*notcot - 12.14.12 , 09:47 - 1 Notes

The Chill Winter Inspiration Mix

NOTCOTwinterMIX2.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, to share a bit of what we’ve been listening to around the lab! Advertisement

At NOTCOT we always have music playing, and with the 55th Annual Grammy Awards just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to share favorites playing lately. Whether you are working hard or just relaxing a bit over the holidays we hope that this mix inspires you too. There is a lot of music on it, including The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes, and the quartet of Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Stuart Duncan, all of whom are nominated for Grammys. There are a few other songs included from artists we enjoy, some older and some new, but all awesome! Check out playlist and some fun videos on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.24.12 , 07:00 - 0 Notes

2 Dozen Volkswagen GTIs in Malibu

vw0.jpg Here’s the latest from our NOTlabs Director and car lover, Shawn Sims. This post is brought to you by Volkswagen. It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them. Read our stories or share your own at whyvw.com.

Early morning. Malibu canyon. Incredible S curves. Stunning views of the ocean and mountains. And over 2 dozen GTIs. I kid you not. So when Volkswagen reached out to NOTCOT to share our VW story, Jean pulled up my instagram pictures and insisted i share this Malibu adventure with you. First things first, let’s backtrack a few steps…

I love my 2012 GTI. It’s like a fast little go cart - handles great, has great balance, and from an engineering/design perspective, the build quality of the car is top notch. (And after endless test driving, Jean gave this one her approval as she fell for all the design details too.) As a car lover since before I even started driving at 15, you’d never believe that life lead me to do a few years in London and New York — carless! And it wouldn’t be until i moved to LA that i’d buy my first new car.

Moving to LA a car is a must-have. I was told make sure you get something you will enjoy, can be comfortable in, and be fun to drive because you will be in it more than you think. So when heading to LA after grad school in Pittsburgh, before even looking for an apartment, the perfect car had to be found… white 2 door with a manual transmission and sunroof. Not as easy as expected! But along the way, many dealers were called, arrangements were made, and paperwork was signed before I even landed in LA. My GTI agonizingly waited across the country in a lot for me until I got there. The day before new years eve, I hopped on an evening flight to LAX, and the next morning I had the keys to my new VW GTI! 

Adjusting to life in LA, Jean and I frequently took our cars out to Malibu to play in the canyons. Having the VW GTI as my newest gadget, naturally internet research took me all over, learning about possible tunes, tweaks, upgrades and more… even stumbling upon various GTI communities (Apparently a lot of the vocal owners online are architects, engineers, designers, etc. Who knew?) So when a GTI meetup through the Malibu Canyons popped up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to meet some new LA folks and find out more about what others were doing to the cars in person, and regardless of how it was, it was guaranteed to be a fun drive!

I have gone to plenty of car meets and seen car clubs caravanning around LA, but I was not expecting to find more than 2 dozen GTIs in a parking lot at 8:30AM. First, the casual meet and greet over coffee as we huddled up to go over the proposed route. We were set to cruise Stunt Rd, Mulholland Hwy, Malibu Canyon Rd, Piuma Rd, PCH, and whatever fun roads we could find in between. The plan was one canyon run, usually 20-40 min and then find a spot to regroup and snap a few photos. There were 3 generations of GTIs there, some untouched and others heavily modified. While at one of the lookouts along the way an automotive journalist even pulled up reviewing the new Golf R. The huge group of GTIs made him do a double take, much like the new Golf R turned the heads of the GTI drivers. As quickly as people came together, the group drifted back to their respective parts of socal… but for those few hours of blissful canyon driving as a pack of GTIs, i certainly learned a ton about what my GTI could do (and become).

The pack of GTIs (and the view!) was quite the sight, as you can see in the pictures on the next page… If I was driving by the group, I know my curiosity would have the best of me and it would have been hard not to stop too!

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*notcot - 09.19.12 , 04:31 -

Sponsored: HP + Intel + Project Runway Contest

HPpost.jpg This post is sponsored by the sleek, stylish, lightweight HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™, inspired by Intel. Vote for your favorite bag design!

On interesting collaborations ~ HP + Intel + Project Runway have created a contest challenging fans to design an HP Ultrabook Bag. The designers have a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 and an HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™. The top 5 will each receive an HP Spectre XT Ultrabook! And now that the entries are all in ~ our friends at Inhabitat and Core77 with Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra (Season 8 “Project Runway HP/Intel Challenge”) have picked the final 40 bag designs and now it’s all up to you to vote for the winners!

There are some fun designs mixed in there, and looking at the idea makes me think through the MANY laptop/ultrabook/macbook air/tablet cases and bags i’ve gone through over the years… it’s always such a difficult task to find that PERFECT bag! Everyone has different criteria (and for different situations/use cases!) ~ it’s a delicate mix between fashion, design/materials, and the technology you’re housing within it (and who knows what else is inside!) Personally i’ve always loved tech bags that are highly protective of my tech on in the inside and super versatile and discreet on the outside! Think, awesome padding for my laptop and camera with enough room for my wallet and phone and such… but simple enough to pass for a normal purse or tote bag on the outside! Nothing like screaming - “I’ve got lots of tech in here,” to passersby. Anyhow, i digress…

Go support your fellow designers and vote for your favorite! You can vote for 1 design each day - view all of the 40 designs and VOTE here! You only have until Sept 26th!

*notcot - 08.17.12 , 13:10 - 0 Notes

Ted Baker London’s Grand House on 5th Ave

baker1.jpg This post is sponsored by Ted Baker London, which just opened their new NYC ‘Grand House’ Fifth Avenue store! Thank you for supporting NOTCOT, Ted Baker!

To celebrate and announce the opening of Ted Baker London’s ‘Grand House’ store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, we’ve already shown you their Maids & Butlers that were let loose on the city! Well, now, here’s a peek inside the actual STORE! Equally playful and funky, it has everything from a dining table setting along the register, tea sets on the ceiling, jello lighting hanging down… gears in motion in the windows… and of course their maids and butlers were there for the opening as well as playful scavenger hunts, instaprint photobooth, and more! See the fun (in pics and video!) on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.11.12 , 12:24 - 0 Notes

Ted Baker London’s Maids & Butlers take NYC

tedbaker1.jpg This post is sponsored by Ted Baker London, which just opened their new NYC ‘Grand House’ Fifth Avenue store! Thank you for supporting NOTCOT, Ted Baker!

To celebrate and announce the opening of Ted Baker London’s ‘Grand House’ store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, they sent a swarm of 20’s era Maids & Butlers around to clean up the city! In the video of the adventure, you see them polishing subway poles, ironing maps, cleaning the bull on wall street, pouring tea for chess players, befriending horses, singing with the naked cowboy, poop scooping and much more! See the video of all the fun on the next page!

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*notcot - 11.30.11 , 00:00 -

Advertisement from Sorel

sorelmain.jpg Here’s a super rare advertisement post ~ but you’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty awesome picture up there! Thank you, SOREL, for your support of NOTCOT!

Brave the Winter With Fearless Boots - As fall winds down, it’s time to look ahead to the chill of winter, and for women who love to shop, that means one thing: shopping for boots. SOREL’s new bold and modern fall/winter 2011 line is a great place to start your search, especially if you’re looking for something that isn’t afraid of a little snow.  

The beauty of Sorel’s new line - highlighted by the Tofino™ and SOREL 88™ pieces - is it’s ability to work a feminine fashion statement and to just plain work. With the Tofino, you’ll get eye-catching and sophisticated style that oozes from its soft faux fur trim and the smooth leather that overlays canvas. Its available in hot colors, too, including the very sexy chili pepper (red) - who says boots can’t make you feel seductive? No one has to know they’re super comfortable and fully waterproof.  

SOREL ‘88 is for the hard core winter outdoor adventurist as it will keep feet warm and toasty, and dry and steady (even on ice) thanks to the rubber outsoles. And the bright and bold color choices can heat up even the coldest winter days.  

To get your SOREL boots, head to Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, or shop online at www.sorel.com/fearless, where you can also check out the entire Fall/Winter collection. 

*notcot - 11.14.11 , 13:05 - 0 Notes

Special Hidden Bonobos Paisley Pants!

pants.jpg So, for the last week, we’ve had Bonobos models hidden across NOTCOT.org and NotCouture ~ well it’s been SO much fun (thanks to everyone who has tweeted and emailed in their love of our fun easter egg campaign!), that Bonobos has offered us a bonus today! Today only ~ there is a special little PAISLEY pant wearing model that will appear amongst the others ~ and the first five people to find him on NOTCOT.org or NotCouture and use the special code will get 100$ off their order!!!

To find out more about the history of Bonobos ~ take a look at this 2009 NYTs article…. and for now ~ go try your luck finding the PAISLEYS!!!

*notcot - 11.07.11 , 03:16 - 1 Notes

Bonobos Hidden on NOTCOT!

bonobos.jpg So excited to announce this fun little easter egg hunt of sorts launching on NOTCOT.org and NotCouture today! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Bonobos to hide some of their models in their signature pants around the sites throughout the week… and if you find them, click them! The first 50 people to find the pants every day, get the $25 Bonobos credit plus free shipping both ways (min $50 purchase)! So happy hunting and shopping! Also, keep an eye out for the special little guy in paisley pants… he’ll give you a little something extra…

As for Bonobos, they are the online menswear store named after the endangered promiscuous great ape species that is a close relation of the chimpanzee… the one’s that started off a few years ago with the goal of giving men a pant option (the secret is in the curved waistline) that vowed to put an end to the saggy rear end that one-cut-fits-all options provide, and over the years it has evolved into a full fledged men’s store with everything from pants to suits and shirts to sweaters and shoes and even accessories. So whether you’re in need of a wardrobe update, or looking to get in on that holiday shopping early… go find the Bonobos models hiding on NOTCOT.org and NotCouture all week for the shopping codes!


*notcot - 10.18.11 , 21:23 -

Sponsored: Anonymous

This is a rare NOTCOT sponsored post from Anonymous. These only occur when an advertiser strikes my fancy and feels like a fun fit!

Sex. Power. Secret identities. Shakespeare. Shakespeare? Yes! It turns out the Elizabethans were up to their frilly collars in conspiracy. We’ve all read William Shakespeare’s works in school. But maybe those plays weren’t written by Shakespeare … maybe there was no Shakespeare. What if the plays weren’t just works of art? What if they were tools of political manipulation and evidence of a secret affair? Was Shakespeare a fraud? Anonymous: in theaters October 28

*notcot - 07.27.11 , 19:30 - 0 Notes

Sponsored: Nordstrom’s in Black

black0.jpg This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. Shop the Anniversary Sale: Next Season on Sale Now. Prices go up August 1.

When picking products that were tempting us at the Nordstrom sale ~ Marcia and I couldn’t help going for all the black. Iconic little black dresses ~ little black trenches and coats ~ black tuxes ~ you know the drill! Take a peek at what we’re loving on the next page!

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*notcot - 07.21.11 , 01:00 - 0 Notes

Nordstrom Window Displays

nord1.jpg This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. Shop the Anniversary Sale: Next Season on Sale Now. Prices go up August 1.

The universe works in mysterious ways ~ like when i was drawn in while walking home across the gaslamp district ~ i was pulled in by the glow of these windows and the merchandising as well as the labels and the way they were attached… only to realize they were for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ~ which i needed to write about tonight! So snapped a few pics of the displays to share with you here ~ there’s something so fun about how much more large window displays pop and come alive in the night… additionally check out some fun picks from the sale we’re liking!

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*notcot - 07.20.11 , 02:43 - 0 Notes

Boots! Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

boots1.jpg This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. Shop the Anniversary Sale: Next Season on Sale Now. Prices go up August 1.

When prompted to go shop the Nordstrom’s sale for this ad campaign and share what tempted us ~ it definitely sounded fun and silly enough. After all, we’re perusing Nordstrom often anyhow ~ and you can check out the catalog online… while they do sponsor this post, they picks are all stuff we’re liking and shopping anyhow… i seem to be on a boot hunt tonight ~ from thigh high boots to wedged wellies to strappy biker flat boots… take a peek at what’s grabbed my eye on the next page…

p.s. thanks to all the fun readers who have been sharing what they’ve already bought/lusted after from the sale while i was trying to figure out what else to want while on twitter/facebook.

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*notcot - 07.14.11 , 00:05 -

Relive Your Vacation Memories and Share Away

sponsored.jpg This post is sponsored (and written) by Visa! Thanks, Visa, for your support of NOTCOT!

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Or more? And at 30fps, video must be worth millions! Now geolocate those photos and video … and they’ll be worth trillions! Vacation photos and videos are dreamy escapes you have for the rest of your life… as for how you share them, options keep expanding and the latest is the Memory Mapper application at the Facebook.com/Visa. Merging your photos and videos with Google Maps satellite technology (think of that fun flying feeling you get playing with Google Earth as you zoom in and out from one place to the next!) all set to music, essentially creating a whole visual experience to share with your friends!

How it works: Upload your photos and videos, enter personalized captions and the addresses of where the action took place then choose a soundtrack. Memory Mapper will merge Google Maps satellite technology with your content to create a multimedia travelogue. You can even post your creation on your friends’ walls, tweet to your followers or email to friends and family to make sure they don’t miss it. Besides sharing memories with this app, when Visa cardholders use their cards from now through October 31, they will be automatically entered for a chance to win $100,000 to plan their ultimate trip of a lifetime.

Head to Visa’s Memory Mapper at http://www.facebook.com/visa to turn your travel tales into stories of legends.

NO PURCHASE OR OBLIGATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THE VISA 2011 TRIP OF A LIFETIME SWEEPSTAKES. Open to legal U.S. residents, 18 years or older as of 4/27/11. PIN-based and ATM transactions are not eligible. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends 10/31/11. For complete details on non-purchase entries, http://on.fb.me/jBn2PD.

*notcot - 06.01.11 , 00:00 -

To Each Their Own.

mainhonda1.jpg This post is a NOTCOT Exclusive sponsored by Honda as part of their Super Civic Quest running across the internet. Odds are you either found this post like a normal NOTCOTer or found your way here through the Super Civic Quest!

You found it! The hipster lumberjack and his squirrel, the ninja asian girl, the luchador, the monster, and the zombie! What do they all have in common? 2012 Honda Civics - one customized for each of them! How fun is the idea that amongst all kinds of crazy new features, your car can be a super digital photo frame? Yes, you can actually set wallpapers on your car dash with the i-MID system (available on the EX model with navigation) - so instantly flip over from checking your mileage range, making phone calls, exploring your mp3 player… back to any picture of your choice! And Honda’s given us an exclusive set of wallpapers with their latest characters as part of this secret quest spread throughout the internet… Their videos crack me up too! So check out the videos and wallpapers… and maybe the clue to your next destination… on the next page! Happy hunting!

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*notcot - 05.02.11 , 00:01 - 0 Notes

5 Things Powering NOTCOT

notcotrunson.jpg Thanks to American Express OPEN for sponsoring this post as part of the Big Break for Small Business program. Visit FaceBook.com to learn more about the Big Break contest. Enter your small business for a chance to win a trip to Facebook headquarters for a one-on-one business makeover and $20,000 to grow your business with social media. See Official Rules for complete details.

It’s always strange to stop and think about NOTCOT as a business. Usually shiny objects, exciting inspiration, things to see and places to go get in the way ~ and my mind spins off towards some awesome distraction. But as a business, particularly as a super visual internet business, there are partners and products i can’t imagine getting here without! The evolution of all things NOTCOT has been so gradual ~ fueled by following passions and spontaneous experiments ~ i don’t know if there’s ONE thing that gave it a “big break” ~ but there are definitely major moments when you feel the shift ~ transitions from one level to the next! So perhaps the moment i had to start admitting NOTCOT was bigger than a fun project and i needed to start thinking about bringing on help was one of the biggest ones! When American Express OPEN reached out to sponsor content around what gave NOTCOT its “Big Break” ~ i couldn’t resist this excuse to share some of them with you, and also shout out a huge THANK YOU to them! So take a peek on the next page at what powers the world of NOTCOT (besides giddy passion and a continual hunt for inspiration)!

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