First reaction to byAMT’s Clé USB - the packaging is adorable! And i couldn’t help but thinking ~ this would be an awesome press kit! (I have little mounds of the usual branded USB key press kits in a pile… it’s fun when someone does something cool!) There’s something about the adorable 3D printed key that feels like it would unlock exciting secrets ~ a digital secret garden of sorts? Alissia even mentioned she’s going to start 3D printing logos right into them as well, which would be lovely to customize for gifts, giveaways, press kits, wedding pics, etc? A box of collectoins of keys holding memories would be so cute! Check out more pics of the unboxing on the next page!
Entries tagged with: reviews
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Mmmmmm… on sunday fun, while working my way through the backlog of stuff that awaited me here in LA when i got home, Linhchi and i decided to try out Vosges ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ when a delicious chocolatier decides to go cookie mix, how could we not try? And if you follow their instructions exactly, they are HUGE! We’ve also enlisted some of the Kidrobot 2Tone Dunny characters to help us out for a sense of scale! On the next page, take a peek at their awesome packaging, cheeky copy, our experience baking them, and of course, the final product!
On fun new toys this long weekend ~ playing with the Pentax Optio W90 as a life-proofed backup camera to my big dslr. It’s cold proof to 14 degrees, showckproof to 4 ft, mud+sand+dustproof, waterproof to 20 ft, and heat tolerant to 104 degrees! Basically meaning it’s hopefully kidproof, adventureproof, cookingproof, poolproof, petproof, and more! And it even has a “microscope mode” which is basically a super close macro mode… so you can shoot from 1cm away from the lens. It can also shoot 720p HD video! (But no zooming while shooting, thought you can zoom before you start shooting) Hard to believe this is Pentax’s 11th generation of these everything-proofed cameras ~ i had one of the 2nd gen models back in the day ~ perfect for fishing/shallow water adventures! Honestly, i can’t wait to try this one out as my primary kitchen camera i dont have to worry about when getting messy! Perfect for my latest food project (Eep! Shhhh, more to come on that SOON!) Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ as well as a few test photos of the super macro microscope mode, experiments in the shower, and some video tests at LAX while i was waiting to pick someone up…
p.s. It’s pretty cheap on Amazon relative to list price! I impulse bought it friday, and had it show up saturday!
p.p.s. i wish the design could be sleeker ~ and that i could peel off all the text on the front ~ but the rugged grippiness is awesome.
Wow, what a week it was last week ~ volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, threw a little kink into what started to feel like a never-ending adventure across asia and europe, and early on in the trip, i decided to travel with only my blackberry curve, no data plan - only sms and international email - also, no iphone… and figured i’d be so busy, i’d survive just fine. Somewhere while i was diving in Indonesia, HTC contacted me and offered to send over an HTC Legend to try out (knowing i’d been lusting to try out the unibody phone and opitcal trackball in person)… they were even kind enough to send it over to my hotel in italy, along with an italian SIM card… with data! After 3 weeks traveling without using maps/internet/etc on my phone, i thought i was fine… good to disconnect a bit!
HTC Legend shows up ~ pop sim card in ~ start playing with maps and internet and gps and twitter and youtube videos and more… i’ll admit it, it made life 110% easier, nearly instantly. I’ve learned my lesson. Super snappy connection to the digital world 24/7 - it’s not an addiction… its convenience… like being able to go get lost and not need to ask for directions b/c your phone always knows where you are… or being able to go out to drinks, and keep checking in on the status of closed airports and volcanic eruptions and ash clouds and book/change flights while in the middle of an insane italian club? Excessive, but it certainly helped keep the panic of being stranded in europe indefinitely to a minimum… so, THANK YOU, HTC, for reconnecting me to the digital world when i needed it most! Things got a little stressful as people were hopping 22 hour consulate bus rides to London, rushing on packed trains to madrid and rome, booking private 737’s from newark to heathrow… but it’s good to be home!
And beyond the awesome functionality of the phone ~ the internet browsing seems FAR snappier than my iphone and i’m in love with the screen and trackball! Also, every designer i ran into at design week couldn’t help but comment how the phone was nearly more mac than a mac! It feels SO good in your hand, and the single piece body of the phone is just lovely… take a peek at the bunch of pics on the next page of it compared to my mac book pro at my last lunch in Milan at a cute little cafe in brera…
A winner has been notified... i'm waiting to hear back from him!
I know you've always wanted to throw some rocks in your favorite scotch. Chilled perfectly these Teroforma Whisky Rocks are handmade in Vermont out of soapstone will cool your drink down just enough to take the edge off without "closing down" the flavors according to the lovely ladies of Delight.com. In fact, they are even generous enough to GIVE AWAY ONE SET of these WHISKEY STONES! All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite Scotch/Whisky... be specific! And i'll pick a winner on Monday Sept 14th.
As for the stones themselves, they come beautifully packaged, and were a lovely reason to pick up a bottle of the highly recommended Balvenie 21yr Portwood (omg. so delicious.) ~ while i wasn't sure whether they chilled it enough at first, i've been enlightened that "They do not replace ice - it would ruin the whisky or any other fine spirits to be taken down to a temp much lower than 45F." And the only dillemma i've run into ~ if you only get 9... and about 4 go in a glass... and you have a drink with a friend... and you want refills... you need more rocks! Right? Anyhow, go take a peek at the pics on the next page!
I know, we're not supposed to propagate the beauty myth that thinner is better, but i just can't stop walking into the room, and pausing for a moment to look at how ridiculously thin this Samsung LED TV is! As i mentioned before, while working with Samsung on this sponsorship, i fell in love and bought one! And in all honesty, it's been amazing! Beyond the little pebble remote i showed you ~ my dad even remarked that it was "frighteningly clear", which i completely agree with - you almost feel like you can reach out and poke the people in the tv! (who are definitely larger than life on the 55").
But on the tech side of it ~ its just gorgeous ~ ridiculously thin (Wunderland War Monkey Assassin will help give you some scale... especially compared to my previously thin panasonic)... seriously its the kind of thing where it may actually be thinner than some canvases i have hanging... talk about that future where we'd have moving pictures as hanging artwork? AND widgets! the UI on these Yahoo! ConnectedTV widgets for things like twitter and youtube are just stunning... See the pics on the next page!
There are flashlights ~ and there are super bright flashlights ~ and then there are super bright flashlights with legs of their own that will wrap themselves around just about anything and magnetically hold on... The Joby GorillaTorch that is coming out soon is definitely in that last category. I took it on a walk to dinner last night, and firstly, it was hard to have it NOT become a fidget toy. Secondly, the thing is BRIGHT, like stop traffic bright, or accidentally blind yourself a little if you accidentally turn it on aimed at the glossy table bright. But i suppose that should be no surprise at 65 lumens ~ and it runs on a mere 3 AA batteries (so easy to use rechargeables!) It's available for pre-order now, but i've got a few peeks at my hands on with it now! And it's got a tiny ultra=bright CREE LED bulb ~ which basically looks like a tiny dab of clear nailpolish on a circuit board...Check it out on the next page!
i'm loving this one as a backup light for emergencies and travel! (especially camping/safari-ing/etc)
Freshly launched today ~ Incase's latest incarnation of their classic iPhone Slider cases ~ Monochrome Slider Cases ~ this time with glossy tops and soft touch bottoms... while at first i wasn't sure if the color palette was for me (the colors do have fun names like celery green)... when they sent samples over, the PACKAGING just blew my mind. again. as usual. I don't know, those Incase guys are pretty much my favorite packaging folks out there these days. This time it is a clear/black matte plastic sleeve with a molded black cardboard tray that slips into it, but due to the molding won't slip all the way though... And the way the contours of the white plastic liner really highlight the case so nicely! Also, the super simple subtle little S stand is awesome ~ holding up your iphone for perfect desk viewing both horizontally and vertically. Anyhow, enough with the text ~ just go see the pics on the next page already!
JimmyJane has been expanding their product line quite a bit ~ and the latest addition is the Contour Q pair of ceramic massage stones! They also work beautifully together with the Contour M... and while i've seen pictures of them for some time, seeing them in person, they gorgeously simple as is expected of JimmyJane, and they are more like mini porcelain sculptures you can hold in your hand! They are "Body-friendly, double-fired porcelain is hygienic and non-porous and can be warmed or cooled for extra stimulation." Also fun? The cheeky pink interiors of the packaging have sayings tucked away... including a "for a good time call..." message if you take all of the packaging out of the Contour M Set... Take a look at all the details up close on the next page!
Previously i showed you PACT Yves Behar designed undies for a cause... and the packaging was the biggest mystery, with the packaging/labels that biodegrade in 45 days, and the little pouches that each underwear comes in... well it arrived! So take a peek... honestly i dont know that it *looked* the price it cost the way it arrived... BUT they feel amazing, and look great on. The little pouches look a lot like a Baggu pouch (only made of matching print cloth).
Take a peek at the close ups of the packaging and product on the next page!
Sometimes even more fascinating than packaging design is watching how it evolves and becomes more engaging and usable! Well on packages awaiting when i got back from SDCC - there was a case of these redesigned Activate Drinks. If you recall, i wrote about Activate Drinks about a year ago ~ basically Activate Drinks are the ones that are bottles of water with caps filled with vitamins/flavors, and you turn the cap to "activate" the drink. Shake it and you're good to go ~ freshly mixed vitamins in water, because apparently vitamins lose their potency in water? Anyhow, take a look at the more ergo-friendly cap and cute droplet box graphics on the next page!
It's a bold move naming something/someone HERO. That's a big label to live up to! And i must say, the HTC Hero is living up to it so far... i'm kind of loving how it feels in my hand, and how beautifully they've skinned Android into HTC Sense! This was going to be an unboxing post, but it came in a white box, no real paperwork to walk me through (and it didn't really need any!)... it is totally the white label version of a mobile? (Yes, i'm completely giddy that this showed up today!)... so unboxing aside, and without getting too far into the UI side of it... this is a beautiful object to handle! And the details are just awesome! So see lots of close ups on the next page...
So, Justine checked out the launch of the HTC Hero and HTC Sense in London a few weeks back, and i've been curiously lusting since... And for those paying close attention to the differences between the original design Mike and Maaike made for the G1 and the actual G1... you'll notice the Hero is actually a little closer. So far i'm already loving the 5mgp camera, the BUTTONS, and the awesome integration of twitter/facebook/flickr... the HTC Hero just feels amazing in my hand! Only curiosity not put to rest... what's that magical white dupont coating like? They sent over this rubbery soft touch metallic pewter like color. (UPDATE: sources tell me "FYI the white non-stick coating feels exactly the same as the brown. the additive is simply there to keep the white, white. no need for it on the brown one.") I can already tell, the HTC Hero is going to be a hard one to send back at the end of testing! Anyhow, take a peek at pics on the next page!
for physical comparisons, you can also see it stacked with the G1 and iPhone 3GS. As for what i'm currently using these days... Primary is BB 8900 Secondary is iPhone 3GS... but the iPhone sim just went into the Hero for play time...
A while back i showed you the amazing bottles of Rubyy Blood Orange Energy ~ they even have that amazing matte black finish with blacklight loving illustration on it. Well, freshly launched is the DIET version, in an inverted angelic white with a black logo... and the same gorgeous silver graphic... three samples of these just arrived in a box sealed with that same print on paper tape! Find out more about Rubyy here and take a peek at the latest packaging, as well as a look at it next to the classic black bottle on the next page!
On really fun packages to receive ~ Ben & Jerry's sent over some of their new Flipped Out ice creams. Basically they are like ice cream upside down "cakes" ~ you peel the top, flip it over, and stick your thumb in to push them out onto your plate, and within moments they get a little gooey and fudgey... honestly its more fun/yummy than it is pretty. There is brownie, peanut butter cup, and cookie dough ~ peanut butter and cookie dough were def the best! Strangely of our panel of 3 ~ brownie was not living up to expectations!
BUT, for the SUPER fun part, it came packed in a big styrofoam container with DRY ICE! So as we unboxed, ended up playing with the dry ice for a bit until it was all gone! So some silly videos of that were inevitable... check out a look at the unboxing, dry ice playing, packaging, and more on the next page!
So, as i'm sure you may have picked up by now, i've been back in NY at a not so designy conference and checking out some random events (like polo and Aston Martin) ~ and some guy wrote in criticizing my lack of "quirky posts about cleverly designed knick knacks" ~ while personally, i find the cut in half aston martin very quirky and cleverly designed... i also found some pics just before i left of my little Staples shopping spree with regards to their new OXO for Staples exclusive line of office products! You may have seen them over at NOTCOT.org #21648 earlier, but you've got to check them out up close too! I love the line, particularly the little magnets ~ all products have the signature OXO rubbery grippiness, and clean solid designs. The scissors i hadn't realized have a little switch where upon flipping it they can close till the tips CROSS - switching into BOXCUTTER mode! Genius really... also, watch out if you ever see someone running at you with closed scissors... So take a look on the next page to see close ups of the ones i purchased, as well as the POS displays... apparently pens and highlighters are even on the way!
Here's a $5 off $15 coupon too! expires 6/15/09.
OMG, tactical flashlight that will supposedly out live it's owners... just arrived today ~ meet the 511 Tactical Light For Life - charges in 90 seconds... uses 3 LEDs and is super bright with 3 modes (including "a 270 lumen tactical strobe used to instantly illuminate objects in a dark space, signal others or disorient a perpetrator, giving you valuable time to assess a situation")... and uses "FlashPoint that merges state of the art ultracapacitors with advanced solid state programming to efficiently load, unload, and manage energy." - in otherwords it recharges in 90 seconds in the car charger (a/c adapter coming soon) and then outputs "60 minutes in standard mode (90 lumens) and gradually reduce intensity to the 25 lumen standby mode for an additional 60 minutes." or "a full 15 minutes of the 270 lumen peak mode, followed by 60 minutes of 25 lumen standby light."
Also ~ how eco-friendly is it? Well if its the only flashlight you'll ever need (as in it will supposedly last more recharge cycles than you can pull off in a lifetime), uses LEDs, has no batteries... and just imagine hooking it up to a solar charger? Details wise, it's pretty sleek, ans super light weight, and incredibly bright! To fully appreciate it, check out the VIDEO i made to show you the modes on the next page ~ as well as lots of close up shots and unboxing!
On surprise packages ~ fresh from Spain ~ just got an adorable surprise from one of my favorite super awesome artists, Catalina Estrada! She sent over a little notepad ~ and one of her new Grenade shirts! (she has a store filled with tees and prints and pillows!!!) ~ detail i never noticed in the pics before ~ her's like the NOTCOT girl have that one droplet of blood coming down her forehead... and i'm loving the geometric shapes and grenades... Anyhow, quick post before i run off again ~ see more pics on the next page!!! ...and THANK YOU, Cati! I don't know how you guessed, but it's a perfect fit too!
It's hard to squish a robot and write a post all at once. On awesome packages, Diesel Sweeties sent over this big box and out popped a SQUISHABLE Crocheted Robot (yes its a little obese an a little disproportionate, perhaps more like a baby-bot? not quite full grown to CRUSH HUMANS! yet?) ~ and his Crush All Humans! Book.... complete with a signed/illustrated CRUSH JEAN! page with tiny red markerbots flying around!
Check out the pics of these goodies up close on the next page!!!
You TOO can get the Crush All Humans! Book in signed/personalized form too!!!
Mmmmm chocolate. Beautifully packaged chocolate. Dare i say the packaging is even nicer than the contents? SO, pictures of some of the Singapore Chocolat Factory stores have been circulating the web quite a bit ~ and when i ran into the one at Changi Airport, how could i not grab some for the 18 hour flight? Ok, well the chocolate rain (cocoa powder with the watering can spout) isn't easy for immediate consumption, its packaging was too fun not to show you... and of course they got all uppity and wouldn't let me take any pics in the store, so i guess it worked, i had to BUY the stuff instead!
Tiny bit of background? Read up more about this Spanish Chocalatier, Chocolat Factory on their site. But for the REALLY fun stuff? Check out the poster, packaging close ups, looks at the chocolate and more on the next page!
Another adventure in packaging based shopping... Colgate Wisps! Keep in mind i knew nothing about these when i wandered into CVS to pick up some last minute travel sized basics for this sudden Singapore trip, and they were intriguingly packaged and designed... tiny, silly, and not sure that i'd buy them for normal usage... but someone clearly spent quite a bit of time on the packaging/product details! So take a peek at some pics of them up close on the next page ~ and a look at the silly marketing angle they've taken as well (aimed at club kids?)...
And in all honesty ~ its a lot of plastic to basically get a tiny melt in your mouth bead of mouthwash into your mouth as you scrub with some harsh plasticiness...
This week long Singapore trip came up last minute (booked the night before leaving!) ~ so things might be a little quiet this week as i put in some family time!
Ok, you already know i'm an impulsive packaging based shopper often... and really Whole Foods is one of the WORST places for that (particularly if you combine that affliction with being starving!)... so today's Whole Food stop between traffic, i couldn't resist the adorable Fox logo of the Fox Barrel Hard Cider! AND it's delicious, pretty light ~ like champagne colored apple juice with a twist. But check out the packaging! Larger pics on the next page...
For scale... check out the size of that shuffle next to all the randomness under my monitors... its about the height of that veuve grand dame cork... So as you can see, i gave in and got one of the tiny gum stick looking new buttonless ipod shuffles. And it's so tiny, and adorably simple, and comes with mini apple stickers! So take a peek at the unboxing and the cute instructional graphics too on the next page...
Yes, it does suck that you can't use other headphones i suppose, BUT it's pretty fun to make it talk to you... my latest addiction is having RadioLover download streaming radio i miss (it even breaks it up into songs! I've been dling lots of Indie 103.1 lately)... so this is perfect! I can load up radio i missed, and when i dont know what song it is, it can tell me!
Continuing the obsession with solar powered playfully designed lighting... Remember that post last week about the new ones from IKEA? Well, i couldn't help myself and went and tracked them down, took a bunch of pics at the store, AND bought quite a few too! The real question really was, what is the quality like, how long do they last, etc... and bottom line, i'm LOVING the mini lanterns and the pod on a stick looking one the best! Also some pretty smart design choices on the lantern, but its not nearly as bright as i'd hoped... more pics of all the details on the next page!
UPDATE! This just in... the designs of the awesome patterns are by Charmaine Choi for Dead As We Know It in Brooklyn, NY ~ Luckily the good folks over there are NOTCOT readers and Mikal Reich reached out!
Mmmmmm, Rosangel. I think it's definitely my new favorite tequila (boys, get over the pinkness. really.) ~ It's delicious, and the aftertaste is floral versus that usual tequila flavor... thanks to the Hibiscus infusion? Although i missed out on the NY launch that Anita covered for us, a bottle showed up mid-move, and i've been trying it out, and it really is so yummy... and while my fridge as been pretty empty, I did try some with OJ, and its SOO good.
Anyhow, the other thing i really wanted to focus on was how inspiring and captivating is the illustration/pattern they use on the hang tag... and as a downloadable wallpaper ~ found myself staring at them to see all the little details designed into it! See that close up as well as bottle closeups on the next page!
So, after posting the Slice Precision Cutter, we couldn't resist finding out more, and Slice was nice enough to send a few over to play with when Alyssa reached out to them! So what is it like up close? And how does it compare to our trusty Xactos? Well, xacto has nothing to worry about, but the Slice Precision Cutter is still pretty awesome for certain uses!
The thing corners amazingly! Can get some really great curves out of it ~ where it will never take over my xacto (this one is my favorite still, but unfortunately i haven't found it yet while unpacking the office - work in progress! so up there is another bigger one i've been using on boxes and stuff) ~ the blade is only good to cut through a few pieces of paper ~ so for scrapbooking, vinyl cutting, etc its perfect, but not so much for heftier projects. Physically, it feels great in your hand, nicely weighted ~ super sleek with its matte green coating, and nice cap on it. You an definitely cut with it as if you're painting a brushstroke or scribbling with a pen which is really fun. So all in all, for 7$ its definitely worth adding to your arsenal. Check out more close ups on the next page... and pics of the Y-Peeler they sent over too!