Grace H........What's on your desk?

Grace H. is HR Coordinator in Zappos KY. She helps bring the fun inside the warehouse. She assists HR with many duties, but one of her favorite responsibilities is event planning. Grace has helped plan holiday parties, picnics, car washes, vendor fairs, health fairs, and many more events. Her next big event is KY’s Fall Festival on October 25th. (KY team members make sure you RSVP using wiki, search for surveys).

You could call her KY’s very own Superhero of Fun. Grace’s desk is full of fun reminders of her dream vacation so basically when Grace comes to work, she is on vacation. Unofficial Warning: Working at Zappos.com may feel like you’re on vacation! It’s that much Fun!

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Shopping Tips for New Parents: Holiday Must Haves!

With the holiday season right around the corner, dolling up your newborn in some festive gear is a top priority. Start with the shoes and you can’t go wrong! Newborns might still be sporting padded socks to keep those toes safe and warm, but you can pick up super-soft soles to cover them up in style! Rhinestones and bows for the girls, and plush suede lace-ups for the boys are the perfect fit for your little ones as they venture into their first Christmas, Hanukah or other holiday celebration.

Dress up your handsome little gentleman with a pair of Ralph Lauren Layette lace-ups, a rich suede shoe with flexible soles for when they really are ready to conquer the world. These adorable shoes fit on snugly but aren’t too heavy for your baby.

The little princess will really strut her stuff — well, almost — in a pair of golden Pampili shoes covered in jewels and bows. These metallic shoes are designed with a large bow and rhinestones across the buckle. She’ll be ready to dazzle and charm the crowds in these fancy soles; just pair them up with a golden frock or princess gown for the ultimate holiday ensemble.

Loafers will give him that preppy look this season and make a great choice for any tuxedo-style outfit or suit you you’re planning on dressing him up in. The Pediped Charlie shoes are smart and classy loafers that will get him plenty of attention. Their super-soft leather uppers fit snug and tight, and he’ll be more than ready for that next photo!

For the fashion model to-be, dress her up with a pair of simple black shoes from Designer’s Touch . They’re finished with a black rabbit fur trim. The soft, padded shoes are ideal for your newborn with style. She’ll be the center of attention with these chic and sophisticated shoes, which will complement any black, silver or red ensemble for the holiday season or other special occasions.

From designer-inspired lace-ups to glittering metallic shoes, there’s always a way to jazz up your newborn’s ensemble. Take your pick of these classy shoes for that upcoming holiday gathering!

Baby Boomers: Enjoy The Great Outdoors

After putting in a boat load of time in the corporate world, now is the time to take on the great outdoors after retirement and go camping. If by chance camping has never been a part of the agenda in terms of extracurricular activities, this makes it even more exciting. One need only do the research, get organized and make strategic plans for camping.

Part of making the decision to take on the great outdoors after retirement and go camping involves selecting a camp site that feels comfortable and safe, particularly for the novice camper. Campgrounds will either be private or public. There are KOA Campgrounds, National Parks and National Forests that are ideal for camping. If in doubt about where to camp, check with the state parks and recreation department. Also consider what part of the world you would enjoy seeing when determining a campground.

The next step is to obtain the necessary gear to go camping. The basics include shelter such as a tent or recreational vehicle, a bed or sleeping bag and food. Also pack the necessary items to store and prepare food. Having a good pair of all terrain shoes is necessary, as is camping clothing that is comfortable and provides protection from the elements.

Shopping puts one in the groove to take on the great outdoors after retirement by going camping. Buying the gear is fun; however, knowing how to set up camp and break camp is equally important. When setting up camp, consider the location. Is it on high ground and near a water source? Another thing to consider is shade trees particularly during summer months. If using a tent, be sure you set it up prior to leaving home, as a test run. When you break camp be sure you take everything with you and leave a clean campsite.

Most importantly, do the research prior to arrival so that all expectations are realistic. If in doubt about taking on the great outdoors after retirement or you feel clueless, not to worry, take experienced campers with you.

Treacherous Climb of the Week: El Capitan, Yosemite

Whenever I think of climbing, my mind always drifts to beautiful mountain peaks and long trails lined with every type of wildlife imaginable. For some climbers, however, it’s all about the vertical.

At one time, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park was considered impossible to climb and for good reason. Each of the many routes to the top of El Capitan is long and treacherous, testing both the climber’s skill and his endurance. Of course, it’s also the ultimate adrenaline rush for people who enjoy looking at the world from the face of a rock.

Made of coarse granite and soaring 3,000 feet in the air, El Capitan is considered the Everest for big-wall climbing. Although I’ve seen it in person – on vacation when I was about ten – mere pictures of this monolith are sufficient to give me goose bumps.

The routes up El Capitan vary, but the most popular and most difficult is the Nose. It was first successfully climbed in 1958, and since then climbers from all over the world have aspired to reach the summit. This route usually takes two or three days to accomplish, though a few expert climbers have conquered it in just one.

A few of the routes, including the Nose, have been free climbed, but aids are definitely recommended. Unless you have significant experience (and a need for danger), ropes should accompany your expedition in Yosemite. A few climbers who thrive on challenges have raced up the Nose and other routes on El Capitan, but this is also not for an amateur.

In order to climb El Capitan, you’ll access it from a trail in Yosemite. I recommend bringing along a light-weight and roomy pack, such as C.A.M.P. Rox , a 40-liter duffel with plenty of space.

I would also recommend becoming proficient at a few smaller big-wall climbs before attempting El Capitan. It might be exciting and adventurous, but it has also been the cause of many injuries over the years. If you have any qualms at all, go with an experienced guide who can “show you the ropes,” as they say.

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Taking The Cake in Our Zoktoberfest!

As much fun as the Zoktoberfest was, the event that really took the cake (pun intended) was our German Cake Bake off. That’s right. Four brave cake lovin’ Zapponians spent a few outside work hours baking their hearts out in order to WOW our judge’s taste buds. The best part about today’s bake off was that no two German Chocolate Cakes were alike.

Out of our four contestants: Ryan Q., Amber W., Arcelia L. and Rowena D., only two walked away with a winning title, but no hurt egos here because they all got Zollars for effort.

Thanks to our wonderful Judges, Clarissa G., Rob R., and Dr. Vik, each cake was carefully examined and judged fairly according to best taste and most creative.

And the Grand Prize for Best Taste and Presentation and overall WOW went to Ryan Q.! Way to go Ryan! I asked our winner to share a few of his baking secrets with us so that we can better attempt to make his tasteful cake at home.

“The cake batter was a combination of cake flour, meringue, and chocolate sauce all mixed by hand so it would stand up against the weight of the cake. There were 3 types of chocolates used in the batter and the frosting (a bittersweet, a semisweet and a German sweet chocolate). I owe everything to the Zappos dev department who let me test an earlier version of this recipe on them last week. Their feedback helped me come up with the final product”

And the prize for most creative went to Amber W. for her German Chocolate Cheese Cake – my personal favorite, I’m a sucker for cheesecake!

Check out our winning Cake Above…Oh, and Ryan, you must have been a baker!

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Zoktoberfest!

Even though we can’t smell the crisp cool breeze of Fall or see the leaves of big beautiful trees change colors, we sure don’t miss out on the ultimate Fall activity in the history of man, that’s right Oktoberfest. Ah yes, nothing beats polka music, bratwurst, Beer stein and fennel cakes! Ok, for those of you who got a bit concerned when I mentioned Beer stein, there was NO alcohol at this Zappos event – we have work to do! But it did go over and beyond most fun and a little weird days in the office, that’s for sure.

Some of the highlights from this years Zoktoberfest was definitely the Fennel cake stand. For those who went to a good amount of small town fairs as a kid, like myself, then I’m sure those deliciously fied cakes brought back a bit of nostalgia. Oh and of course no Zoktoberfest would be complete with out a bratwurst eating contest and a Beer stein holding competition! A big cheers to the brave Zapponians that participated in these physically demanding events.

FASHIONABLY FABULOUS - ERIC Y.

Welcome to Couture’s ‘Fashionably Fabulous’ videos. Each week, we select and feature one of our very own to style and profile their three favorite outfits and share with us why each piece is a favorite. We quiz them on their fashion icons, what celebrity closet they would most like to raid and what their closet is like. So sit back, press play and enjoy the show!

In this video, Eric is wearing William Rast Ronnie skinny jeans , DSquared2 black patent leather shoes, Diesel skinny jeans and a Paul Smith fedora.

The 2008 Recycled Threads Fashion Show

The good folks of the Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis have come up with a great idea for a fashion show that puts the spotlight on green living and giving back to the community: the 2008 Recycled Threads Fashion Show. The event will take place on Friday, November 14, at 7 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Road, Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Recycled Threads show is also a contest, and Epworth United Methodist, along with its cosponsors (+Indiana Living Green Magazine,+ Interfaith Alliance Indianapolis Care For Creation Committee, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and Dress for Success Indianapolis), are hoping to discover the next Tara Subkoff while doing good. The requirements for the contest are as follows:

Purchase clothing or accessories (shoes, stockings and undergarments are not allowed) at a second-hand clothing, consignment or thrift store. Alter them imaginatively with new or second-hand items, including normal embellishments such as buttons, appliqué or embroidery. Contestants are especially encouraged to use household or office items that would otherwise be thrown away (someone watched the episode of Ugly Betty where Christina made couture out of paper clips, methinks.)

The contest is open to individuals and groups in the categories of children’s wear (6-12), teens (13-18), women’s wear and men’s wear. The outfits will be judged on stylishness, imagination, appearance, cost savings and audience reaction.

Prizes will be awarded by category; first place wins $75, second place nets $50, and third place is $25. In addition, all entries in the children’s category will receive a small prize for participation.

Contest entry deadline is November 6, 2008. All entrants must pay an application fee, which is $15 per adult, $10 per teenager and $5 per child. All proceeds benefit the charitable organizations sponsoring the contest. The entries will be judged by a panel and the top examples in each category will be accepted for the show, with final judging taking place there. It sounds like so much fun I’m hoping the idea catches fire and spreads across the country to the East Coast! Maybe I’ll enter just for the heck of it! Road trip to Indiana, anyone?