budget Decorating: The Side Table Of My Dreams

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I’d been on the hunt for a basic side table for our living room for ages when I came across this version by Plum & Bow. Up until this point, the tables I’d found lacked style or were just overpriced for such a small, basic piece.

This table only had one review on the Urban Outfitters site but it was good enough to convince me to add it to my cart. It arrived today and though it’s not quite as bright of a yellow as the photo on the site suggests, it was easy to put together, fairly sturdy and let’s be real — the dipped legs add that extra dash of charm I was after.

Nubby Twiglet | Plum & Bow Side Table

I think it would be great as a bedside table, too. It’s the right size to hold a stack of books and an alarm clock. And if pale pink is more up your alley, they have you covered there, too.


Featured: Plum & Bow side table in yellow.

The Perfect Addition To Your Kitchen Table: Llama Salt & Pepper Shakers

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Yes, those are indeed llama salt and pepper shakers. Yes, my life is now complete. I’m completely, totally obsessed with llamas so when my friend Mary Bee recently whipped these out of a bag of gifts for me over dinner, my jaw dropped. Who knew such a thing even existed?!

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Surely, these were molded off of the perfectly proportioned features of my handsome llama friend, Nigel.

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Someday, I’ll have a pet llama (or two) but in the meantime, this fetching pair will have to do.

The Ultimate Treat in Los Angeles: Bottega Louie

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

For as many times as I’d been to LA, I’d never stepped foot inside Bottega Louie until last week. Don’t make the mistake of waiting as long as I did — it completely lived up to the hype.

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Probably best known for its selection of rainbow-hued macarons (that every blogger who passes through painstakingly documents), there’s much more lurking inside the walls of Bottega Louie including a full restaurant, bar and gourmet market stocked with everything from canisters of hot cocoa to extravagant gift boxes.

The place has an old world glamour to it but completely lacks the stuffiness one would expect. The staff were extremely gracious, letting us snap as many photos as we liked and even cracking smiles at our mini dessert still life, complete with heart-shaped glasses.

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

I tried my best to absorb the atmosphere around me but truthfully, the scale of the place (absolutely massive) coupled with the ornate packaging and crowds of people just as obsessed with the attention to detail as I was made it hard to really capture it all. It’s classic French glamour completely modernized and that’s a hard one to nail.

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

I’ve only had macarons a few times before so I figured it was a good time to dive into as many flavors as possible and see what all the fuss was about. I walked out with a box all to myself and spent the next few days indulging in a few for breakfast. And yes, they were absolutely delicious.

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Nubby Twiglet | Bottega Louie, LA

Bottega Louie oozes charm, charisma and beauty. And, in my experience, everything tastes as good as it looks. Need I say more? Get thee a box of macarons, stat.


Featured: Bottega Louie.
Photos: Shauna Haider.