The Bet

Dave C. and Kelly B. are buyers for our Athletic Merchandising team, and they made a little wager last week. All I will say is that Dave loves his facial hair, and Kelly loves her team. : )

A Bit of Poetry for Zappos

So, as some poetry stars in the Zappos office might have noticed, the Spoken Word, scheduled for National Poetry Day on October 9th, ended up being the Silent Word. This particular Spoken Word was also part of Customer Service Week .

When we went to set up for the Spoken Word we could not locate the microphone or power cord for the PA System. Since we really did not feel like telling people to shout over the din of the lunchroom, we canceled the Spoken Word.

So, in honor of the type of business we are in, I offer this:

When I came to Zappos I thought that life was great
Now I look back and realize how little I controlled my fate.
I had worked for companies both large and small
At some I had done quite well, at some I took a fall.

No matter what I did or for whom I worked
Never was I truly happy, never was I truly perked
I always felt so undervalued, my talents lost among the noise
I always found I never fit in as “one of the good ‘ole boys”

When I came to Zappos, I found a weight lifted from my shoulders
Suddenly I wasn’t occupied with the material, papers, and folders.
Here there was more emphasis on the human aspect of the job
No longer was I working for a listless, broken mob.

In acceptance and in warmth came satisfaction
Here people took a solid action
Backed it by their words
Threw the rest out to the birds
And lived . . .And gave. . .
And made me feel an equal, not a slave.
No longer did I feel depraved.

Even though I came in thinking that I was just the best.
I sat down in my class one day and looked around to all the rest
And saw people that were much more experienced than I.
I sat back and gave a sigh.
Realized that by-the-by,
I am so very blessed.

I hope I never leave this place that brings me joy
This is the place that I want to forever be employed
I feel so at peace when I come on through this door
And find out what new and greater things I can explore.

Zappos is the best job that I have yet to find.
Its like the best of every job I’ve ever had combined.
I will never leave it, as long as I still can breath air
For this is the place for which I will always care.

HOW BERRY SENSUAL IT IS

It was bound to happen, she took longer than most to do it, but Ms. Halle Berry has finally thrown her sophisticated hat in the fragrance ring. That’s right folks, Ms. Berry will launch her very own fragrance this winter. The fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry, is the second baby of sorts for Ms. Berry in less than a year, as the Academy Award-winning actress gave birth to her first child, a daughter Nahla Ariela in March of this year. Halle, in her interview with WWD on Friday, October 3, described the process of creating a scent in partnership with Coty as, “I have a baby, and this baby — my fragrance — is about to be born.” Berry is said to have wanted her first scent to be a partnership experience, being involved in every step along the way, and to have it be a sensual signature fragrance, or in fragrance speak, to have a woody oriental juice.

Coty brought International Fragrance & Flavors (IFF) to the partnership table to create the juice with Halle, and to have it incorporate two of her favorite notes, mimosa and fig. IFF then added in African root (a spice), sandalwood, Sicilian bergamot, fig leaves, pear blossom, hibiscus flower, ultra mimosa (of course),driftwood and sensual amber. The bottle, which all lovers of fragrance and perfume know is as important as the scent itself, is an easy-to-hold glass rectangle with a wavy-beach textured back, a rose gold-toned neck with the juice being rose gold-tinged as well.

Of course, what celebrity fragrance launch would be complete without the celebrity print campaign? These days, none. After all, it is an assured marketing route to getting the masses to purchase the scent and its accompanying accoutrements. Who doesn’t want to look sexy draped over a hammock a la Jennifer Lopez in her Deseo ad, or water-baby beautiful a la Mirah’s Luscious Pink, or pouty and provocative a la Christina Aguilera’s INSPIRE? Ms. Berry’s campaign will be no different, as she stars in the campaign, natch, and can be seen looking serene and sensuous on a beach in a bikini and white cover up, with just the right amount of laissez-faire mixed in and the perfect touch of beach wavy hair.

Stress, Stress, Stress: Take Time to Breathe

Stress is, well, stressful. The human body has several involuntary reactions to stress, which you may or may not notice when you’re experiencing them. Your body releases adrenaline, which increases your heart rate, your muscles tighten, and your breath becomes shallower. If you regain control of your body’s reaction to stress, you’ll feel better and be better equipped to make good decisions. You can’t instantly slow down your heart rate, or instantly relax all of your muscles, so where do you start? Taking control of the simplest aspect – your breathing – can make a big difference and bring the rest of your body’s reactions into line.

Right now, practice taking a breath as you normally would. If you’re like most people, the breath isn’t very deep. Now, practice taking a deep breath. Blow a breath out completely, then breathe in slowly and deeply with the goal of expanding your upper stomach as you breathe. Then blow this breath out completely. This type of breath uses more of your lung capacity; normal, shallower breathing only uses a smaller portion of your lungs. During the rest of the day and beyond, practice being mindful of your breathing. When individuals practice yoga or meditation, “being mindful” means that you pay close attention to your breathing and body, and adjust your breath as needed to make it deeper and more relaxing. A deeper and more controlled breath will help to lower your heart rate and reduce muscle tension.

Watching your breath is the easiest thing you can do to reduce your stress and improve your health. If your breathing is shallow, your body thinks something is wrong, and your breathing can become shallow because you’re stressed out. It’s a vicious cycle that you can break by being mindful of your breath, and taking deeper, more efficient breaths when you notice your breathing becoming shallow. After a while, you’ll breathe better without even trying. And when you’re stressed out, a quick reminder to breathe more deeply will suffice. So if you’re feeling stressed out, breathe more deeply and reap the benefits.

Weekly Comfort Item/Procedure: Insoles

The shape and design of the foot is genetic. That being said, a lot of foot pain is associated with the shape of one’s foot, the arch and a variety of other attributes. Other foot pain however may be a result of lifestyle activities such as one’s choice of sports. Trying to find ways to cope with conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and other issues particular to athletes is challenging. Short of going to the podiatrist and constantly performing the necessary exercises, there are other alternatives that can be added to the routine to help avoid the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Foot problems can attack a person of any age. Realizing that help is available is important. For athletes that regularly participate in high-impact sports, heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis is quite common. One readily available alternative solution is the use of Superfeet Insoles.

Superfeet Insoles were originally created by the sports division of a podiatric laboratory. Today, Superfeet Premium Insoles offer a variety of insole products based on the type of feet, as well as providing the proper support for the foot, based on the specific sport and activity. Superfeet Premium Insoles are designed to provide, not only comfort and support, but also shock absorption to those who participate in high-impact activities.

Superfeet Premium Insoles are color coordinated to shoe type and the athlete’s sports. Case in point: the Superfeet Premium Yellow Insoles are designed for the individual requiring a narrow heel and wide forefoot. Ideal for ice skaters, hockey players and road cyclists, Superfeet Premium Yellow Insoles offer a bacterial control system, a stabilizer system for support, and high-density foam for comfort in addition to other features.

Superfeet Premium Wintergreen Insoles are designed for the individual who is an active snowboarder, skier, or one whose activity or job requires the use of snow boots and removable insoles. These insoles are designed to prevent heel pain, align the bones of the foot and provide metatarsal support. The moderately priced Superfeet Premium Insoles, which average $45 a pair, can put one on track to foot health.

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Celebrity Gossip: Paparazzi, Daggers, and Eva Went from a -0 to a 0

So many celebrities are talking out about how the paparazzi are getting out of control. The latest celebrity talking is High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. She recently told Access Hollywood that a member of the paparazzi broke into her house to get footage of her. She stated, “They broke in an entry and went into the hall and followed my stylist.” The cops were quickly called and took the man away, and the good thing for Ashley is she said that she has not seen the man since. This has to be so scary for her. She’s a young woman and has to worry about paparazzi breaking into her house just to get some pictures of her. I know that there is a price for being a celebrity, but when it comes to this, something needs to be done.

In another shocker, Angelina Jolie tells W Magazine that she has already bought her 7-year-old son Maddox knives to play with. She said that her mom gave her daggers when she was around 11 or 12 and she has been obsessed with them ever since. Now, her son Maddox is into them. Okay, who in their right mind gives a 7-year-old boy knives? I don’t care who she is, in my opinion that is just wrong. Isn’t Angelina Jolie the person that is all about no war and violence and loves the earth? But she takes on movie roles in which there is fighting and violence and then gives her son knives.

After all the mean rumors that have been going around about Eva Longoria Parker and how she has gotten fat, Eva has come out and announced that she is still a size 0. Eva states that “I just got rounder.” Eva has told the press in the past that, no, she is not pregnant, and that she gained some weight for her role on her television show Desperate Housewives. I don’t understand why they just can’t leave Eva alone. Whoever thinks that a size 0 is fat needs their head examined. Eva is still beautiful and most women would die to have her body!

Sources:

www.usmagazine.com

http://omg.yahoo.com

Best Hiking Trails: Texas Hill Country

I lived in Dallas, Texas ( Go Longhorns! ) for eight years and used to hike a lot there. The weather in Dallas is hot for at least eight months of the year, but it’s also quite dry, so it can be great for hiking as long as you don’t mind the heat. Dallas has some amazing areas for hiking both in and around the city. It is a very flat area of the country though, so don’t expect much in the way of hills unless you get down into Texas hill country around Austin, where you’ll find much more hilly hiking country.

White Rock Lake was one of my favorite hiking places. It’s over 2,000 acres of lake and park. It’s very pretty and even has an Audubon society and wetlands area. There’s a trail around the lake that runs for almost 10 miles. It’s quite flat, which is perfect for beginners, but watch out for the bikes as it’s also shared by cyclists who fly by very fast. There’s even supposed to be a Lady of the Lake, a ghost that several hikers have reported seeing. (I’ve never seen her though, wish I had!) In the spring, the area around the lake is covered with wildflowers, especially the famous Texas bluebonnets, so it’s a great time to hike then. In summer, the park areas will be drier, and it’s harder going due to the excessive Texas heat. But, if you want a great workout and don’t mind sweating, it’s fun to hike at White Rock Lake.

One of my favorite places to hike just outside Dallas is the L.B. Houston Park, which is about 7 miles north of downtown Dallas. This is a fabulous place to hike for beginners, because it’s easy and pretty too. There are four trails to choose from. One is as short as a mile, and the longest is about four miles. The great thing about L.B. Houston Park trails is the plant life and the birds. I’ve seen many unusual looking birds in the park (sorry, don’t know anything about birds, but they were unusual to me!), and in the spring, the flowers and plant life are really pretty too. The trails are pretty flat to hike on but still fun. You can get here by going north on Interstate 35, turning left on Northwest Highway (the loop road) and following the signs.

Don’t forget, if you do hike on either of these trails, especially in the summer, take plenty of water in your backpack. It’s hotter than heck in Texas in the summer, and you can easily get dehydrated. Not fun if you’re a long way from a water supply or a 7-11.

Family Recreation: Local Nature Center

Many families worry, especially with these tough economic times, about spending a great deal of money on family recreation. But family recreation is an important part of forging strong family ties. The good news is that there are plenty of great family activities available for very little cost. One of the things you can do to enjoy a variety of family activities year round is become acquainted with your local nature center.

Local Nature Centers
Many towns and cities have local nature centers. These centers are designed with the family in mind, and often offer activities for people of all ages. Nature centers offer interactive learning, as well as the ability to get out and enjoy nature as a family. Most nature centers put on programs, animal demonstrations, classes and workshops that cost very little or are completely free of charge. Sometimes, if you plan to use the nature center regularly, it is possible to buy a yearly family membership for a very reasonable price. This can allow you to take advantage of all the nature center has to offer.

Visiting the Local Nature Center
It is important to dress appropriately for the weather when visiting your local nature center. Wear hiking boots most of the year and make sure to have warm and sturdy snow boots if you go during the winter. Wear sweaters and jackets when appropriate and remember to dress comfortably during the summer months. Call ahead of time to see if some workshops and events require pre-registration. It is possible that large parties need to be pre-registered in order to be accommodated. Obtain a schedule either online or at the nature center so that you can better plan your family outings.

Family recreation can serve two great purposes; it can bring you closer as a family and also instill a love and respect for nature into your children. A nature center can provide all that is needed to accomplish both of these things – and do it at a very reasonable price.