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Father’s Day Gift Guide Posted on 16 Jun 14:41 , 0 comments

Father’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re stumped on what to get dad this year, here are some creative gifts for all types of men; from the outdoors man to the wine connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.

New Orleans...you stole our hearts. Posted on 02 Mar 12:21 , 0 comments

A look inside our recent journey to the Big Easy for New Orlean's Mardis Gras, 2015.

Scent of the Oscars Posted on 21 Feb 10:46 , 0 comments

Hollywood’s most celebrated night is full of glamour, prestige and suspense. From the red carpet royalty to the history the awards ceremony celebrates, the Oscars are the event of the year for Hollywood.

{Interview} Discovering the Planet with Brooke Saward World of Wanderlust Posted on 06 Jan 15:44 , 0 comments

We love learning about other adventurist’s journeys and experiences. People are driven to travel for different reasons; some want to see the world, some want to experience different cultures, and some crave the adventure of the unknown. Every traveler has a unique motivation that makes their travel bug tick. We recently caught up with Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust to learn about what drives her to keep on her quest of discovery, and how she has documented her steps along the way. 1. What inspires you to travel? I think I’m addicted to that feeling of discovery. Whether it’s a new country, city, culture or language, I just love to discover the world and experience it first hand. I’m endlessly inspired by that feeling of discovery – like there’s a whole world out there to discover and despite how frequent I travel or how many countries I have explored, it always feels as if I’m still only scratching the surface. IMG_9947   2. How did you get started with your blog? It actually started really organically and almost as a mistake. I began a travel blog to keep all my information (travel tips, recommendations and dishonorable mentions) in one place to refer all of my family and friends to. The more I traveled, the more questions I would get from family, friends, family friends, extended relatives, etc. etc. for my free travel advice. Finally I decided I would purchase a little piece of the internet to refer them all to. After a while I noticed people were commenting from random corners of the globe. How could this be? The internet is a crazy place! One thing led to another and I knew I was onto a great idea – to travel, write about it, and hopefully one day be paid to do so. The rest is history! 3. When did you decide you wanted to make it your career? When I first started out blogging it was out of pure necessity to prevent repeating myself to my friends and family seeking my travel advice. But when I found that I was building a global readership – albeit small at first – I started to get the inkling that perhaps something was missing on the internet. And alas, World of Wanderlust was created. I wanted to create an internet destination where likeminded travelers could come to source inspiration for their next trip. 4. What are your travel challenges? Living out of a suitcase, losing the concept of home after being on the road for an entire year, keeping a healthy diet, learning new languages (though I do try!), and of course so much time solo can at times be challenging. 5.) What is your best travel memory? I think the best experience I have had to date was going on safari in South Africa. As an animal lover, this had always been something high on my list of travel experiences, so when I was finally there it was just so surreal. I’m sure I annoyed the entire group in our Land Rover as I belted out the soundtrack to The Lion King. 6.) What is your favorite travel scent memory? As someone who possesses a sweet tooth that would rival the sweetness of Tinkerbell, I can’t go past anything sugary. Walking through the Christmas markets in Germany is therefore heaven on earth for me! 7.) Where is your favorite destination you’ve been to so far, and why? This is such a hard and unanswerable question! I can’t pinpoint just one, so I’ll have to say a few highlights recently have been: The Scottish Highlands, Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the South of the USA, St Barthelemy, Chile, and the North Shore of Hawaii. IMG_90398.) Where would you want to return to? I would absolutely love to return to Hawaii to explore the other islands – particularly Maui and Kauai. There’s something so magical and spiritual about Hawaii that I really gravitate towards, yet each time I have visited (now 3 times) it has only been for a few nights on work trips. I’d love to go back, rent a car, load it up with my friends, and explore the islands and greater lengths. 9.) What are your tips to people who want to travel but can’t find the time/funds? You can always make time and you can always prioritize saving for travel over other luxuries, even if it is as simple as spending $50 less at the supermarket each week. I completely understand that not everyone is in the position to travel, but I do believe we are the masters of our own fate! I would rather travel in my younger years than build up an attractive savings account for my retirement, so in some aspects I’m just living my life in reverse! 10.) Best hotel you’ve ever lounged at? Singita Sweni – smack bang in the middle of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. 11.) Best meal you’ve ever had while traveling? A delicious three-course lunch at Le Cinq, the 2-michelin starred restaurant inside the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. 12.) Weirdest travel encounter you've ever had? Walking through the Witches’ market in Bolivia. Oh, if I could un-see some of the things I saw that day!

Nomaterra Perfume Oils Now Available at Merz Apothecary in Chicago Posted on 18 Dec 16:25 , 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_2862" align="aligncenter" width="660"]merz apothecary, chicago, nomaterra, perfume, perfume oils, fragrance Nomaterra Now Available at Merz Apothecary in Chicago![/caption] As of this month, Nomaterra is available at Merz Apothecary in Chicago at the following address: 4716 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60625 773.989.0900 Founded in 1875, Merz Apothecary has a LONG-standing history within its community. First, as a pharmacy where locals could get both holistic and modern remedies, and then later, after being purchased by pharmacist and current owner, Abdul Qaiyum, expanded into a quality source of all-encompassing holistic products for health, wellness, and beauty. What we love most about Merz is their continued dedication to curating the most quality, holistic products that can be found in the world that enhance people's health and lifestyles inside and out. I first met Anthony Qaiyum, Abdul's son, in August 2013 during a trade show, and then Abdul in January of this year at the NY NOW trade show at the Javits, I was impressed by their knowledge on natural medicine and beauty, but what resonated most with me was that they are a truly family-run business, just like us. All members of their family are involved in the business in some way or another, and they perpetuate that familial vibe and warmth to their customers and the community they serve. We're really excited to be a part of the Merz family, and we encourage those of you who live in the Chicago area to visit one of their two stores, as well as their extensive apothecary website, http://www.smallflower.com/, where you can buy Nomaterra products as well. [caption id="attachment_2863" align="aligncenter" width="1500"]Merz Apothecary, chicago, perfume, perfume oils, fragrance Nomaterra joins Merz Apothecary at their 4716 North Lincoln Avenue location in Chicago.[/caption]

Nomaterra's 2014 Art Basel Picks Posted on 02 Dec 16:10 , 0 comments

Art Basel Art Basel in Miami Beach is a conglomerate of the art/cultural world and is one of those trips to add to your bucket list. Running December 4-7, this year’s event will show off modern and contemporary art in 250 galleries and is expected to draw nearly 100,000 people. With so much to see and a small window of time to cover all the ground, here are some tips to maximize your visit. miami Early bird gets the art: The party crowd will be up late, to events late and out late. To maximize your visit, rise early, see the exhibits early without elbowing your way in, and make reservations at the best restaurants early to ensure easy in & out. The more you plan the less you’ll stress. Be early, have a plan, and enjoy. Look Local: Check out a few local Miami art galleries while you’re there. A few worth visiting are; Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery (2630 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood, Miami), Locust Projects (3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami)  and Diana Lowenstein Gallery (2043 North Miami Avenue, Wynwood, Miami). twigs Pop Culture Art: Musicians are artists too, and Art Basel has quite a lineup of musical acts this year including FKA Twigs who is performing with hip-hop producer Clams Casino on the YoungArts Campus on Thursday, December 4 on the YoungArts Campus. Doors open at 7PM. James Blake will be performing at the YoungArts Campus on Friday, December 5. Also on that day, Kitsuné will stage a show with Twin Shadow, The Knocks, and Fred Falke will play at the Soho Beach House. Packing: Pack light and include versatile options that can take you easily from day to night and can transition through any unforeseen weather that may arise. Flat shoes for day are a must as you will be covering a lot of ground. Sunscreen will be a staple along with your Nomaterra Miami Orange Blossom fragrance, of course! Other not-to-miss highlights: solange Solange curates SELECT: Solange is slated to curate a series of nightly performances along with many artists from her label, Saint Heron on Wednesday, December 3 until Saturday, December 6. 7PM. SELECT Fair 7200 Collins Ave. Queen of the Night: Nicole Ehrlich and Up & Down present a celebration of women in art: creative royalty on December 3, 2014 at 10pm. For the first time, queen of the night, one of the biggest entertainment spectacles in performance art, will make its debut outside of New York City at a historic Miami Beach theatre. The evening will benefit the Brooklyn museum's Elizabeth A Sackler Center For Feminist Art & School Of Doodle. Lynda Benglis Artist Talk: Lynda Benglis will kick of Art Basel's Conversations series on Thursday, December 4. 10AM-11AM. Miami Convention Center, Hall C auditorium, entrance through Lobby C, 1901 Convention Center Dr. Stevie Nicks' Selfies: Stevie Nicks will show her self-portrait collection taken between l975 and 1987 from Thursday, December 4 until Friday, December 5 at Dream South Beach, 1111 Collins Ave. "Big Eyes" Screening: Tim Burton's upcoming film starring Christoph Waltz as Walter Keane and Amy Adams as Margaret Keane will screen on Friday, December 5. 8:30PM at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road.

Nomaterra's Team Reminisces About Their Favorite Thanksgiving Scents Posted on 27 Nov 14:59 , 0 comments

We asked a few our our Nomaterra staffers what scents they remember most from Thanksgivings past. The responses have our mouths watering and our sensory buds going. Here's what they had to say: "I love preparing the cranberry sauce and just before dinner is prepared and served, you grate an orange rind onto, and the orange zest mixed with the smell of fresh cranberries is perfect. that reminds me of Thanksgiving." - Michael Hoeffler, Graphic Design [caption id="attachment_2803" align="aligncenter" width="290"]orange zest, cranberries, cranberry sauce, thanksgiving, dinner "Scent of orange zest mixed with the smell of fresh cranberries is perfect."[/caption] "Yams with marshmallows are quintessentially Thanksgiving in my family. You know when it is done baking when you smell the sweet melted marshmallows emanating from the oven." - Benjamin Burnett, CEO [caption id="attachment_2802" align="aligncenter" width="293"]marshmallows, yams, thanksgiving, dinner, festive Sweet, gooey marshmallow scent emanates from the yams, straight out of the oven.[/caption] "My favorite scent memory is of crescent rolls baking before we eat. It's my grandmother's recipe, and to be honest, I don't love the taste of them, but they smell amazing and it makes me think of the days when the entire family would get together for the holidays and celebrate. The whole family used to fight over them. It's a magical scent." - Emma Abbott, Social Media Associate [caption id="attachment_2800" align="aligncenter" width="327"]homemade, crescent rolls, thanksgiving, dinner, traditions, scent The scent of homemade, buttery crescent rolls[/caption] "My Thanksgiving scent memory is actually not food related. When I was younger, our family and family friends would travel to Killington, VT, rent out a house right off the ski mountain or stay at a ski resort, and have a huge pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone would bring a different part of the meal, but the scent memory that stands out to me most is the real fire wood that would burn in all the fireplaces in the house or resort, from the minute we arrived until the moment we left. That combination of firewood with snow, fir trees, and fresh air are what I remember most about my Thanksgivings. " - Agnieszka Burnett, Creative Director [caption id="attachment_2804" align="aligncenter" width="293"]fireplace, fire, firewood, Thanksgiving, dinner Thanksgiving Dinner by warm fireplace. The scent of firewood, crisp air, and fir trees.[/caption]

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

- The Nomaterra Team


24 Hours in Quebec City (Part 2) Posted on 06 Nov 15:35 , 0 comments

Last week you read and saw our walking itinerary of what many consider North America's Paris: we journeyed back in time through the Petit Champlain district, Lower Town, and the start of Upper Town in the ever romantic and historic Quebec City. This week we explore the rest of Upper Town, The Citadel (the actual fortification of Quebec City), and we share our recommendations on where to stay and eat. To read last week's itinerary, click here. TAKE A WALK DOWN LA RUE DU TRESOR (AKA LA RUE DES ARTISTES): This tiny cobblestone alley located on the border of Lower and Upper Town instantly transported me back to Montmarte in Paris. It's lined with local artists and photographer selling their works, and is a nice alternative memento to take back home instead of a cheap-y souvenir. [caption id="attachment_2732" align="aligncenter" width="580"]rue du tresor, rue des artistes, paris, photographers, painters, artists, quebec, quebec city, lower town, canada, canada travel, travel Rue du Tresor is lined with local artists and photographers selling their work. Great place to buy a nice memento.[/caption] GAZE AT THE DETAIL IN THE ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATION OF THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas north of Mexico and worth and visit. The holy door, found on the left side of the main Cathedral entrance, is open now, but closes on December 28th, and will be closed for 25 years until the next Holy Year. [caption id="attachment_2746" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Notre dame, cathedral, holy door, old quebec, quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, travel Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.[/caption]   GRAB LUNCH AT CHEZ BOULEY AND STAY FOR AN HOUR: Chez Bouley is located on Rue St. Jean, a main shopping and restaurant street in Old Town. It's very cozy yet modern inside, fitting for a restaurant that is based on Nordic eats and a boreal atmosphere. The food is delicious and nicely portioned, and we were definitely reenrgized and warmed up for the latter part of the day after this filling lunch.

[caption id="attachment_2788" align="aligncenter" width="580"]chez bouley, quebec city, quebec, old town, canada, canada travel, travel, fall, winter, autumn, champagne Chez Bouley (http://chezboulay.com/) is the best spot to grab lunch and to warm up, especially if you're traveling to Quebec in the Fall/Winter. They serve a delicious, 3-course lunch menu and champagne for $30 p/person and everything was very tasty. The menu changes daily.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2763" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Chez Bouley, Quebec, Quebec City, Canada, canada travel, travel, boreal, nordic cuisine, swordfish, creme brulee, champagne, salad I had the butternut squash soup, swordfish salad, champagne, and a shared creme brulee. All were delicious. The menu changes daily.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2764" align="aligncenter" width="580"]van Houtte, canada, canada travel, quebec, quebec city, old town, espresso, gran marnier, coffee, maple syrup, people watching On our walk down St. Jean Street, we came upon a Van Houtte, which had become our go-to coffee shop during our trip in Canada. We ordered two specialty, seasonal espresso drinks that were unbelievably good—4 layers that included Gran Marnier, Organic Maple Syrup, Milk Foam, and Espresso. Since clearly that wasn't sweet enough for us, we also got two maple cream cones. We lounged for about an hour, reveling in the fact that it was Wednesday at 2pm, we didn't HAVE to do anything, and just enjoyed our coffee and a treat, the 'Parisian' way, while people watching and just relaxing. [/caption]

EXPLORE THE LENGTH OF THE CITADEL WALLS FOR THE BEST VIEWS OF QUEBEC CITY AND SAINT LAWRENCE RIVER: You'll get the best landscape and panoramic snapshots here, and really get to see the whole city from all sides. Tourney Fountain is a site to see at night, when it's all lit up in different colors each week depending on the event or celebration.

[caption id="attachment_2750" align="aligncenter" width="580"]the citadel, parliament hill, canada, canada travel, quebec, quebec city, travel, autumn, adventure A walk atop the thick walls of The Citadel with Parliament Hill in the backdrop. Blissful. (http://www.lacitadelle.qc.ca/)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2790" align="aligncenter" width="580"]citadel, quebec, quebec city, old town, canada, canada travel, autumn, fall, parliament Mid-day snapshot of Parliament from atop The Citadel.[/caption]

BEFORE SUNSET, GO TO BAR 1608 AT CHATEAU FRONTENAC FOR A LOCAL WINE AND CHEESE PAIRING: After visiting the Citadel make you're way through the St. Louis Gate toward Old Town, and walk all the way down Rue St. Louis and you'll hit Le Chateau Frontenac on the right. Chateau Frontenac is an iconic hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1894 and it's grand, castle-like stance is impossible to miss. The main arch from Rue de Cameres leads to the main entrance of the hotel, and at the end of the long, gilded hallway will be Bar 1608, named after the exact year of Quebec City's founding in the exact location where you can now find the bar. Grab a seat by the windows and get cozy in the Victorian chairs, as you watch the sun go down over a tasting of local wine and cheese.

[caption id="attachment_2734" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Chateau Frontenac  Chateau Frontenac[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2733" align="aligncenter" width="580"]wine, cheese, chateau frontenac, saint laurent, saint lawrence, river, view, fall, autumn, old town, quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, romantic Bar 1608 in Chateau Frontenac glistens due to the beautiful gold decor and ambient lighting yet its modern at the same time. Seat yourself on the other side of the bar by the windows, which overlook the stunning Saint Laurent River. A great place to watch the sun set and enjoying local wine and cheese.[/caption]

 
[caption id="attachment_2791" align="aligncenter" width="580"]cheese, wine, chateau frontenac, old town, bar 1806, quebec city, quebec, canada, travel, canada travel Local goat cheese and wine pairing at Chateau Frontenac Bar 1608 (http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/dining/1608-wine-cheese-bar/).[/caption] SEE THE REST OF THE CITY AT NIGHT: All of the historical and government buildings, fountains, and streets are lit up by twinkling lights at night. [caption id="attachment_2739" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Petit Champlain, quebec, quebec city, old town, canada, canada travel, travel, romantic Rue du Petit Champlain at night.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2756" align="aligncenter" width="580"]montmorency park, light installation, notre dame, cathedral, lower town, old town, quebec, quebec city, old quebec, canada, canada travel Light installation to celebrate 350 years of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica Cathedral in Montmorency Park in Lower Town. This installation will only be up until the end of this year.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2757" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Old town, quebec, old quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, travel, romantic, frontenac Backdrop of Old Town with the light installation in the forefront at night. Just stunning.[/caption] I'm already trying to plan my return to Quebec City. I absolutely loved it and can see why it's now been rated #18 on Conde Nast Traveler's Top 25 Cities in the World by readers. I've heard from talking to locals that the holiday time is one of the best times to visit, so if you're looking for a holiday getaway this December or January, and don't mind the cold, I'd highly recommend taking the 2-hour flight or 9 hour road trip up North to this now not-so-secret gem for a romantic getaway. The Winter Carnival is supposed to be one of the largest in the world with snow/ice sculptures, night parades, snow baths, shows, and the famous Ice Canoe Race. And in the winter, just outside Old Town, is the Hotel de Glace, the only ice (igloo) hotel in North America where you can take a day or evening tour, or take the risk and stay the chilly night! Both Part 1 and Part 2 of our Quebec City itinerary were done in 24 hours. We were easily able to see everything without feeling rushed, though next time we'd want to stay for a whole week! Have you been to Quebec City? If so, what are you favorite things about it? What do you love to do and see? Lunch Recommendations:  Chez Bouley (for an all-around great meal with nice ambiance); http://chezboulay.com/?lang=en Chez Ashton (for the best poutine in Quebec City and a quick bite); http://www.chez-ashton.com/   Dinner Recommendations:  Le Lapin Saute (for traditional French dishes and a charming atmosphere); http://www.lapinsaute.com/francais/accueil/ Bistro Sous Le Fort (romantic French bistro with satiating dishes that are constantly being rotated); http://www.bistrosouslefort.com/en/ Restaurant Initiale (for a special occasion multi-course meal that won't dissapoint); http://www.restaurantinitiale.com/en/le-restaurant-2   Where to Stay: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (you'll feel like you're living in a real castle and the luxury rooms and amenities make this 5-star experience unforgettable); http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/ Hotel Le Priori (an excellent option for a more boutique feel, this romantic hotel is set in the heart of Petit Champlain district, and offer a comprehensive delectable breakfast in their adjoining Toast restaurant); http://www.hotellepriori.com/      
 

{Interview} Exploring Exotic Unknowns with Dani of GlobetrotterGirls Posted on 04 Nov 19:21 , 0 comments

unnamed (1) If you are familiar with us at Nomaterra then you know that we are absolutely enthralled with traveling and exploring the unknown. Being immersed into an unfamiliar culture transmits an indescribable experience, one that allows you to step outside your comfort zone and truly discover yourself. In addition, we also enjoy reading and discovering adventurists who share  the same passion and thirst for wanderlust. Which is why we were thrilled when Dani Heinrich of GlobetrotterGirls.com agreed to an interview. Dani Heinrich has traveled to over 50 countries - from Asia to the Middle East to India - just to name a few! Her fabulous blog showcases a variety of topics such as information on specific destinations, food recommendations, travel tips and more. Read on below as Dani shares her globetrotting adventures! 1. What's your favorite, most exotic location you've traveled to? The most exotic location were the Corn Islands in the Caribbean. They consist of two islands, Big Corn and Little Corn Island, and they belong to Nicaragua. They are little known and truly feel like Robinson Crusoe islands, especially Little Corn. You can only reach them via a small propeller plane from Managua or take a 9-hour boat ride from Nicaragua's east coast.   2. Best hotel pool you've lounged at? [caption id="attachment_2784" align="alignleft" width="300"]unnamed (3) Temple Tree Hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia[/caption] I loved the pool at the Temple Tree Hotel on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia. Everything about the boutique hotel was super stylish, including the long-stretched, super narrow pool. It was such an usual pool, and together with the tropical surroundings, it made for a gorgeous experience. The luxury resort has won several design prizes and is one of my favorite boutique hotels in the world, by the way.   3. Best meal you've had? A tasting menu at the Oddfellow Boutique Hotel in Chester, England. It came complete with a wine pairing, absolutely perfect. One of the most memorable evenings of my life.   4. Most important thing you've learned on your travels? Travel has shown me that experiences are worth so much more than material things. An incredible experience means so much more to me than anything I could ever buy for myself, like a painting, piece of furniture or jewelry. An experience like a special meal in an exotic place, a cooking class in the Middle East or a street art tour in a hip neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the welcoming family in Mexico, or a cycle tour through northern Thailand - things like these mean so much more to me. It's all about the memories!   5. Favorite novel to read on a plane? It's not really a novel but my guilty pleasure in the airport news stand: Vanity Fair. I look forward to flying just because of that :)   6. Biggest fear you overcame while traveling? The fear of the unknown. I used to worry about everything before, and now I am the most laid back person on the planet. Okay, maybe not on the planet, but the most laid back person I know :) I used to over plan everything, and now I barely plan anything. Instead I go with the flow. And all works out in the end; there's nothing to worry about.   About Dani Heinrich: [caption id="attachment_2785" align="alignleft" width="300"]Dani of GlobetrotterGirls.com Dani of GlobetrotterGirls.com[/caption] Dani Heinrich is the vagabonding writer and photographer behind GlobetrotterGirls.com. Dani, originally from Germany, left her home country in 2006 and has been nomadic since April 2010. She originally started Globetrottergirls.com with her partner, and when they separated in early 2014, she decided to keep traveling solo and continuing to sharing her travel stories and tips on Globetrottergirls. With the motto ‘One Globe. No Regrets’, Dani has traveled through over 50 countries on four continents and has no plans to stop any time soon. On Globetrottergirls.com, she shares the good, a little bad and sprinklings of the ugly of travel with the readers. If people can plan a better trip or be inspired to visit someplace new by reading Globetrottergirls.com, she feels she has done her job. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

24 Hours in Quebec City (Part 1) Posted on 30 Oct 17:45 , 0 comments

A One Day Itinerary in Quebec City
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