*notcot - 06.09.15 , 09:30 -

Inspiration: Jurassic World at Target


Target provided the Jurassic World toys (and a gift card for us to pick some of our own) and Shawn, Bucky, and I happily took their inspiration and ran with it. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? … and Jurassic Park was one of the first “scary” books I read as a kid. The movies are also ridiculously epic, so it’s hard not to imagine how fun the latest one will be too. When the box of dinosaur toys arrived, Bucky, the NOTpuppy, was the first to dive in and try to run off with the Indominus Rex (something about that rubbery face he just HAD to grab). I started to poke at the pile of dinos and when I discovered the Jurassic World Lego sets with Lego Unimog, G-Wagen, and raptors online… that Target gift card disappeared pretty quickly. The dinosaurs quickly spread across NOTlabs, the Legos were built over coffee one morning… and as Shawn and I played with them and brainstormed ideas to try out with the new Roland CNC - it hit us! Wooden Desktop Planters! A fun little set that we could attach the Lego pieces to made from a nice dark walnut wood to mix with succulents and strawberries would be the PERFECT playful table top setup for the dinosaurs!

So if you’re ready to see all the fun we’ve been having… and the ridiculousness that ensued… to the next page!

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*notcot - 12.11.14 , 09:23 -

Cadillac: Driven By Design, Los Angeles

arch0.jpg This post is in partnership with Cadillac. Last time they brought us to Atlanta for Road to Table: A Cadillac Culinary Experience. This time, they invited us to Driven by Design, in our hometown of Los Angeles. A fantastic day of architectural adventuring close to home!

Cadillac has teamed up with Architectural Digest for a series of architectural tours in various cities, including Miami and Los Angeles, and they were kind enough to invite us to experience a different view of LA in a train of brand new 2015 Cadillac Escalades cruising through the hills. First stop: The Hotel Bel-Air. Followed by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, the iconic (and film and music video famous) Sheats Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills by John Lautner, and the North Faring residence in Holmby Hills. There was definitely something surreal about wandering the Sheats Goldstein residence at sunset, aka the Big Lebowski Jackie Treehorn House! It was a great experience to get to peek at all of these designs up close. See the details of them all on the next page.

This post is in partnership with Cadillac.

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*notcot - 09.30.14 , 16:23 -

Cadillac Road to Table: Atlanta

0-cadillac.jpg This post is in partnership with Cadillac. A few weeks ago, they invited us out to Atlanta to participate in Road to Table: A Cadillac Culinary Experience in partnership with Saveur Magazine. I’m excited to share our awesome experience test driving the CTS-V to the acclaimed Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch.

On my first trip to Atlanta last year for the Final Four, we were starving and flew in pretty late. Hunting for a great restaurant, we happened upon Holeman & Finch Public House - it was a beautiful gastropub of sorts with delicious craft cocktails and even more delicious gastropubby southern comfort foods. So when I got the invitation to head out to Atlanta to join Road to Table with Cadillac, and saw that the chef was Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch - I was ecstatic. When we stumbled in that first time - we thought we’d just gotten lucky with such a delicious spot. Turns out Chef Linton Hopkins behind it all is a James Beard winner and multi-time nominee, a Food & Wine Magazine ‘Best New Chef’, and his restaurants make many national restaurant lists… it all started to come together. And on top of that, getting a chance to test drive and experience the new Cadillac CTSs and Escalades… we hopped right on the plane! See the details of our adventure on the next page!

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*notcot - 01.14.14 , 09:00 -

Inspiration: Portland (Thanks, Delta!)

deltamain.jpg Thank you to Delta® for sponsoring this article. Book Delta® Economy Comfort™ on your next trip and make each and every departure and arrival “worth it.”

When Delta® reached out wanting us to experience their Economy Comfort™ seats, and figure out what’s #worthit, the first question was - where should we go? Well the perfect way to kick off 2014 was to find somewhere new and inspiring (and not too far) to take a quick trip - and Portland, OR came to mind. Just back from the madness of holiday travel, Shawn and I needed to properly unwind, relax, and explore, so we happily hopped up to Portland for 2 quick nights! The second question - when to go?!?! So after a bit of poking around the Delta site to figure out which types of planes fly where and what wasn’t fully booked up to get some decent seats (aka Economy Comfort™ and non-middles where possible!) we were set for Jan 6-8. Then came the research phase, as I oriented myself with Portland digitally (and asking friends for advice) this google map of dots emerged to help us figure out what to explore when wandering the city. Feel free to suggest more spots that can’t be missed on our next Portland adventure! Take a peek on the next page at some of our discoveries, as well as the stunning views out the window flying!

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*notcot - 11.21.13 , 10:45 -

Homesickness Fighting Tech

sheratontech.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.

It’s amazing what you can do at home… while away from home these days! In fact, it feels like it gets harder and harder to get homesick even while bouncing around the globe. With internet available while flying, even that oasis is a tough one to claim being completely disconnected. With cell phone roaming getting cheaper and simpler, you don’t even have to worry about changing phone numbers or gasp being completely out of touch. In our first post in this travel series sponsored by Sheraton, I shared ways that internet resources can help you explore new cities like a local. This time, let’s take a peek at the little things you can use that keep you grounded and feeling like home no matter what time it is wherever you are or how many planes you just hopped around on… see the next page!

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*notcot - 11.14.13 , 08:00 -

Hotel Hibernation Days

sheratonbed.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.

After a work trip, be it a long arduous one or a quick overbooked one, I don’t know how other people feel, but i’m exhausted! And to be honest, coming home isn’t always the most relaxing thing. As soon as you get back, there is the whole process of unpacking, catching up, and the reality of laundry, cooking, dishes and more might kick right back in. My solution? Hotel Hibernation Days! That extra buffer day that helps you transition back to reality without being terribly behind and desperately in need of rest! More about my perfect plan to stay sane with a crazy schedule on the next page.

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*notcot - 11.07.13 , 09:00 -

5 Different Perspectives to find while Traveling

sher0.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.

One of my favorite things to do when traveling and exploring new cities is to find new perspectives of that city. Often (especially if traveling for business or a convention) it is far too easy to get stuck in a giant building with nearly no windows or bouncing merely between the hotel and talks. If you don’t have time to get out and explore, at least try to see the city/town in at least ONE new way! On the next page, check out 5 of my favorite options…

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*notcot - 10.31.13 , 01:08 -

Seattle Adventures: The Sheraton

sheraton0.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club. As our hosts in Seattle a few weekends ago, here’s a peek into our room and Sheraton Club first hand!

When the Sheraton reached out to us to write about our adventures beyond work meetings, etc. when visiting a city that had Sheraton Club amenities, I didn’t know what to expect. And having not been to Seattle since i was too young to remember much more than going clamming, I had no idea what i was in for! So, thank you Sheraton, for helping us make a weekend of the trip instead of a quick one day type of thing, it has been quite the fun weekend of exploring. You can see how we planned where to explore, and peek into our Seattle adventures, but first, back to the Sheraton!

About the Sheraton Club, I’d never tried one of the club lounges or club floors before. Basically, it’s like a hotel version of an airport lounge; free Wifi, lounge space with tvs, newspapers and magazines, and a buffet that varies on the time of day. As far as how that fits into your hotel time, think of it as your room on a floor that conveniently has a little lounge on the same floor, and breakfast and wifi are complimentary, as well as happy hour hors d’oeuvres! But back to the adventures, take a peek on the next page to see inside our room, our stunning downtown Seattle views, and our experience in the Sheraton Club Lounge!

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*notcot - 10.18.13 , 11:00 -


sheratonmain.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.They are hosting us in Seattle this weekend, so it seems only appropriate that I share my process of diving into a new city between meetings as it applies to my first time in Seattle since i was too young to remember! First first step, figure out the neighborhoods… maps like this one from These Are Things for Seattle are a great start.

I love exploring! But having a mere few days in a new city (and minimal free time between business meetings) ~ is seldom enough to get to know it like a local! Unless… you find optimal ways to plan out what to go see! Diving into a brand new city you know next to nothing about is always both an adventure and completely overwhelming. Traditionally there are tourism boards and guide books to give you a feel for the touristy “usuals” that out-of-towners tend to cluster at, but i always get more curious about what locals are doing, what’s up and coming, and what is most unique! So, beyond asking friends and friends of friends and your hotel concierge for suggestions, here are some techniques we’ve been using! Usually i’m hunting for fun restaurants, shops, galleries, and events! Below take a peek at my usual process to navigate and discover the local side of things!

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*notcot - 09.24.13 , 10:15 -

Café Grumpy’s Ford Transit Connect

grumpymain.jpg This post is sponsored by the Ford Transit Connect. For this next Transit Connect adventure, I was sadly stuck at home on jury duty, so Shawn Sims hopped out to NYC to join the folks at Café Grumpy as they did super early morning deliveries. See our first adventure with the Butler Blue Mobile Transit Connect here.

Café Grumpy was founded in 2005 (just like NOTCOT!) with a passion for quality coffee and it has been amazing seeing how they’ve grown over the years. With the opening of the latest (5th!) Café Grumpy in NYC last week, we knew we had to head over and check it out when we heard they too use a Ford Transit Connect to deliver their coffee and pastries! Beyond their cafes, they also have the  Café Grumpy Roastery, where they hand-roast small batches of specialty-grade coffee on a restored vintage Probat, and the Café Grumpy Bakery, where they bake their pastries and other deliciousness! And all of this goodness gets transported in their Ford Transit Connect to the cafes… with the launch of the latest cafe in the Fashion District in NYC and more to come, Caroline told us that she’s thinking about figuring out custom shelves (which the Transit Connect is ideal for) to better optimize the space for their deliveries. So we tagged along for their bakery and roastery deliveries to see what their process is like and what their dream Ford Transit Connect set up might be… as well as tasting some delicious coffee, pastries, and checking out the adorable stuffed grumpy beans! Check out our adventures with Cafe Grumpy on the next page!

p.s. If you’re feeling some de ja vu, but have never visited a Café Grumpy, perhaps you’ve been seeing/hearing about them in Girls, where some of the main characters work.

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*notcot - 09.06.13 , 12:35 -

Butler Blue Mobile Ford Transit Connect

blue0.jpg This post is sponsored by the Ford Transit Connect. When they first approached us to profile some fun, inspiring Ford Transit Connects, we weren’t sure what we would find. Well our first stop lead us to Butler University in Indianapolis, IN to visit Butler Blue III who rides around in the Blue Mobile 2010 Ford Transit Connect!

It’s not everyday that we find ourselves popping out to Indianapolis, to spend some time with some very social media saavy bulldogs. Butler Blue III and his predecessor, Butler Blue II (who we also had the pleasure of meeting) have with quite the following… of course it doesn’t hurt that their “dad”, Michael Kaltenmark, is Director of Web Marketing and Communications at Butler University, and a natural at sharing the adventures of these amazing bulldogs both in real life and digitally. With huge support from the community, these dogs are also living quite the life thanks to some amazing sponsors, including their local Ford dealer, who offered them a Ford Transit Connect to get around in. Of course, in addition to bulldog roadtrips, the Blue Mobile has become the perfect billboard, both around town and on the road at away games. In fact even doing errands, people will wave at the Blue Mobile, and sometimes even peek in to see if the dogs are on board. The bulldogs have their own hammocked back seat, tons of space, a flashing blue light to pop on top of the car, and quite the car wraps and stickers! We join Michael and Blue III (aka “Trip” - short for triple!) in the Blue Mobile, to see what life with their Ford Transit Connect is really like! Take a peek on the next page to see our adventures ~ from box destruction and shopping at the bookstore, getting a bath, celebrating at the vet’s with cake, checking out the renovations at Hinkle, and dreaming up the NEXT Ford Transit Connect to come…

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*notcot - 02.20.13 , 07:45 -

Never Miss a Thing with the DROID RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola

newest.jpg This post is sponsored by DROID RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola. Check out everything you can do with the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone. Thanks for supporting NOTCOT, Motorola! (Ooh and a side note - i love the kevlar fiber backing!)

There’s nothing more frustrating than missing a vital call or text because your phone ran out of juice. Motorola is aiming to make that notion a thing of the past with its DROID RAZR MAXX HD, the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone, with an incredible 32 hours of battery life.

How significant is that? Take a look at some of the things you can accomplish on a single charge. How about 214 uploads, downloads, and streams (even re-watching the “Gangnam Style” video yet again if you haven’t got enough)? You’ll be a well-informed citizen, too, because you can follow 623 breaking news stories. And, your fingers will be properly exercised after the 4,288 taps, swipes, and pinches you can perform.

But it’s not all about the numbers, of course. The new you, with your DROID RAZR MAXX HD, can actually enjoy a three-hour flight delay because you can sit back and catch up on an the last few episodes of “The Walking Dead.” You’ll have to hide your amusement, though, as you watch your fellow passengers duke it out for the last remaining outlet in the airport terminal.

Imagine not having to worry about a major event taking place right in front of you — like a flash mob that breaks out at the mall — and not having enough power to whip out your phone and capture the moment. Even better, you can be the first one to instantly upload it to all of your social networks, and start the next viral video craze!

And just think: You can be everyone’s hero the day your friend gets lost on the way to the big concert, since you have enough battery power to GPS the trip, with plenty left over to live Tweet the performance and the after-party shenanigans.

Wondering what else you can do with 32 hours of battery life? Learn more at Motorola.com.

Disclaimer: DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. 32 hours claim based on average user profile. Actual battery performance will vary depending on signal strength; network configuration; features selected; and voice, data and application use. Visit motorola.com for more information.

*notcot - 02.14.13 , 10:12 -

Gift Guide: 32 Hours of Fun

droidnew0.jpg This post is sponsored by DROID RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola. Check out everything you can do with the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone. Inspired by the qualities of this new mobile phone, here’s a fun gift guide of sorts dreamt up around 32 hours of fun!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! An aside - working on this post made me realize I wished my phone lasted 32 hours without a charge! There’s nothing worse than those endless crazy days where you don’t have a chance to charge up properly and keep running around from amazing event to amazing event (especially when there are so many fun moments to share and capture!) I just got back from a mini road trip to SF, and imagine that 32 hours of charge would last through forgetting to charge my phone while i slept, 6 hours of roadtripping LA-SF with phone calls, emails, and music streaming, running around all day… and night… forgetting to charge it again while sleeping… driving back down to LA… and you might still be good for a little bit!

So - inspired by the DROID RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola’s 32 hours of unbelievable battery life, we’ve created a special gift guide filled with fun! From hiking with the puppy, to relaxing at the beach, to going out for drinks, to bouncing between gallery openings, and ending up at concerts, to celebrating Valentine’s Day… explore some dream scenarios to shop for on the next page!

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*notcot - 01.02.13 , 19:50 -

#HowIClubhouse: Virgin Atlantic EWR

ERWmain.jpg This post is presented by Virgin Atlantic ~ Clubhouse [kluhb-hous] (v): The art of enjoying one’s time before a journey in an exquisite manner unique to Virgin Atlantic. How do you Clubhouse? Send us a picture of you enjoying your favorite Clubhouse experience on Twitter or Instagram, using the #HowIClubhouse. Well, to see how WE clubhouse, Virgin Atlantic invited us to check out their latest lounge in EWR (Newark, NJ).

It seemed only appropriate that with all of this twitter/instagram fun around #HowIClubhouse, that we share our adventure lounging at the brand new Virgin Atlantic Newark Clubhouse through Instagram photos! From the fun decor (tons of designer seating, lighting, and more) - to the beautiful mirrored, geometric bar (and delicious drinks) ~ to the screening room ~ to the Mirror Cube of infinite instagram mirrored madness of an installation we built right here in our NOTlabs… We hear that this lounge is so coveted that the British Airways passengers in the lounge next door often try to buy their way into the Clubhouse because, “every night seems like a party.” Rumor has it that with two flights a day at 8am and 8pm, people come straight from work to have a few drinks before their flight, as well as dinner (or breakfast if you’re there for the 8am)! It’s a beautiful space to relax and unwind pre-flight, and there are so many fun design details… take a peek at how our friend and photographer Jessica clubhoused for us on the next page!

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*notcot - 12.18.12 , 10:20 -

Music Video Inspiration

gilli.jpg This post is presented by MasterCard. When they reached out to us about sharing some fun Grammy inspired posts, naturally, i turned to our NOTlabs director and music lover, Shawn Sims. First he shared a bit of what we’ve been listening to around the lab in our Winter Inspiration Mix. Now he’s got a bunch of inspiring music videos for us! Advertisement

Whether its the toy octopus from Wax Tailor’s Time To Go, the never ending panorama shot in The Peach King’s Lonely, OK GO playing music with a car, or the cast of Fraggle Rock making a cameo for Ben Folds Five, there are plenty of surprises in these videos to keep you inspired. Some are simple animations and others highly detailed computer graphics. There are some videos that are shot beautifully and others are packed with high-tech wonders. Bell’s video for Chase No Face is an entire video of projection mapping onto the singers face using the Microsoft Kinect to sense movements and custom software that controls the graphics on her face. Take a look on the next page for all that and more, including dancing ghillie suit people!

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