*notcot - 06.26.16 , 11:10 - 0 Notes

Inspiration: Nashville + Project House

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This post is long overdue! But WOW. (As you can see on @NOTlabs Instagram…) Real life got a bit crazy the last two weeks - Bucky, Shawn and I hopped in the car and drove from LA to Nashville… for a whole new adventure!!! Since we’ve arrived, we’ve been getting our hands dirty on the new NOTCOT Nashvillle Project House! An cute little post WWII bungalow on a half acre of overgrown jungle in adorable East Nashville - with some of our favorite spots minutes away, and the huge park and river SO close! And of course, we’re also exploring and finding new inspiration all over the city - as often as we come back, there’s always more to discover and so much that has changed (even since December!) For those who keep asking - are we moving to Nashville? Probably not. Will we be back and forth between LA and Nashville more? Possibly…

Anyhow - if you’re ready to see the fun, madness, and laborious adventures - to the next page!

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*notcot - 04.02.16 , 09:21 - 3 Notes

Eastern SoCal Bday Adventures!

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Shawn (+ Bucky) and I love a good road trip - exploring new places, finding new spots in old places, and just seeing where the road (or dirt paths) take us! For his 30th birthday, we decided to carve 60 hours out of our busy schedule to hop in the NOTFZJ80, and aim southeast… exploring our way out to Murrieta and Temecula on our way to hide out in Julian (for pie! and nature time in a little cabin on top of a hill amongst 30 acres of wildlife refuge!)… with a day trip to the Salton Sea and off roading to/thru The Slot in Anza Borrego… and swinging back home through Ramona, Poway, and up the coast via San Diego.

It was an amazing and rejuvenating trip filled with surprises! Also… Julian Pie Co. is still worth the drive after all these years. Mmmm that dutch apple pie. (Also the cherry pie. And the take and bake chicken pot pie was divine in the cabin on a rainy night!) There were far more breweries and wineries than we ever expected out there! Best find was definitely the Refuge Brew Blood Orange Wit! So delicious, and the can is gorgeous! Apparently Bucky is more interested in bunnies than squirrels… and deer and horses just aren’t that exciting anymore to him. We found a lot of similar Land Cruisers out at the Slot and squeezed through as far as we could!!! Who knew there’s even a Camel Dairy in Ramona along the highway!

Check out our mini adventure in pictures on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.18.16 , 15:54 - 1 Notes

Timothy J. Reynolds for North Face 2016

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The North Face Homestead Collection grabbed me instantly with the popping faceted, shadowy graphics… which are by 3D illustrator Timothy J. Reynolds. They feel like a modern digi-camo taken to a whole new level… you’d blend right into a vintage video game campsite made of polygons? Somehow the Americans get red, and the UK get green (and their tent comes with the Tentertainment system?!?!) - but both are pretty stunning. Discovering the Homestead Collection on Timothy’s twitter, i had to know more! See the pictures and more details of the collection on the next page!

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*notcot - 01.01.16 , 09:13 - 1 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Off-roading Arches National Park

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There’s an incredible 20+ miles of unpaved/4x4 trails in Arches National Park! And it’s especially spectacular on a sunny, snow covered winter day! Also incredibly - while there were tons of tourists packing ever view point on the main roads, we spent hours off-roading and taking in the stunning rock formations without seeing another car - or person! The funny thing is that we’d tried to go find some of the off roading trails around Moab, but many of them were heavily snowed in and pretty unpassable, so on the way home we figured we’d cruise through Arches quickly to get a peek at what to explore next time… but then we looked down at the map… noticed the 4x4 trails… and a few hours later we popped back out of the park! The trail put our NOTFZJ80 (and our driving skills) to the test - and it handled fantastically. Take a look at our adventure - and if you find yourself that way, we definitely recommend it. Lots of pictures and videos on the next page.

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*notcot - 12.31.15 , 19:35 - 0 Notes

Epic Holiday Road Trip: LA-Nashville-LA

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It has been QUITE the holiday season this year. 2015 will definitely be remembered for all the labs in our life… from Shawn’s Beast who lived to 12.5 years old, our Bucky the NOTpuppy, and the brand new Caleb! With Beast getting ill, family situations, and more - an Aspen christmas turned into an epic 3 week 5000+ mile road trip for Shawn, Bucky, and I in the NOTFZJ. We quickly went from LA to Kingman, AZ to Albuquerque, NM, Fayetteville, AR over to Nashville where we spent a week and a half with his family before venturing back west slightly slower. On the way back we bounced from Nashville through tornado weather over to Columbia, MO to amazing BBQ in Kansas City, spending the night in Burlington, CO… venturing to dim sum and dog parks in Denver/Boulder for Christmas, out to Grand Junction, CO… then ending up in a tiny cabin high in the La Sal Mountains in Utah for two nights… offroading the incredible trails in Arches National Park… then on to St George, UT and finally back home to LA yesterday. PHEW Exhausting and amazing to recap all the places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen… and on the next page is only the @notlabs instagram highlights! The journey as been incredibly fun, exhausting, eye opening, and thought provoking on so many levels - so jump in and see what we’ve been up to on the next page while i go relax and reflect on how awesome 2015 has been!

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*notcot - 10.28.15 , 16:30 - 0 Notes

INSPIRATION: North Park, San Diego

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Sometimes you just need to get away… catch up with an old friend… take a day trip… for tacos… and donuts on the beach… and check out some fun new shops… and that’s just what we did! Day trip to San Diego to see the new spots in North Park… and cruising up the coast to see what’s new in Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside… and stopping off in the OC for soup dumplings and puffles! Check out the inspiration and goodies we found along the way on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.19.15 , 11:50 - 0 Notes

Inspiration: LA-SF-LA Roadtrip

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Just home from roadtripping since wednesday… and going through @NOTlabs instagram and the pictures on my phone, i can’t figure out where to start! So many different adventures from catching up with old friends and making new ones while reviewing Artist in Residency projects at Autodesk’s Pier 9 and running around to see whatever surprises we could find in between! Shawn and i drove from LA up the 5 (through the middle of CA) to SF, then worked our way back down the coast. We stayed in Potrero Hill, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Cambria. Played with 1 month old ostriches (and some beastly adults and emus too!)… unboxed Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator in the car… watched sunset over Sutro Baths… lusted after robot arms, CNCs, water jets, swing conference tables and so many more toys at Autodesk Pier 9… discovered the craziest central california glazed almond treats… have a CW&T Pen Type-B we’re putting through the paces (donut magnet!)… discovered Bravo Farms with the Flavor Farmer, Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream, BBQ, market and more as quite the pitstop… buying more rare succulents at Grow… and so much more. See why it’s near impossible to sum up quickly? But one thing is for sure - we’re home, we’re rested, and thoroughly inspired to make more awesome happen!

So to get a taste of the most inspiring randomness, robots, packaging, views, creatures and more from LA to SF and back… see the next page!

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*notcot - 10.13.15 , 11:11 - 1 Notes

Inspiration: Mexico City

df0.jpg Mexico City!!! Yes, this trip was 2 weeks ago - but part way through i got a pretty wicked virus that took me out for the last 2 weeks… and until my body (and mind!) started feeling almost all better, i wasn’t quite ready to work on this post! But, that being said - feeling almost human again… so check out the fun, colorful, inspiration we found on our quick adventure!

The main reason we ended up in Mexico City on such short notice was… Shawn was invited to speak on a panel at design school CENTRO at the launch of their new building. While making our way down there, it was also the perfect time to catch up with friends and finally visit Publicis Mexico and see all the magical awards the Nescafe Cap Project won in person… as well as see the sights and indulge in some deliciousness along the way of course.

Coming from drought filled Los Angeles… what i was most in awe of constantly was the greenery and all the amazing vines and luscious moss covered trees… if only i could have brought it all back! See what caught my eye on the next page!

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*notcot - 09.07.15 , 15:12 - 0 Notes

Inspiration: Nashville

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Nashville adventures!!! It has been an amazing vacation to getaway and just get excited and explore a city that has become another home away from home. Being Shawn’s hometown, we get back there somewhat regularly, but it isn’t every trip that we have time to run around and see what’s new - you’ve seen some of our Nashville and Memphis finds here and even more Nashville discoveries here, but this the longest trip we’ve had to run around and relax yet!

So take a peek on the next page for a taste of what we enjoyed - from visiting maker/design studios to incredible murals, taking in some music at the new amphitheater, trying new coffee trends, visiting cute shops and more…

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*notcot - 07.19.15 , 15:20 - 1 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Taylor Creek + Lake Isabella

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We needed to go get lost… in the woods… away from all our screens for a little bit. So Shawn loaded up Bucky and I in the NOTFZJ80, and we headed north! The California drought is no joke… so we weren’t sure what to expect on our hunt for greenery and running water, but luckily we found a bit (though not as much as there once was!) up at the Kern River, and found an amazing camp site alongside Taylor Creek. Falling asleep to the sound of the creek rushing by was amazing - and Bucky just couldn’t get enough of the fresh snow melt and spring water flowing through. While we didn’t do much other than relax and explore - i couldn’t help snapping a few pics on my phone - so take a peek at what we found on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.03.15 , 22:10 - 0 Notes

Mercado Sagrado - Malibu

mercados00.jpg I can’t imagine a lovelier way to spend a Sunday than laying out on a grassy field in a Malibu vineyard filled canyon surrounded by chill live music, delicious treats, happy people, horses, ducks, and more… while being inspired by unique artists and the incredible structures they’ve popped up! This was the scene today at Mercado Sagrado - a relaxing festival founded by photographer Heather Culp and artist Carly Jo Morgan - spread out in the Oak Grove at Saddlerock Ranch. Our highlights were definitely seeing more of the geometric wood sculptures of Aleph Geddis (also - his instagram is amazing) and getting our aura photos taken in a geodesic dome by Radiant Human (which has only sparked a fascination with the 70’s polaroid tech behind aura pics. Apparently the tech hasn’t changed much?!?!) Take a look at the relaxing inspiration we found on the next page…

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*notcot - 03.31.15 , 12:45 - 0 Notes

Leef iBRIDGE

leef0.jpg The iBRIDGE from Leef just arrived! Mobile memory for your iphone/ipad! This little gadget ranges from 16-256GB, and has a USB 2.0 on one side and an Apple Lightning connector on the other. Think of it as a super USB key.

Just like the Mophie Space Pack we tried out before, you need to download an iOS app to be able to interface with iOS 8. This basically means you can transfer photos between the iBRIDGE and iOS device with ease, take photos straight to the iBRIDGE, and even play music and videos off the iBRIDGE!

There’s a very specific use i’m most interested in the iBRIDGE for… transferring a few photos between my phone and laptop for posts! Currently my options are… Airdrop (it works once in a while, but not consistently enough not to be a pain), syncing all photos into iPhoto/iCloud (but i like Lightroom to manage photos - and if i plug in and import from lightroom, it takes forever to scan 10,000 photos), emailing myself (ugh), dropbox/google drive (slow), and ultimately i end up messaging myself (which still needs wifi/data! not always possible traveling or on a plane)… so ideally, i’d use the iBRIDGE to choose travel photos to transfer on to the stick to my laptop! So far for that - it is AWESOME. Also as a USB key to fill with movies/music for travel and sharing across iOS devices, it’s perfect!

My one problem so far… my phone had ~11,000 photos on it. So testing out their backup took quite some time! (Make sure your phone is fully charged, since you can’t charge and transfer simultaneously.) Also now when i try to load up the photos in their app to see the photos in the backup - it takes quite a bit of time (likewise to load up the photo preview of the ones on my iphone). The backup function doesn’t currently copy videos over, though select/transfer does move videos. I assume i need to either not use the backup function, or if i backup and move the file off the iBRIDGE, then it loads up pretty fast. It’s also nice that you can ‘move’ files from iOS to iBRIDGE and have it delete them… so maybe it’s really time for me to clear off a few years of photos from my iPhone?

Take a look at all the details on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.21.15 , 15:40 - 1 Notes

Laguna Lodge: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

laguna000.jpg Sometimes you need a place to truly relax, hide away, and gather your thoughts. Since we were in Guatemala for Jackson’s wedding, we decided to add on a few days to do just that… and Shawn found the eco-luxury 6 room resort and nature reserve, The Laguna Lodge at Lake Atitlan - the perfect getaway add-on to our Antigua plans. Since the lodge is in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, on the western highlands of Sololá, you take a car to Panajachel and then hop on a boat for about 10 minutes. To get anywhere from the lodge you can either hop on another boat, or walk along the pathways along the lakeshore. Though, I honestly can’t tell you much about waving down the boats to hop from town to town, since once we were situated, we realized the ultimate break was really to just hide out at the lodge, explore the 100 acres of nature reserve, delicious locally grown, organic, vegetarian fare, and watch the sunsets over the volcanoes and the lake! Of the 6 suites, the majority of couples we met did seem to be American 20-30 somethings as well - but this was the part of our trip that was more about a stunning oasis tucked away from the chaos of everyday life. Two nights at the Laguna Lodge, and we were feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and ready to get back to reality! Take a look at the stunning space on the next page.

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*notcot - 03.19.15 , 13:00 - 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 - 03.16.15 , 16:34 - 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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