Tag Archives: week + links

The Month + Links: July 2017

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

How’s your summer going so far?

I just flew home from New York last week and enjoyed a quiet 4th of July around the house and it feels like the right time to jump back into blogging.

You know that famous quote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans?” Well, I feel like this year has been one wild roller-coaster of unpredictability for most of the people I know, from family to friends to clients, myself included. I think the unease with the current political climate has trickled into general unease everywhere else — things around us are changing faster than ever, and not always for the better.

Life is good, though and I have so much to be thankful for. When I did feel negativity creeping in due to a few setbacks over the last few months, I took a legit break for some much-needed reflection. In 16 years of blogging (and nearly 10 years in this space! What?!) I’ve never taken this long of a break and for those of you who sent me personal messages, I appreciate your kindness so much.

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

Here’s the thing — back in the day, especially in my 20s, when something knocked me down, I pushed through it to keep a routine and momentum. At 35, I know better. Instead of phoning in half-baked content and faking authenticity, I’d rather take time, think things through and come back with my best work.

I won’t half-ass a project when I’m working with clients and I won’t do it here. Life is too short to put things out that you don’t feel 100% awesome about.

So, here’s what happened — sit tight, this is going to be a long post!

THE MONTH (OR, AHEM, LAST FEW MONTHS)

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

1. A DREAM DELAYED

For the past two years, Joey and I have been prepping to buy a condo in Palm Springs to escape Portland winters. Back in April, we put in an offer on what seemed like the perfect place. Here’s a photo from the back yard, complete with a big, fat palm tree. Look at Rocky’s smile!

The process began fairly smoothly, but in the midst of the excitement, there were a few big red flags I should have noticed. We went with a local lender who knew the intricacies of the area well (many properties are on land leases). As the closing date crept up, I got an uneasy feeling that I couldn’t seem shake (always, ALWAYS trust your gut!) which felt weird since I’d wanted this for so long.

As we reviewed the final paperwork, I noticed some hidden charges. Then, there were demands for a larger down payment right before closing. I’ve bought before so I knew what to expect and this process was….way off. The lack of honesty made me question what else was hidden and after weighing the pros and cons for a few more days, we called it off. Within a few days though, the cloud of disappointment lifted and gave way to a sense of relief.

The reason I’m sharing this story is because sometimes, in a fit of excitement, we ignore the signs right in front of us. Whether it’s a relationship, freelance project or buying a house, if you’ve given the situation everything you’ve got and it still isn’t working, take a step back and re-evaluate it. Is the timing right? Does it align with your goals? And most importantly, does it feel right? Don’t force it — there should be a natural flow.

The good news: we learned a lot of valuable lessons are back to searching for a place to buy before the year is over. We’re now more clear on what to expect and there’s no rush because I know the right fit for us is out there.

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

2. GROWING PAINS

Right as our mortgage process was dragging on, I took on a big project that wasn’t an ideal fit (once again, always, always trust your gut.) Together, these two things were a perfect storm of stress.

Earlier this year, I had an inquiry from a potential client but after a short conversation, the project wasn’t quite right — plus we were booked out a few months. Then, a few months later, they followed up again and our project load had slowed down so we did a call and it went well. Things started out good but scope creep and tightened deadlines soon took over — and the proposal no longer resembled the project, which had nearly doubled in size. After one too many 3 am nights at the office and unmanageable expectations, we parted ways.

I deeply value my client relationships and as a business owner, it’s really important to me to deliver what’s promised so this was a situation I took really hard — and the main reason I needed a time out to regroup. A decade into being a designer and 400 projects down, I learned that there’s still a first time for everything. Bad things will happen. Learn from those mistakes, hold onto those lessons, move forward with grace and let go of any bad mojo.

95% of the time, projects run smoothly. But, the handful of times I’ve chosen to not listen to my gut, it hasn’t worked out.

As a reminder, value your unique talents, never, ever break your creative process (it’s there for a reason), be honest with expectations and set clear boundaries. To deliver the best possible outcome, you have to take care of yourself.

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

3. THE BREAK

After what felt like 2 months of nonstop stress, creative block and no time to blog (let alone sleep!), I took a time out and flew to New York to recharge. It was exactly what I needed.

I spent 5 solid days with Gala talking, laughing, eating, shopping, cleaning out 10 garbage bags of stuff from her apartment (organizing is my therapy, weirdly enough) and hanging out on The Wing rooftop eating scoops of Boys Beware ice cream (can you spot me?!)

Besides one work meeting (I have the best clients ever — they surprised me with a bag of fresh-baked cookies!) I focused on one simple goal: having fun. We took tons of goofy photo booth strips, walked through Times Square at midnight to shop at Forever 21, ordered multiple desserts just because, sipped on something called The Pink Drink and wore platform boots and big sunglasses everywhere.

Technically, I flew home even more exhausted than when I’d left for vacation (LOL), but also feeling more balanced, connected and focused than I had in a long time. I’m already planning another summer vacation for next month. Working hard is good but playing harder is better. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

4. FOCUSING ON THE GOOD

Now that summer is here, I want to make the most of it and focus on all the good things! Here’s my current happy list:

1. Chubs is almost 3 years old and thriving!

2. Joey just finished building our back yard tiki bar and it is AMAZING.

3. I paid off my last super ancient student loan. WOOHOO!

4. My designer Sam is a godsend — she comes up with the best creative solutions and always finds the coolest fonts.

5. Joey and I are having plenty of dates at Babydoll now that we know they have vegan pizza!

6. I just got a rubber plant at Portland Nursery.

7. Trader Joe’s just started selling the best smelling grapefruit-scented soy candles.

8. I helped Gala clean out her makeup and am enjoying experimenting with new colors and formulas from her cast-off pile. 😉

9. My favorite summer pastime is sipping homemade margaritas on our new deck as the sun sets.

10. I just discovered the coolest photo booth ever (appears to be from the 1950s?) at Dig A Pony.

11. Rocky is 10 and still has the energy of a puppy! Awwww.

12. I re-signed my office lease for another year.

13. August marks this blog’s 10 year anniversary!

I hope you guys are having a great summer and I appreciate you hanging out with me here, even after all these years.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.
What’s new with you?
What are you super excited about?
Any summer vacation plans?

P.S. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a link round-up but there’s so much good stuff below! Enjoy!

xoxoxo
Shauna

Nubby Twiglet | Month + Links: July 2017

THE LINKS

• How is this year feeling for you? Alex has 10 questions for your mid-year reflection.

• My newest podcast obsession is Missing Richard Simmons. I’ve been so intrigued with his disappearance from public life 3 years ago and as Dan Taberski starts digging, the story gets weirder and weirder.

• Such a good, timely reminder: growth doesn’t always mean bigger, better, or faster.

• So funny…and so true. Don’t light my expensive candles. EVER. “When I go to a friend’s house and she casually has a Diptyque burning unchecked in the bathroom, I think, My God, I have fancy friends…because who has $65 to burn?”

• I love the How To Do Anything series of posts! Always so clever.

• I’ve always wondered about the origins of the popular 80s “Memphis” design aesthetic (think bold color combos and squiggly lines) and here’s the story behind it!

• The secret to small talk.

• You can now do job searches on Google.

• This George Michael print is the best thing ever.

• This is both fascinating and freaky: human engineered organisms.

• Accidental Wes Anderson locations made me laugh!

• If you’re going to be in San Francisco over the summer, check out the Summer Of Love Illuminate installation!

• I love Paul Jarvis’ simple, no bullshit advice so much: Do what you say you’re going to do!

• If you or someone you know are struggling with student loan debt, you’re not alone. Listen to this. And then to this.

• Here’s how to retain your sanity when you work alone.

• Not every creative outlet needs to turn a profit — just enjoy it!

• I loved this story about the squatters of the Lower East Side in the 1980s.

• When I want to understand both sides of a political issue in a level-headed way, I listen to Joshua Johnson’s 1A podcast.

• You know, sometimes you have those days where you chat with Paris Hilton, hang with Kanye, eat Kim Kardashian’s banana pudding and walk over to Drake’s house to play basketball. Totally normal.

• If you’re an art history buff, you’ll LOVE Alexey Kondakov’s series of people from classical paintings inserted into modern photos.

The Month + Links: April 2017

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THE MONTH

Oh, April. You were a wildly unpredictable one. I felt like this month ticked by at a frustratingly slow pace some days — client feedback on a few projects barely trickled in. I got hit with plenty of creative blocks. And truthfully, everything just felt a bit off.

But then, the flow kicked back into high gear during the last week. I went to Palm Springs with Joey for a much needed vacation. A few projects that I’d felt stuck on picked up steam and finally wrapped up. And just when I was wondering what was next, a job I’m super excited about fell into my lap at just the right time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017

While April felt full of uncertainty, tension and the technical mishaps that often get lumped with Mercury Retrograde, May feels like the fresh start I’ve been hoping for. As I look outside today, I’m feeling thankful for the little things: the weather is nice, the office is clean and my desktop feels the most organized it’s been in ages.

This weekend is being blocked out to finish the new client services guide and internal documents for Branch that I’ve been putting off redesigning for a solid year and a half. Better late than never, right?! It’s time to kick any leftover feelings of uncertainty and comparisons to the curb and step up to bigger and better things.

I hope you have a great weekend — and I’ll be back next week with a few Palm Springs themed posts. :)

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017

THE LINKS

• Megan touches upon the problems that come along with running your blog as a business so eloquently.

• If Joey and I were getting married all over again (and not running off to Vegas!) you can bet there would definitely be llamas at our wedding. How cute are these photos?!

• I’d never heard of Lotion P50 until Anna’s post but now, I’m oddly fascinated. It basically sounds like a magic burning potion for your face! Have you tried it?

• I love this photo series! See what people looked like as young adults and at 100 years old.

• Sarah reminds us that we would be a lot happier if we tracked our efforts, not our accomplishments.

• Living at the office sounds like a nightmare….unless it looks like this!

• I love Ellen’s new interview series called How Did You Do That? which focuses on people with unique professions. If you’ve ever wondered how people end up in the careers they’re in, this series is for you!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017
• Check out this black double triangle house in the forest. So beautiful!

• Constantly seeking validation with what you do can be hugely limiting. Here’s how to break free.

• Loving yourself and loving your job are deeply intertwined. What happens when you burn out? James Greig talks about self-care for the creative soul.

• Are your excuses holding you back from following through with a big project? Paul Jarvis gets to the bottom of it in a way that’s relatable.

• Should airports have circular runways?

• Dieticians are finally speaking out about beauty YouTubers dishing out diet advice.

• I love this chart of grammar rules!

• Editorial calendars can help you stay accountable….but they can also make content feel forced. Bre explains why she gave hers up.

• More people are opening up to the idea of taking a social media break. How about you? Have you given it a try?

• That moment when your neighbors want to get revenge…and do so by painting their townhouse with red and white stripes! Truthfully, I love it.

• Good to know: how to secure your online accounts by revoking access from third-party apps.

• I never gave much thought to this but online shopping may mean that we’re tricked into paying more depending on where we live and when we buy!

• The New York Times dives into how to make the most of your workday.

• What does it mean to set an intention versus setting a goal?

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017


Photos: Scenes from my Portland office, Palm Springs and Beverly Hills during April 2017.

The Month + Links: March 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links

THE MONTH

Ah, March. The month that got away. The first three months of 2017 felt dark and foggy, partly because of the depressing political climate and partly because we had what felt like the longest Winter ever here in Portland. It was also the busiest month I’ve ever had in nearly 4 years of running Branch (cue 3 client website launches on top of wrapping up about 10 other projects). I just had to put my head down and throw all my energy into getting the work done.

Now that I’m on the other side, I’m taking a deep breath and getting reacquainted with all the things I love to do — exploring my city, reading magazines, catching up with friends, snapping photos, taking the time to do my makeup and indulging in the occasional face mask (love this one!).

There was so much packed into March but a few special moments stand out:

1. Re-signing my office lease! It’s no secret that I love my studio — getting a space outside of my house a few years ago completely transformed my business for the better. Before that, I turned on Dr. Phil at 3 pm every day. I slacked off and got distracted. I never got ready for the day (and when it’s 3 pm and you realize you haven’t washed your face or brushed your teeth, that’s not good!)

2. A much needed Palm Springs vacation. Joey and I are both in need of a sun and palm tree filled vacation. In preparation, I’ve been picking up a few non-black colored items so I don’t look like a goth in the desert. Haha!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links

3. A backyard tiki bar! This is still in-progress but Joey has turned our former backyard gazebo into a fully functional tiki bar complete with a mini fountain, light-up bar, surfboard, vintage tiki mugs and so much more. It’s going to be my favorite Summer hangout!

4. Paying taxes on time. One thing I didn’t realize when I switched my business over to a corporation was that taxes are due a full month earlier! I sat down, got it over with and feel so much lighter having it out of the way. There are good and bad parts about running a business and though I hate getting bogged down in financial details (nothing drains my creativity faster!) it’s important to have an understanding of the numbers.

5. Personal style tune-ups. I’m really into fishnet layers right now — these long-sleeve tops are great. I’m also into adding in subtle dashes of color to my mostly black wardrobe with burgundy velvet boots. And, I love the sleek look of bodysuits including this, this and this.

And with that, I’m so glad it’s April! Let’s dig into some links…

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links

THE LINKS

• Small Victories takes files in a Dropbox folder and turns them into a website, no coding needed. Yes, really!

• Jenny’s Print Shop has a great selection of beautiful, affordable art and suggestions on where to print for cheap. I especially love That Pink Door and Flora.

• In case you were wondering, here’s how to open a new book.

Finance tips I wish I’d known when I was 20. Timeless advice.

• I’m a big fan of Dwell Magazine. Did you know that they have a new line of home products at Target? YES!!!

• I love this new series of personal essays about body image.

• Is it really so bad to be wrong sometimes?

• Toast, the easiest breakfast ever, just needs a few toppings to be awesome.

• Nothing drives me crazier than checking my email in the morning and finding my inbox packed with mailing lists I never subscribed to. Unroll.me is such a time saver.

• A recreation of the bedroom from 2001: A Space Odyssey!

This side-by-side example is proof of how different from reality Instagram can be.

• You can make excuses…or you can make progress.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links

• A look at the world’s coolest passports.

• Hahaha! Behold the hilariousness of Trump’s Ties.

• Break free from being a people pleaser.

• This is the most brilliant freelance copywriter website I’ve seen.

• Amanda left her stable corporate job to follow her passion.

• If modern design is your jam, follow designmilkeveryday on Instagram.

• To attract dream clients, you have to be clear about who you are and what you’re offering.

• An inside look at how Hillary Clinton’s campaign identity came about.

• This easy tip can save some money on your next takeout order.

• The challenge of opening up and being vulnerable is worth it.


Photos: 1. my new golden orb from Target. 2. Cosube Surf, a new surf + coffee shop. 3. Spartan Shop, a boutique I love. 4. A desk still life complete with this CB2 leaf.

The Month + Links: February 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

THE MONTH

I feel like this year is already speeding by at a record pace (which is why I’m just getting around to posting a February recap) and I’ve been so focused on work that I haven’t gotten out much to enjoy the world around me. How are you feeling so far?

The trade-off is that towards the end of 2017, I have a few big things to look forward to including a 3 week trip to Italy, Spain and Morocco! I’m pretty excited about traveling with my Aunt Shannon, who’s an art history buff and getting schooled in all the things I missed on past trips.

I’ve also been struggling with any semblance of balance so far this year. Projects at the studio have increased and what was once a slow time in the beginning of the year is now packed. While I’m extremely thankful for that, I’ve also had a lot less time to sleep (and blog).

The truth is, I’ve missed you guys and I’ve missed having the chance to share as regularly in this space but I’m keeping a handwritten list of post ideas that will roll out as I have more time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about over the last month:

1. Self-Care

Self-care has always been a hard one for me. I’m very much all or nothing when it comes to work, life and adventures and often, I forget to slow down and take care of myself. I booked in a deep tissue massage on Monday and it kind of changed my life. My masseuse, Danielle was observant and not afraid to speak her mind (“Shauna, your posture sucks!” was one particular nugget of wisdom. Haha!) I booked my next appointment on my way out because sitting for 12+ hours a day definitely has its setbacks.

2. Style Goals

A few weeks ago, I was having a late night chat with Gala about personal style and it occurred to me that there were things I wanted 15 years ago and was STILL thinking about! Over the next few days, I kept coming back to an internal dialogue: what would it mean to buy less cheap, low quality stuff and instead focus on investing in those special, high quality items that wouldn’t end up in the donation pile after a year? What would it mean to own less, but feel great in everything I wore? Since then, I’ve done another closet clean-out and invested in a few things I am beyond obsessed with. I’m more inspired to get dressed up in the morning now instead of reaching for the same black jeans and tees.

3. Black Pants Brigade

I love a good pair of black pants and while I’ve been wearing the BDG Twig jeans for the last decade (black, high rise and come on, they have my nickname!) I was on the hunt for something more polished but still affordable and comfortable. Enter these pants. I’m actually wearing them now! Beware that they run a size large so if you want to get a pair, order down (trust me on this).

4. Being Present

There have been times this year where I’ve been weighed down by the news (and rage tweets from you-know-who!), deadlines, feeling out of touch….and when that feeling creeps up, it’s important to set down the phone, close out your email and focus on the here and now. Last night, I left work early and walked around a mall with Joey and then we went out to a nice, long dinner. Breaks are so important. Staying in touch with the people you love is important. Watching your squirrel eat tofu is important. Laughing at your dog’s bed head is important. Those small, everyday moments are what all add up to a life you love.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

So, that’s a taste of where I’m at right now. Let’s dig into some links….

THE LINKS

• A podcast I’m loving these days is Freakonomics Radio which explores the hidden side of everything. I love how in-depth the episodes are — they go far beneath the headlines and rumors to come up with concrete answers.

• How do you survive when nobody really gets what you do for a living?

7 things Robert Smith has promised to release this decade….and hasn’t. Haha!

• Only the most beautifully designed cookbooks will do.

• A look back at New York City in the 1970s through a wonderful collection of photos.

• Some teens are realizing that social media and being connected 24/7 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and are taking a break.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017

• When someone goes on a long-winded tirade about the couch they hate, it’s worth a read so you don’t make the same mistake!

• Another podcast I absolutely love is Death, Sex & Money. As you can guess from the title, it focuses on all the big questions and hard choices that people usually leave out of polite conversation but think about all the time.

Enter your birth date and see how the world has changed in your lifetime. Pretty cool!

• I recently discovered The Real Real and am obsessed. What I love about this site is that all the designer goods are previously owned which brings the prices down dramatically and it’s all authenticated. Plus, they run sales all the time. Need I say more?!

• Back in 2000, Amazon ran a contest asking their customers what they thought the best books, movies and albums were. How has it held up?

• Why do some people lose their minds when they’re hungry?! There’s a science behind it.

• Where you choose to live depends on so many different things and it’s interesting to read about why people live where they do.

• Wow! An architect turned an old cement factory into his home.

• I love this simple list known as The Creator’s Code. Timeless advice.

• For those that are worried about Ruth Bader Ginsburg outliving the Trump administration, get a load of her workout routine — this ain’t no joke!

• How to hail a taxi around the world.

• What do people actually eat for lunch?

• Check out this video of every New York Times front page since 1852!

10 steps to setting up your creative business.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: February 2017


Photos: 1. My desk yesterday morning with some Naomi fierceness. 2. Admiring the shelves in Good Coffee. 3. I love this little corner. 4. My office is all brick with open rafters so it gets super cold…which is a great excuse to wear this coat! 5. Another desktop shot — I probably have 10 magazine subscriptions going at the moment!

The Week + Links: 12.17.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

Hello from a very snowy Portland! It’s slippery out there!

I’m so glad to be back home after a whirlwind trip to New York last week. Here’s what’s happening…

1. Hiya Tootsie! Feature: My friend and client Heather just interviewed me for her blog and she did such a good job with the post. Click through and show her some love! I admire Heather so much — she inspires women to chase their dreams and her personal story about how she transitioned from a missionary to full-time writer is so inspiring.

2. Gala Darling Website: I first met Gala 15 years ago on Live Journal, when she lived in new Zealand and we finally met in-person during a visit to New York in 2008. I started designing her websites, courses and product logos shortly after that and her evolution has been nothing short of amazing. To celebrate her 10 year blogging anniversary (!!!), we pushed her brand new site live yesterday — it’s so her!

3. Year-end Reflection: As December winds down, I always like to wrap up as many loose ends as possible. There are a lot of open projects over at Branch I need to finish, processes I need to rewrite, photos I need to take and design packages I need to rework. The last week before the new year is always quiet on the work front and even though I have a lot to get done, I also want to give myself plenty of time to just be and not stress about what’s next (see my previous post).

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

4. Time At Home: With all the bad weather we’ve been having, I’ve been going out a lot less which means more time around the house with Joey, Rocky and of course, Chubs, the real king of our household! He’s gotten so big (did you know he’s already 2 1/2 years old?!) and definitely ready for the cold Winter months! FYI: He rolls over like a dog and likes his big white belly scratched. Now you know!

5. Decor Obsessing: I always view the new year as a fresh start and as an opportunity to fix everything that hasn’t been working. Updating my surroundings always gets me into the zone. I like to rearrange my spaces, clean out closets and add a few fresh touches, especially those that help with organization. Things I’m really into right now: Le sac en paper (great for gathering up random rolls of wrapping paper and odds and ends) and CB2 (they’ve been killing it on the furniture and home accessories fronts lately).

6. Red Oaks: I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but with my recent Amazon Prime membership, I decided to dig into some of the original series they produced and am really into Red Oaks which is set in the mid-80s and follows a college student who gets a job at a country club in New Jersey. It’s what I imagine being a teenager during that time was like — and all the 80s decor I remember is spot-on. The ratings are ridiculously high for a reason — check it out and let me know what you think!

Stay warm, friends. xo

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Promise shows us how to wrap gifts like a designer!

• It’s so hard to say goodbye to such an awesome First Lady. Four thank you notes to Michelle Obama.

• Instead of another gift guide, here’s a cause guide. Give the people you love gifts that actually make a difference at the same time.

5 steps to upselling your graphic design business — charge what you’re worth!

• This year, the leading U.S. fashion magazines had much more diversity on their covers. It’s about time!

• This is such a cool project! Do you have an undeveloped roll of film floating around? Now you can send it in to be developed for free thanks to Lost Rolls America!

What do you think about traveling alone? I don’t really enjoy it…and it sounds like I’m not alone in the feeling.

• If there’s someone on your Christmas list that’s impossible to shop for, here are some ideas.

• Use these tips to get more responses to your emails.

• Why are people in Denmark the happiest in the world?

• The Great American Word Mapper tracks the popularity of commonly used words across geographic areas in the US. Do you say dinner or supper? Soda or pop? A lot of your choices come down to where you’re located.

• National Geographic rounds up the best photos of 2016.