*NOTCOT in food+drink
- 05.16.17 -
Whoever says it’s difficult to eat healthy, didn’t realize you could grab pouches of delicious, organic food at Patagonia… and the hardest step might be adding hot water. Whether for camping/adventures, dorm room living, or just the chaos of every day life… Patagonia Provisions is a solution to easily feeding yourself healthy, tasty meals and snacks. While the packaging and photo/illustrations look great, i must admit i was hesitant at first. Patagonia makes incredible gear and clothing, but food? So when they offered to send some samples over, i had to try it! And it tastes as good as its packaging looks! Detailed looks at what we sampled (from hot breakfast grains to smoked salmon to buffalo jerky, savory grains, and more) on the next page ~ in its packaged and finished forms.
Back in 2014, we reviewed Good-To-Go gourmet dehydrated food, which was some of the better tasting, just-add-hot-water instant meals we’d had. These packs from Patagonia Provisions are certainly another option we’d add to the packing list when heading on NOTFZJ80 adventures as well as back up easy food in the kitchen at home. While most Patagonia Provisions can be seen as snacks or meals on their own, they can also be considered a base or an ingredient depending on your creativity. Their instagram contest “How Do You Top It” shares lots of pictures of what people add to the soups and chili. There’s even a Recipes Section filled with things you can cook using breakfast and savory grains (i.e. scones, pancakes, tabbouleh) as well as their smoked salmon.
While packaging and taste are only some of the factors to love about Patagonia Provisions, you can also dive into the whole story of WHY Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, wanted to get into food. “What we eat does more than just fill our stomachs and nourish our bodies; good food lifts our spirits and helps us understand the world a little better.” Patagonia Provisions not only aspires to feed people well, but help find solutions to repair the food chain - with everything from the sourcing of products, to causing no unnecessary harm, helping environmental crises, and more. After trying these, i’m tempted to gift a few packs to friends who can’t stand cooking and think healthy eating is hard… maybe these can be a gateway to helping people understand where food comes from, and what’s possible in the realm of sustainable, delicious, and healthy eating.
Now for the unboxing and details of our Patagonia Provisions sampling… to the next page!
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 05.14.17 -
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (And to all you other moms out there too!) Here’s a big dose of inspiration! Click the squares to find out more…
*NOTCOT in design
- 05.07.17 -
Did you know how many FREE resources you have to read DIGITAL books and magazines these days? And i’m not talking weird, creepy, random zines and ebooks you never wanted in the first place… i mean everything from bestsellers and cookbooks to italian fashion magazines and newspapers around the world! How did i not know i could read some of my favorite (and pricey on newsstands) international design magazines online for free? And easily “borrow” ebooks i’ve been tempted by (or even impulse bought) online for free? And if you did know, why didn’t you tell me???
I’m a magazine addict, since long before i started blogging in 2005. Print magazines and catalogs were my happy place as a kid ~ nothing like vibrant images to happily distract me. Perhaps it’s only natural i ended up in design, and eventually with all these websites sharing all my visual inspirations? For the last 12 years, i’ve read a few hundred websites a day in a ridiculous amounts of tabs… my digital newsstand of sorts? I can’t resist a stack of magazines to pick through while waiting at the salon or a doctor’s office. My favorite part of airline lounges are the magazines you don’t find everywhere else. And i go weak in the knees at a good newsstand ~ especially when traveling ~ where i can’t help walking away with an armful. Also before screens and wifi took over airplanes, i would indulge in grabbing a book at the airport and happily devour it during a flight ~ my cherished travel rituals as a teen.
Well flash forward to a far more digital age, an early morning flight to Nashville tomorrow, and a nostalgic craving for something new to dive into during the flight… blogs and websites just haven’t given me the same excitement they once did, and i’ve been diving back into more books and magazines… and with the speed i often go through them, it feels wasteful to splurge on every potential impulse buy. So i decided to see what was at my local library… but of course it was the middle of the night… so instead i discovered just HOW many digital resources the Los Angeles Public Library offers, and it kind of blew my mind…
Take a peek on the next page for some of the best resources i’ve found to take my magazine addiction to a whole new level.
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 05.06.17 -
Extra amusing, extra silly, extra fun round up of inspiration from NOTCOT.org this week! Click the squares to find out more.
*NOTCOT in design
- 05.04.17 -
On fun stylistic juxtapositions ~ i just found these amazing paintings on wood by NoseGo. So far there are 10 in this series, and following on instagram @nosego you can watch more in progress (both in stories and in the general feed!) Take a look at the details on the next page ~ i’m smitten!
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 05.01.17 -
Happy May Day! Here are a few of my favorite things this week - lots of fun products, packaging, and inspirational reads! Click the squares to find out more.
Tokyo Smoke angered the internet this week. Especially the cannabis community - but the design community can’t be too far behind. The gist of it… Tokyo Smoke released two 3D printed pipes (each design available in black porcelain and stainless steel)… priced them from 175 to 13,000 Canadian Dollars (yes, you read that right!)… did a Daily Vice video interview where they managed to insult both cannabis lovers and designers (and the intelligence of people?)… then really dug their heels in as the angry comments began to ravage their facebook, instagram, etc… apparently deleting comments and posts and even blocking users… Then they issued a response on facebook.
It’s no surprise they are already getting comparisons to United, Pepsi, Juicero, etc? But it is sad that so many companies have been so tone deaf to the communities and people they claim to serve and love lately. That being said, I can’t help but hope these are all wake up calls to designers (and companies!) not to forget the humanity behind the “users” and “consumers” they may seldom encounter face to face. It’s also a reminder for us to appreciate the companies and designers that DO put people first, and DO push the boundaries to create incredible products and experiences to elevate us all! (Also, this is a great example of why having good PR is important. Though having a great product and mission should always be key! How you speak about your designs matters!)
But back to the chaos at hand… see what has been unfolding on the next page.
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 04.25.17 -
25 squares of inspiration from NOTCOT.org! Click the squares to find out more…
*NOTCOT in design
- 04.20.17 -
Have you noticed how the mystical and intergalactic seems to be inescapable these days? And no, it’s not just because it’s “festival season” - it’s like a throwback to hippie, natural goods and styles with a modern twist mixed with a fascination with outerspace, from galaxy imagery on workout leggings to cakes as the eccentric uber-wealthy book trips to space. These magical trends can’t be a coincidence. Maybe it’s a reaction to the state of global politics and climate change… maybe it’s just where society is in it’s current cycle? But nonetheless, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed with the quick cultural evolution of cannabis! Watching it legalize step by step, state by state, and even country by country has been fascinating (especially the advances in design, user experience, and science!) - and it doesn’t hurt that it’s fitting right in with this magical, natural, other-worldly trend.
420 - what was once giggled about by stoners, is now becoming a more commoditized “holiday” of sorts on April 20th… every dispensary/brand has special deals (actually i’ve even been getting emails from non-cannabis related stores with limited 42% off codes) and special cannabis infused dinner parties and many events are popping up all over today. BUT - hmbldt (which we shared a closer look at) is currently leading the #GO420 charge (with quite a few friends) to change that stoner cliche, to helping people realize how cannabis can help - especially for medical reasons like epilepsy, pain relief, PTSD, anxiety and more - and focus on how “It’s the cannabis holiday, a day to honor the healing powers of the plant.” So they launched GO420.com, and filled it with 420 ways to make this the healthiest day of the year (after all, who can be anti-that?) And to help spread the word, they’ve even created fun GO420 Kits - so head to the next page to see the details!
Another surprisingly fascinating design aspect of the evolving cannabis industry is seeing how companies tackle advertising - often without really showing the actual product or any cannabis related imagery!
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 04.18.17 -
Happy Tax Day? Here’s a burst of inspiration to distract from it all! Click the squares to find out more!
*NOTCOT in tech
- 04.14.17 -
BioLite makes the great outdoors so playful and FUNCTIONAL! What started with their first product the CampStove (that was innovative in letting you not only utilize all the twigs and material found around camp to power your stove while also let you charge your devices!) has quickly expanded to quite the product line! Also - they always have such great packaging.
On recent product trends that have been exploding - LEDs in versatile, portable, outdoor lighting have been EVERYWHERE! And it’s been a fun space to follow (remember the Luminoodles i’ve been loving?) - From buying led strips to hack into our NOTFZJ80 Land Cruiser, to working them into various client projects and experiments - they are just ridiculously easy to work with, and getting cheaper and more accessible constantly. Which naturally means that they are a great place for designers to get even more creative! When BioLite offered to send some of their new lights over, i couldn’t resist. How adorable are these SiteLight Minis? They are like adorable glowing macarons that plug right into a USB port (via a headphone jack). They also sent over the SiteLight XL which pops up like a lantern and can be daisy chained with the minis or stand on its own! And to power it all (though you can power them from any USB battery or plug too!), they also sent over the Base Lantern XL which is INSANELY bright (but can be dimmed,color changed and more with the buttons and app!) Anyhow, the whole collection is adorable, functional, and definitely on my gift list for outdoorsy folks (or even for use on patios or stringing up for a happy hour picnic under a tree!) Take a look at all the unboxing and details on the next page!
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 04.05.17 -
What’s the difference between a hobby and a dream job?
Another round up of inspiration from NOTCOT.org! Click the squares to find out more.
*NOTCOT in playful
- 03.30.17 -
For anyone that loves triangles, facets, and popping colors ~ there’s Vertty. I wrote about their super fun towels back in 2014… and now they even have backpacks and bikinis! And the fun folks at Vertty just sent over one of their Vertty Backpacks to play with!
While i must admit, i haven’t been much of a backpack person since high school, the faceted nature and unusual mix of materials on this bag had me intrigued. I’m also a sucker for multipurpose bags with unique features - like the bottom zip flap to shake the sand out! Growing up by the beach in LA, and going to school practically on the beach in San Diego, my cars are never without a beach blanket/towel and flip flops! That also means more often than not, sand can be found in the car, garage, and most likely some of my totes too. (I bet this might actually work out pretty well for parents as a kid bag too - all those snack crumbs could find their way right out of the bottom!) Also eye catching - the COLORS! The fun faceted dust bag and lining pop beautifully. You can’t peek in your bag and not smile as you hunt for things! Here’s how Vertty describes it: “With its structured design and adaptive functionalities, the Vertty backpack is an inviting bridge between the carefully planned urban spirit with the demanding and impulsive thrill-seeking aspect of adventure.” Ready to take a peek at it up close? To the next page!
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*NOTCOT in roundup
- 03.25.17 -
A grid of goodies that are currently inspiring us over at NOTCOT.org! Don’t let the digital silences deceive you… this newest phase of NOTCOT (for the first time in 12 years?!?!) has been forcing us to do more in real life that can’t yet be shared in real time digitally! So we may SOUND quieter with feature posts, but things are a currently a bit hectic with the momentum of things to come!!! BUT finding and sharing the bubbles of inspiration on NOTCOT.org are what keep me happy and balanced, so always check in there for our latest discoveries!
Adorable as they are, are you exhausted by the enamel camping cup trend yet? I love the look, but don’t love the way they feel, and definitely don’t use them other than out adventuring and in the garden… in fact, i think most of mine house plants these days! Today, it feels as if nearly every outdoor brand, hip coffee spot, cute gift shop, and event has a special enamel camp cup… so what comes next after all the retro throwbacks? While there are a bunch of larger customizable tumblers (like Yeti and MiiR) and then all of those car/work ones at the customizable swag shops…
I’m currently fixated on how lovely the MiiR Camp Cups look customized ~ in fact, while i do love a clean matte black or white… i think these actually look even better when people get creative with the graphics on them! There’s something about the thin, crisp, slight curved lines of the handle that make it so photogenic. And functionally they’ve found the balance between your lightweight, durable camp cups, but added the double walled insulation and modern materials of travel cups, while keeping it all looking pretty sleek and simple. The MiiR Camp Cup specs - 12oz, Thermo 3D double wall vacuum insulation technology, Keeps cold, stays hot, Does not sweat, Lid and cup are BPA free, 18/8 Medical grade stainless steel doesn’t transfer flavor & no metal aftertaste, and has a Hardshell Powder coat. I’m definitely intrigued whether having one around would replace my usual morning mugs even at home? But while i try to track one down (and dream up what design i’d add to it)… take a look at what some others have been doing with them on the next page!
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