Holiday season is officially here! Happy Black Friday! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… here’s a gift guide inspired by the latest addition to the NOTCOT family ~ NotVentures. I can’t believe it’s been merely a month old already, and since it’s launch i’ve been from LA to San Francisco, Germany, Italy, Japan, and off to New York Monday! Beyond inspiring us with things to see and places to go… it’s also inspired some fun products, perfect for gifting your favorite jetsetter! See my picks on the next page…
Blackbox Case has just launched! Beautiful wooden Macbook Pro cases hand made in Colorado and just sent over an awesome email with some great pics! Weighing in at a mere 1.5 pounds, its pretty light, AND apparently hard to crush… but most intriguing of all are the stunning details you have to see up close on the next page! Each is hand numbered, comes with a typographically stunning card welcoming you to their family by their Chief Dreamer! Each case is hand oiled with high end Tung oil finish that takes four days to complete. “It just feels velvety smooth.” Each case is precision cut, hand sanded, hand rubbed, and personally inspected throughout the crafting process. “Your case starts as two pieces of hardwood that are milled on our CNC machine. This means that your computer will fit in your case perfectly. Not tight. Not loose. Just right every time.” Stunning, right? Sadly only available for macbook pros right now, i could really use one for my air!
Here’s an excerpt from the email i received:
Why the name Blackbox?
~Because I am a flight instructor in my spare time and it will keep your computer safe like the infamous blackbox in an airplane.
Who the heck are you? Do you really make these?
~Yep. We’re serious. We have engineers, woodworkers, and artists handcrafting these full-time. We’re making these with love in Golden, Colorado.
What’s with the branding-iron-logo?
~I’m from a small cow town in Eastern Colorado, so I thought it was fitting. That and it just looks sexy.
Can it really survive being dropped from an airplane 20,000 ft. in the air?
~I’m pretty sure it couldn’t but I can’t wait to try.
What computers does it fit?
~It is designed to fit a 15 in. and 13 in. MacBook Pro. You could try shaving the sides off that old PC laptop, but I don’t think that’s gonna work.
Take a peek at more details of the new Blackbox Case on the next page!
P.S. Use code “givethanks” will get $20 off at Blackbox Case.
Justine just flew over to LA from London ~ and sadly the upside to terrible turbulence turned out to be amazing clouds! The type that look like a world of their own hovering above ours, as i cleaned up the pics, i couldn’t help looking for care bears in cloud cars. Then again, in the last pic, you will see the bizarre object she looked up to see flying by… turns out it was another plane! But the most fascinating part about this flight was seeing all the ice! And the fractal like patterns and twists and turns of the roads jumping out so crisply… not to mention watching the layers of clouds making incredible shadows on the ice! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
Satisfy your wanderlust with a peek at NOTCOT’s latest addition, NotVentures. To find out more about your next escape, click on the individual images.
I just went literally around the world in 4 days! And for all who agreed it sounded both awesome and horrifying all at once… Mercedes-Benz managed to make it impressively painless, luxuriously comfortable even ~ i actually may have both seen more and slept far more than usual ~ as i was catapulted between time zones so quickly, my body had yet to completely notice before ending up right back here in LA! So forgive me for going quiet the last few days… i honestly can’t recall the last time i’ve actually had so little internet (and barely enough time to even panic about it!) I’ve just touched back down to LA, though currently in Laguna Beach for a bit before LA Auto Week kicks off. The gist of the trip is “Timeless Design” where we visit 4 of Mercedes’ six global design studios, one after the other! So on weds night i left LA, ended up in Stuttgart Thurs night (via Munich) to see the Sindelfingen studio on Friday, then quickly to a private jet to Milan, where we drive to see the Como studio - spend the night in Milan (next to the duomo!) - saturday morning we take the jet to Frankfurt to hop on the beautiful A380 to Tokyo - pop into the Tokyo hotel for and hour and a half to freshen up before heading to the Tokyo studio - and then hop on another jumbo jet right back to LA… and here i am in Laguna Beach SUNDAY AFTERNOON! …with an hour before the meeting with the futurist, a million pictures to sort out… and we’ve yet to visit the Carlsbad studio, or play with the cars, or see the auto show. So, here’s some quick NotVentures/Operation Window Seating literally around the world on the next page to inspire you… the globe has never felt quite so small or diverse as it does right now, my head is still spinning trying to keep track of all the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen in such a tiny amount of time… surreal to say the least! While this is certainly not everything, and a bunch of flights were in the dark… see some of the most inspiring views i found!
p.s. As for the actual design inspiration and incredible studio peeks… coming soon. Somewhere between catching up on all the pics and making sense of a bigger story as the trip comes to a close!
When the world is your oyster, it can be hard to decide what to do and where to go next. Here are just a few inspirations from Notventures for your next escape.
In light of the launch of NotVentures and the recently unboxed MacBook Air… impulsively hopped a flight to celebrate ~ deciding to take a quick overnight trip up to SF… which resulted in some gorgeous midday cliche sunny california weather both yesterday and today! Exciting news ~ NO problems at all with 11” MacBook Air going through airport security in my bag!!! And it’s a breeze to pack, and starts up so quickly… perfect for quick work on the plane and at the airport… perfect to toss into a bag that doesn’t scream “laptop!”. And beyond that ~ being a gorgeous day, both ways, with incredible views, i’d be remiss not to give you another Operation Window Seat post! So mesmerizing watching the patterns that show up when looking at the world from above… and getting some literal distance and mental perspective… take a peek at my awesome mini-vacation on the next page!
NotVentures is here! Escapism at its best! Latest section of the NotEmpire ~ dedicated to helping us all indulge our worldly wanderlust ~ regardless of whether we’re ready to book a flight, or just need a mid day day dream destination. With so many incredible places to see and things to do around the globe (and beyond!) ~ as well as incredible products, resources, and services to help us do them… travel has outgrown NOTCOT.org and into NotVentures!
HUGE thank you to my amazing team at Federated Media and ZYNC from American Express for believing in NOTCOT and sponsoring the launch of both Tasteologie and NotVentures. It has been surreal having the extra nudge to get these pet projects of mine off the ground this year ~ and working on them… also pushed me to redesign the footers across all of the grid sites! Also… ROCKET SHIP!!! I adore the incredible logo and banner design that our friends at Dead As We Know It created ~ it embodies how i feel about travel perfectly… (psst - if you’re on a large screen, stretch your browser out for some surprises in the banner design!)
So what IS NotVentures? A collection of amazing curated user submission links for you to explore (and submit to if you wish to share!) focused on everything from places we want to see and places we’ve visited and loved to gadgets and articles and anything that helps you get where you need to go… and enjoy it! See some examples in the mini roundup below ~ and see more on the site!
“Cire Trudon, the oldest candle company in the world, is opening its very first shop outside its native Paris in New York’s Nolita neighborhood at 54 Bond Street at Bowery. This will be the first boutique to open since the Paris shop, located in the 6th arrondissement at 78 rue de Seine, opened in 1884.” That is quite a bit of history behind these amazing candles. While i have yet to smell them for myself, Anna was able to make it over to the opening to check it out first hand for us! For some reason there is something about a pouty Napoleon bust of a candle that just makes me smile. Also that the store makes you feel like you’re stepping into another world ~ in another time! Anna mentioned, “They put glass jars over the candles for display, which was a smart way to capture the smell and allow us to get a whiff without being totally overwhelmed by a million different scents in the store.” Take a first look into the stunning store on the next page ~ and perhaps soon i can show you some of their Stink Bombs that sound incredible… but more on that to come ~ to the next page!
Hard Graft’s Phone Fold Wallet in Grey is so lustworthy… for those moments when you can’t grab a full purse/wallet, and only need to run out the door with your phone, cash, and a few cards (key’s will have to be figured out separately!) ~ how cute is this nice grey version of the Hard Graft fold wallet (originally in brown). So tempting. I love the attention to detail: Metal snap keeps wallet closed (snap is not exposed to phone) and the headphone jack even has access! And it can fit your iPhone 4 with bumpers, albeit a bit more snugly… perfect to grab and toss into a clutch for a night out… see more pics on the next page!
NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.
On favorite spots in LA, i had to share:
Fred Segal Santa Monica
420 & 500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thinking through favorite LA spots ~ this one’s nostalgic! Fred Segal Santa Monica’s benches out front as one of my childhood memories! Sadly, my favorite one used to be a grown up and a kid silhouette, which is no longer there! But there are still two others! My mom used to take me there when i was in a stroller ~ and we even used to sit on the bench together on the silhouettes… and as much as this shopping haven has evolved and grown over the last 20 years, there’s still something comforting and fun about the patio out front ~ not to mention the shopping inside! An array of little boutiques housed the buildings across 5th St and Broadway ~ everything from fashion to beauty to gifts to purses to jewelry and some delicious food as well ~ it’s a nice little haven that i pop by every time i’m back in LA. So take a peek at a few snap shots we shot while there tonight on the next page!
10.10.10 was the perfect day to celebrate 10 Years of Prius! Hosted by Toyota, along with Shift.com, WIRED Magazine, Outstanding In The Field, and Reverb ~ up on the Wright Organic Resource Center in the hills of Malibu, home of grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright - architect and founder of the center. Firstly, there couldn’t be a more stunning Los Angeles day ~ sun beaming, clear skies, and the s-curves up to the house were stunning… and at the center, being surrounded by mountains and the whole of Santa Monica bay to look down on… they set up a series of sustainability workshops, live music, talks, and the coup d’etat ~ a special Outstanding in the Field dinner (remember i wrote about them recently?) As you can imagine, with such a stunning celebration underway, i ended up with hundreds of pictures, all of which could easily become many a post… or one huge epic one… so here’s the plan. On the next page ~ check out the pictures for an overview ~ think of it as a day in the life… walking through 2-10pm with me! And i’ll have more to show you on the stunning Outstanding in the Field dinner HERE! Absolutely incredible day, so nice to have a beautiful day outside surrounded by the sea, the mountains, music, food, drink, tech, and great people ~ coming together to celebrate 10 years of the Prius! SO! If you’re ready… check it out on the next page!
Amazing Operation Window Seat pics from Justine and Charles just in! SO jealous i wasn’t there to see the view, it looks stunning! Honestly, this all makes me wonder if we have too much tech going on IN our planes sometime ~ there’s something about looking down at the teeny tiny world from this perspective that really makes you see life and existence in a whole new light… also the fractal nature of how incredible things look from afar and as you zoom in closer is just mind blowing ~ here’s what Justine has to say: “For the latest installment of Operation Window Seat, we bring you highlights of an incredible daytime flight from Singapore to London Heathrow. Here are a few shots from the journey which started by crossing the Bay of Bengal, offering views of stunning coastline and winding tributaries, and included passage over desert mountains in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and incredible arrangements of fields across eastern Poland before finally bringing us home to London.” Really, really stunning landscapes, take a peek at the pictures on the next page!
Valencia! Spain! Design Week! This year, Valencia Disseny Week invited lots of design writers out for design week, which unfortunately overlapped exactly with my Scotland adventures! Luckily Leo was able to pop over there to help me see what was going on…. and take lots of pics! Sounds like there was LOTS of food, design talks, and quite a bit of exploring and getting to know their city ~ so, from his adventures, i’ve pulled some of my favorite pics, and he’s explained what’s going on in them on the next page! Ready for a designer look through pictures of Valencia? Take a peek on the next page!
p.s. Cute detail on their part branding logos and names on customized moleskines…