Tag Archives: personal

Cheers to 8 Years

Nubby Twiglet | Cheers to 8 Years

Time flies when you’re having fun!

In August of 2007, I left my Live Journal (the formative place where I’d discovered blogging in 2001) behind to start this blog.

Blogging to me had always been about sharing personal experiences and stories. It was a way to find my so-called tribe of like-minded people. It was never about making buckletloads of money or heavily pushing advertising — because when I started, those things didn’t even exist in the way they do today.

In a way, I think that was a major benefit. I had already been sharing stories online for six years before taking the leap to a more professional platform and that allowed me to keep on doing what I had been all along without any expectations of fame or fortune.

Blogging has shifted drastically over the last few years with social media platforms eating up more of our time, not to mention that of our readers. But I’ve always stuck around because blogging to me has something that is really powerful that most other platforms are missing — it allows you to share as much as you want and your posts can literally be anything you want them to be. I’ve always valued the boundless creativity blogging holds.

While blogging has changed, I still view it like this:

Social media is like a quick coffee date. You meet, introduce yourself and people get little snapshots of who you are. Blogging is like inviting someone into your living room. It’s where you go much deeper. It’s where those life-long friendships and client connections form. I can say that with certainty, too — most of my best friends to this day connected with me through this space. Clients I’ve had for 5+ years found me through this space. My whole world literally changed, thanks to this space.

And thanks to this space, I’ve had the chance to meet and connect with so many of you as I traveled with The Blogcademy. Your comments, tweets and emails mean the world to me. Thanks for sticking around through the good, the bad and the ugly (blogging wasn’t so picturesque in 2007, was it?!) A lot can happen in 8 years, that’s for sure.

One final thing — while this year has been about growing Branch, not to mention working on new personal projects, this space is in the midst of a very sleek and modern makeover and will re-launch by the end of 2015. Good things take time and I’m so excited to evolve this space, not to mention re-open an online shop of goodies.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Cheers to 8 years. I’m so glad to have you by my side. -Shauna

A Little Reminder: There’s Beauty in Simplicity

Nubby Twiglet | A Little Reminder: There’s Beauty in Simplicity

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” —Leonardo da Vinci

There’s so much beauty in simplicity.

In daily life, we have a habit of overcomplicating even the simplest tasks. Even this morning, I was trying to connect the dots on a new project I’m pitching and even though the concept itself was really simple, the details felt muddy and tangled in my head.

I had to stop and remind myself that what I wanted was totally possible and tripping myself up was just an excuse to procrastinate and not follow through. Do you ever feel that way, too?

Nubby Twiglet | A Little Reminder: There’s Beauty in Simplicity

These images are from an in-progress project. Of course, I was trying to make the outcome much more difficult than it had to be but when I stopped overthinking it and instead started scanning in the beauty that was already around me, things finally started taking shape.

Nubby Twiglet | A Little Reminder: There’s Beauty in Simplicity

There’s clarity and confidence in simplicity. Sometimes, the answer you’re looking for isn’t as hard to find as you think. It’s right in front of you — you just have to be willing to listen.

2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

In late 2009, I sent Joey a message on Facebook. Though I’d known him for years through some friends of friends, I hadn’t realized that he made really cool art. I loved making art, too and was curious to chat about his style and process.

One quick drink that fateful night turned into five dates over the next month. He moved into my place 4 months later and within 9 months of that meeting, we were married. Things moved quickly by anyone’s standards but I wasn’t worried — I’d learned to trust my intuition and have always lived by the premise that when things feel right in life, you’ve just gotta go for it.

I’ve never been known to be traditional and I wasn’t about to start with our wedding. We had basically no budget and the thought of running up debt for our special day just didn’t feel like a smart start to our life together. Instead, we flew to Vegas in September of 2010 with my BFF Bianca in tow and headed downtown for a quick ceremony in a chapel next to a pawn shop. It was short, sweet and full of lots of laughs. We did things our way and I don’t regret it at all.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

A few years after we were married, I was walking through Nordstrom when I spotted a dress on the mannequin with a bold, chartreuse stripe cutting through the middle. It was perfect for a trip I was taking to Palm Springs the next day to shoot promotional photos with Made U Look. I bought it on the spot.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

Little did I know at the time that a single dress would end up inspiring our 5th anniversary party invites. Joey and I never had a celebration for our families and skipped taking a honeymoon. We passed on a lot of the more common wedding basics and I love a good excuse to throw a party so 5 years in, we are hosting a backyard gathering in September and inviting all our loved ones.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

And, it just happens that I’m really good friends with a letterpress shop in town, Darling Press. Our upcoming party felt like the perfect opportunity to embrace some special touches and design a letterpress piece my family could keep forever. Last week, I brought in my dress and we color matched the chartreuse stripe to the edges for a perfect match.

After our backyard party with our families, Joey and I are flying to Palm Springs to relax and commemorate our 5 years of marriage and it’s the perfect opportunity to bring that aforementioned dress along to once again shoot with Made U Look. This time, I’m even going to have a legit bouquet! 😉

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

It’s funny how everything works out. I’m glad we went with what we had at the time. Having a limited budget and little time never impacted how we felt about our day or each other. Without all the flash and distractions, it allowed us to focus on what mattered most: our relationship.

Five years in, this all feels right.

Whatever your plans are, always make sure that outside pressures don’t get in the way. Do things exactly the way you want — it’s your special day, after all.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Letterpress Invites

2010 Till Forevs will be continued later this year with photos from our backyard celebration and also, our shoot in Palm Springs. Thanks for reading!


Palm Springs Photos: Made U Look.
Letterpress: Darling Press.

Happy Birthday, Chubs.

Nubby Twiglet | Happy Birthday, Chubs!

No, you aren’t imagining things. Squirrels in mini party hats really do exist.

Yesterday, Chubs turned one year old. We don’t actually know the real date of his birth but last August, he tumbled from his nest down our chimney and came very close to death as he landed 30 feet below in our furnace.

The irony was strong — I’d never planned on having children and quite suddenly, I was thrust into the world of bottle feeding and spending my days “squirrel sitting” as he took up shelter in my office, slowly gaining strength.

That little squirrel baby who barely had a pulse when he was rescued by my husband Joey is now thriving. Chubs and our dog Rocky are best friends and he loves cuddling, kale, organic unsalted almonds and terrorizing our plants.

Having a squirrel “move in” was the last thing I expected from life…and looking back over the last year, though it hasn’t always been easy, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Nubby Twiglet | Happy Birthday, Chubs!

Happy Birthday, Chubs. Here’s to many more.

Interested in reading more about Chubs? Check out Squirrel Life and The Unexpected Visitor.

You’re Awesome. And, I Have 3 Questions For You.

Nubby Twiglet | You Are Awesome

First off, you’re awesome. Yes, you.

Never change who you are for anyone. Conformity kills uniqueness, the very thing that makes you stand out.

Next, I have a few questions for you below. As many of you know, my big goal this year was to create helpful products to inspire you to build a career you love. Erika Lyremark, a whip-smart business coach who I adore has joined forces with me to produce a new course and as we dig into the content outline, we want your input in an effort to make it as helpful as possible.

Please answer the below questions in the comments — it’s important for me to know what you’re struggling with most when it comes to sharing who you are. I want to know what holds you back and makes you second guess yourself. Life is too short to dull who you are and we are on a mission to fix that!

1. Where do you have a hard time expressing yourself and your ideas? Online? In person? On a certain platform?

2. In your day-to-day, where do you find yourself toning down your magic in an effort to get by and blend in?

3. What kinds of things are you curious about when it comes to expressing your creativity? What techniques do you want to know about?

Thanks so much for your time and I’ll have more to share on the course as it shapes up!


Awesome Print: Fresh by Sian.

Give Yourself Permission

Nubby Twiglet | Give Yourself Permission

Give yourself permission to explore personal interests. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a week, you deserve the chance to discover something new.

What do you love to do outside of work?

What makes you really happy?

Go do that.

Wait. Let’s back up for a second — I know that’s easier said than done. Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspirational messages, encouraging you to do what you love and to love what you do. But, what if you really don’t have any extra time? What if your life is so full that adding one more thing “just for fun” will make you topple over?

If you’re feeling frustrated because the one thing that you really want to explore keeps getting pushed to the back burner, I understand because I was in the same spot. Sitting behind a computer all day, every day made me want a creative release and I naturally gravitated towards piecing together still lifes (also sometimes known as flat lays). I loved the art of organization and grouping items by theme and color. It was a fun little exercise but technically, not part of my job.

When you work for yourself or freelance on the side, it’s hard to shut off. There’s always another client project and another side-hustle. Doing things “just for fun” starts to feel like a luxury. Or at least, that was my mindset. I soon fell into the trap of “there’s no time so I just won’t do it.” We all know that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because there’s never going to be time unless you give yourself permission to carve it out.

Nubby Twiglet | Give Yourself Permission

Late last year, I finally gave myself permission and started a new project called Still Life Friday. Every Friday, I’d take 15 minutes to come up with a new composition and Instagram it. The progress was slow but steady. I created still lifes in my office on Friday nights before the sun went down. On cafe tables in Portland. On apartment balconies in Rome. On brightly tiled tables in Marrakech. On the floor of my spare room at home. Not every photo was perfectly lit, not every one a masterpiece. But instead of giving into perfection, I just kept going.

Now, we are halfway through the year and I have no intention of giving up. When I write out my weekly calendar, I automatically add “Still Life Friday” to my list. No excuses.

Today, I hope you’re reminded that having that one little thing you want to explore is okay and it doesn’t have to take over your life. Fitting it into your schedule in bite-sized pieces not only makes it more manageable but also more likely that you will follow through.

Want to join in the fun with me? Hashtag your still life compositions with #stilllifefriday so I can check them out!

Your turn: What hobby do you want to make time to try before the end of the year?