*NOTCOT in travel - 03.19.15 - 0 Notes

7 days in 50 Instagrams: Guatemala!

gua0.jpg WOW. What an adventure our week in Guatemala has been! Headed down to Antigua for our Tasteologie editor’s wedding, so of course we had to explore a bit while there, but the amount of different experiences we’ve had still blows my mind. From landing in darkness at GUA and watching the sunrise (and volcano erupt a little) on our drive to Antigua, to exploring (and tasting) Antigua, to the beautiful wedding and before/after events… to heading out to Lake Atitlan and the stunning waterfront, super-eco, all vegetarian Laguna Lodge on 100 acres of nature reserve… to a pit stop at Iximche ruins… back in to Guatemala City, where we end up getting an amazing look at the city thanks to one of our long time readers (and old friend’s of the bride!)… from a peek at the older city center, to the newest city within a city, Paseo Cayala… tasting award winning Guatemalan coffee and even more fantastic food at Flor de Lis… before heading back to LA.

OH! And there are penguins! You know our Puma Penguins (from 2009) - they inspired Pingüi, the mascot of Flor de Lis! Which is even tattooed on the chef’s forearm! But more on that later…

So first things first - here’s a look at our quick, epic Guatemalan adventures in 50 @NOTlabs and @RShawnSims Instagrams as it all happened in real time. My head is still spinning from how many different things we’ve seen and experienced - and HUGE congrats to Jackson + Tish on their special super-pi-day wedding! Yay for 3.14 15!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 03.16.15 - 0 Notes

Guatemala - BRB

backsoon.jpg Hi! We’re currently in Guatemala the last few days with minimal internet… but back super soon! To see what we’re up to while exploring Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Guatemala City, take a peek at the @NOTlabs Instagram! … and adventure/inspiration updates coming here soon of course!!!

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*NOTCOT in roundup - 03.07.15 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org + Tasteologie Roundup

roundup notcotorg #59256 notcotorg #59268 notcotorg #59292 notcotorg #59265 notcotorg #59289 notcotorg #59293 notcotorg #59278 notcotorg #59276 notcotorg #59266 notcotorg #59272 notcotorg #59291 notcotorg #59294 notcotorg #59301 notcotorg #59280 notcotorg #59300 notcotorg #59277 notcotorg #59275 notcotorg #59284 notcotorg #59281 notcotorg #59304 tasteologie #71813 tasteologie #71864 tasteologie #71774 tasteologie #71926 tasteologie #71826 A taste of some of the many things inspiring me this week over at NOTCOT.org and Tasteologie! Click the pics to find out more - and feel free to submit what inspires you to any of our sites too!

*NOTCOT in design - 03.03.15 - 1 Notes

Unfinished Business Movie Stock Photos

unfinished0.jpg HA! I couldn’t stop giggling when i saw these over at Adweek … In a brilliant move, Twentieth Century Fox and iStock by Getty Images have created a set of 12 stock photos featuring the cast of Unfinished Business - including Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, and Dave Franco. How much do you want to bet that you’ll start seeing these guys pop up in generic pamphlets, website placeholders, and unknowing poorly designed official looking company paraphernalia? I’m almost surprised there isn’t a lorem ipsum generator that is the story of the movie in pig latin to to pair with the stock photos for mock ups. They are releasing a few a week for free download, see the rest of the set on the next page.

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*NOTCOT in travel - 03.02.15 - 0 Notes

11 days in 100 Instagrams: Winter in Alberta

winter0.jpgThis post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

First things first - THANK YOU, Travel Alberta! I’m sad to say our Alberta adventures have come to a close. It has been a fantastic journey - exploring incredible places, meeting amazing people, doing new things, and road tripping to clear our minds, and get reinvigorated for the second decade of NOTCOT! Shawn (and Bucky) and I had a blast - with amazing animal encounters, feeling tiny amongst the stunning Rockies, climbing walls of ice, and so so much more… So a huge thank you, for helping for me to step out of my comfort zone, and get out of my head a bit while still simultaneously working. It has been so much fun to explore and share it all as we went! And we’ll definitely be back! (Canmore, Jasper, and one day catching those northern lights are on my list…)

So while there are proper feature posts on our adventures - for the super preview with all the crazy little details and inspiration along the way - see it as we shared it in real time on the NOTlabs Instagram. You can see Part I rounded up here - 8 days in 100 Instagrams - Alberta Summer, and Part II - 11 days of Alberta Winter in 100 Instagrams on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 02.28.15 - 0 Notes

Parks Canada Logos - Cave and Basin

cnplogos0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Going through tons of pictures from our Alberta winter adventure the hardest part is deciding what to share! So many stories, so many things we’ve seen and done… so using my fall back question for post decision making: “Would I want 90 year old me to remember this?” - I have to share this amazing wall of Parks Canada Logos i saw at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks! I love a good logo, especially simple animal ones… and their evolution of their current beaver is fascinating! There are also some great mountain goats, big horn sheep, bears, bison, mountains, and more… check them out on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 0 Notes

Operation Window Seat: LA + NOTCOT HQ!

home0.jpg The YYC - LAX flight had a gorgeous path through the rockies and cruised the coast along LA. This last trip, i had some stranger LA questions than usual - hearing “Is this your first time in snow?” and “Do you live downtown/in the city?” and “Do you like ocean or mountains?” I’ve also had so many people assume that NOTCOT is based in NY, SF, LONDON, and so many other places over the years…

So to set the record straight - NOTCOT is based in LA! I’m a born and raised LA kid who has bounced around all over and landed back in LA the last few years (it really is my favorite home base to live in and travel out of!) And as for LA - for those who looked at me perplexed this last adventure - you can see within minutes you can run up mountain trails or roll down to the beach… and see snow on the mountains in the background!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 02.27.15 - 0 Notes

Ice Screw Apple Corer + Apple Ribbon Galette

galette00.jpg On random inspiration from our Ice Climbing Adventure in Johnston Canyon last week - i feel ridiculous saying this - but when i was playing with the ice screws that we were hanging from, all i could think was… APPLE CORER! The one i’d been using previously was hard to aim accurately (honestly, most apples don’t have perfectly vertical cores!), sprayed a mess of juice all over, and were hard to get the cores out of. The ice climbing screws are precision engineered to make a perfect hole and displace the ice out of the center. The Black Diamond Express Ice Screw even has a little crank knob that flips out to make it even easier once you get it going. Inspiration comes from everywhere, right?

I’ve also been experimenting with different things i can do with my Benriner Spiralizer - mostly because it’s so fun, and its fascinating to see how a recipe changes when you alter the form of the ingredients! So coring the apples, then using the spiralizer to slice the apples into ribbons (basically take out the blade with teeth), creates a delicious pie filling! Much more tender than the usual chunky apple slices, yet they still hold their form nicely. I love the way it tastes and feels! (You’ll understand once you try it!)

So freshly home, and catching up - I had to make an Apple Ribbon Galette inspired by our Alberta Winter Adventures! So the apples are cored with the ice screw from ice climbing in Johnston Canyon, Banff, they were sliced up on the cutting board i made with Oliver Apt, Edmonton, and spiced with apple pie spice from Silk Road Spices, Calgary! Check out my Apple Ribbon Galette recipe and more on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in roundup - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org + Tasteologie Roundup

roundup notcotorg #59255 notcotorg #59238 notcotorg #59229 notcotorg #59215 notcotorg #59260 notcotorg #59223 notcotorg #59231 notcotorg #59228 notcotorg #59240 notcotorg #59225 notcotorg #59218 notcotorg #59246 notcotorg #59210 notcotorg #59217 notcotorg #59230 notcotorg #59258 notcotorg #59245 notcotorg #59197 notcotorg #59232 notcotorg #59236 tasteologie #71595 tasteologie #71670 tasteologie #71667 tasteologie #71565 tasteologie #71537 This week’s inspiration!!! Well, just a tiny portion of what’s been getting us excited around the physical and digital world. Click the pics to find out more about any of them! See lots more at NOTCOT.org.

*NOTCOT in wearable - 02.26.15 - 0 Notes

The Livery Shop, Calgary

livery0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

The last leg of our winter adventures in Alberta landed us in Calgary for about 24 hours. On fun discoveries, in Inglewood, look for the red barn. Inside is the new Livery Shop - an awesome little shop in the front, and the studios of Camp Brand Goods and Coutu Kitcsh. The shop naturally carries both of their lines, in addition to some other fun local brands like Treeline Outdoors and Fiasco Gelato , as well as other camping accessories and dog friendly goodies. You might also get lucky and meet their adorable dogs in the back (Otis the sheepdog pup even modeled one of their caps for us!) Ooooh and the shirts are SO SOFT and so well cut. We just wore them on the flight back (we looked like - Team Bison!) - and the women’s tees have such a nice scooped neckline (I hate the ones that feel like they are going to choke you.) Take a peek inside the adorable barn of a store on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in nature - 02.24.15 - 1 Notes

Snowy Owl Dog Sledding - Canmore

dogMAIN0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Dog Sledding!!! I’ve always been curious about what dog sledding is like, so when Travel Alberta asked if we wanted to try it, of course we said yes! Today we joined Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours for a 2 hour adventure, and it was eye opening! First, for a bit of back story - Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault as one of the first dog sledding tours, and is now run by their kids, Jereme and Carlin. They have around 175 dogs, and tend to breed/adopt their dogs. While they are of racing stock, they really train them for tourist adventures - meaning they are all extremely people and camera friendly, and love the hugs and attention from all the visitors. Their website is extremely detailed about the high standards of their kennel, their dog training, feeding, and why their dogs are everything. The love between the dogs and the Snowy Owl folks is apparent as soon as you meet them all - so much playful passion and work ethic from both the dogs and humans! Even though the snow was minimal, and the adventure was not as awesome as it can be (i’ve got to try again in fresh powder!) - the experience was fascinating, the dogs adorable, and Shawn and I learned a lot riding with Jereme.

Take a peek at the stunning adventure on the next page! And of course, tons of adorable dog pics.

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*NOTCOT in travel - 0 Notes

Ice Climbing with Yamnuska - Johnston Canyon

climb0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Ice Climbing! As far as our itinerary for this adventure, I knew that the intro to ice climbing with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures would be the most ambitious new experience on the list. Based in Canmore, they are over 30 years old, and have an impressive (intimidating?) team of incredibly qualified guides. In fact, as i research to write this post, i’m still floored by the background of our ice climbing instructor, Barry Blanchard, who has been with Yamnuska since the beginning! A quick internet search, shows he’s pretty much a legend in the alpine world… and as Shawn and I know, he’s also one of the nicest, most patient, passionate, intelligent teachers we’ve experienced! I don’t even know where to start - so take a peek at his wikipedia entry for the highlights, he’s also one of Patagonia’s first ambassadors, just published his memoir, and is a go to by Hollywood for alpine related films.

But all that aside, before we got to know Barry, we knew little about ice climbing at all. We met with him, learned the gear basics, put our crampons on, and hiked into Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park to the upper falls. Once there, he walked us through the basics, and got us climbing! The experience was AMAZING - also made me realize how much i need to get into shape so we can get even further next time! Take a peek on the next page for the experience, and the breathtaking icy falls of Johnston Canyon.

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*NOTCOT in nature - 02.21.15 - 0 Notes

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

sheep0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep! Absolutely surreal to see them walk across the highway and jump over the railing towards the frozen lake. Usually the males and female herds are separate unless it’s mating season, but somehow we found the group of females and young on the right side of the highway, only to look up and see the males crossing the highway not far ahead. Remember on our last trip to Jasper we saw SO much wildlife, and Bucky got his first introduction to so many species. Well this trip, perhaps because it’s winter and snowing quite a bit, we haven’t seen nearly as many creatures - so when we came across this large herd of bighorn sheep, our jaws dropped. The backdrop of a frozen Abraham Lake (which is apparently known for its frozen methane bubbles beneath the surface!) and snow falling all around us, made the scene all the more dramatic. Take a look at our encounter on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in travel - 1 Notes

The Prairie Creek Inn - Aspen Tree House

tcpi0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Everyone needs a relaxing, magical getaway - the type that forces you to stop, relax, and just revel in the beauty around you and the company you’re with. We just found that at The Prairie Creek Inn in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, which is about 3 hours east from Banff and Jasper. Even spending a mere 20 hours there, Shawn and i feel rejuvenated to continue on our epic Alberta adventure! This luxury B&B is actually a group of cottages spread throughout their large property (there’s even a creek running through!), so you feel more like you’re staying in a private cabin in the woods… only with a delicious restaurant, wonderful hosts, and all the amenities you could need (firewood, snacks, movies, and more.)

We had the chance to stay in the Aspen Tree House - just up the hill from the main lodge, and it truly is magical… from the moment you walk up to it in the clearing between the trees, to waking up in the morning and pulling back the curtains to expose the windows on two sides of the cabin that make you feel like you’re right in the woods. How anyone can watch the tv in the corner over the fire place between the two HUGE windows when snow is falling, is beyond me. The tree house interior is that perfect balance between comfortably homey, and spaciously modern. Even with just a few hours there, we had to make use of the fire pit (i’ve never done a fire in the snow!) It was fantastic to chop some wood and curl up by the fire after dinner as the snow fell around us. Take a peek into the Prairie Creek Inn Aspen Tree House on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in nature - 1 Notes

Athabasca Glacier + Skywalk

glacier0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

If there’s one thing that can truly make you feel small, it’s a visit to the Athabasca Glacier at the tip of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. While pictures are beautiful, i haven’t found that they even remotely do it justice… they mostly end up very white. It is so large, that unless you zoom way out and the people are tiny specs, you can’t even see most of it in frame. The glacier covers an area of nearly 2.5 sq miles and can be up to 1000 ft thick. Regardless of whether you are there in winter or summer, you have to climb up on it to see how incredibly LARGE it is. When you see the signs of where it USED to reach as you walk up the trails… you quickly realize that this monstrous glacier may not be here for many future generations to see. In the past 125 years, it has receded nearly a mile, and lost over half its volume! Every year it recedes another 16ft or so.

To my surprise, this is really a summer stop to do the full Columbia Icefield Glacier tour and to walk out on the Glacier Skywalk. In the winter, you can still walk out to the Athabasca Glacier on your own though, and its certainly far quieter than tour bus season when we first went by in Sept. Beautiful to see it in both seasons - its so different! Take a peek at the pictures of Sept vs Feb on the next page!

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