Best Hiking Trails: Alaska

Wide expanses of snow, ice and glaciers are what we think about when most of us think about Alaska. Going hiking in Alaska probably isn’t something most of us would consider. Surprisingly, Alaska does actually have a summer, and it is possible to hike there then. Alaska also has some fabulous hiking trails in incredibly beautiful country where you can get back to nature more than anywhere else in America. If you’re thinking of hiking in Alaska though, you really should consider these two hiking trails: the Kachemak Bay State Park near Homer and the Kenai Fjords near Seward.

The Kachemak Bay State Park is stunning and easily reachable from Homer but only by plane or by boat. Here there are two options for trail hiking. Either stick to the well-maintained trails, which will take you up mountains and glaciers and around hidden coves, or branch out to the eastern part of the park. Here it’s basically completely Alaskan wilderness with no marked trails, making it a huge challenge but really gorgeous. The Kachemak Bay State Park is also home to loads of wildlife and birds, so don’t forget your camera and notebooks. Oh, and be careful of the bears! They may look cute and cuddly, but they can kill you.

The Kenai Fjords are something else entirely. These fjords will rival anything Norway has to offer, with trails cut through the woodland as well as a lot of hikes that cross the glaciers. If you do these hikes make sure you’re fully prepared for glacier hiking. It can be somewhat dangerous for those with no experience. (You don’t want to fall down a crevasse or break a leg and have to get the Alaskan rescue service to save you.) Near the Kenai Fjords is also one of the most popular places in Alaska for hikers, a coastal defense depot that operated during World War II. Check out the old buildings and pretend you’re a WWII soldier. You can also camp in the Kenai Fjord National Park overnight. Just make sure you stock up on provisions in Seward before you set out, because there’s nothing to buy in the national park itself.

There are many more amazing hiking trails in Alaska. Your best bet is to start out in Anchorage, Homer, Seward or Juneau and branch out from there.

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Celebrity Fashion: Purple, Sparkles, and Lace

Purple is definitely the “it” color with celebrities right now. From purple shirts to purple skirts to even purple evening dresses are all over Hollywood. Such celebrities as Isla Fisher, Rihanna, Hilary Duff, Beyonce and Lauren Conrad have all been rocking the purple lately. If you aren’t sure about wearing purple, then add a splash of the color to your outfit instead of having it as a main color. Try some purple pumps or a necklace or bracelet with purple gems or even a purple clutch by Michael Kors . This gives you that pop of purple without being in your face.

Even though the holidays are still several months away, celebrities are bringing out the sparkle and glimmer early. Sparkle is a great look for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. If you want to follow this trend early, why not try it on a date night or a night out on the town. Try a short silver sparkled mini-dress with black tights the way that Angie Harmon did. Or how about a cute little sparkly skirt or top like Kelly Ripa or Audrina Patridge. If you’re shy about this trend and don’t want to stick out in the crowd, why not go for the sparkle with your accessories. Add some cocktail rings that shine and sparkle or a belt that does the same. The possibilities are endless for the sparkle and glimmer fashion trend.

Lace is another big fashion trend in Hollywood right now, but there are a lot of people who think that they can’t pull lace off. The key behind wearing lace is to make it look young and modern and not old and dowdy. Take examples from Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera and Debra Messing. One thing that you always want to remember when wearing lace is that if it is see-through, you need to wear something underneath. If you have a lace dress, make sure that it has a slip or layer of fabric under it. Wearing lace is a great way to play up your feminine charm and look sophisticated at the same time. Lace can be worn to the office or a night out, depending on what you pair the outfit with, so it is rather versatile.

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Zappos Schooling

We don’t joke around all the time here at the Zappos Headquarters, and that’s a fact. If we’re going to post a product on our site – such as a new line of facial creams and cleansers for men and women – then we make sure that we are experts in this line so that we can give the customer as much information as possible. Just last Friday Miss Casey L., our wonderful buyer for our new product type, cosmetics , along with a vendor from Bioelements, taught Zapponians the ins and outs of Bioelements skin care products.

But this sure wasn’t the first class held by vendors in the Zappos Headquarters, in fact once a week (and sometimes more) vendors from different product lines teach Zapponians all that they need to know in order to better assist our customers. After all, customer service comes before first in this company.

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Making Zappos Greener One Reusable Lunch Set at a Time

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! I’m pretty sure everyone has heard this saying before – and if not, well, now you have. But what are you doing at home and at work to apply it to your everyday life?

Recycling isn’t just about throwing your bottles in the blue trashcan. Although it’s beneficial, it’s not the most effective way of applying the “reduce, reuse, recycle” law because recycling alone causes waste from the cars that transport the recycled goods to the machines that melt, mulch and reproduce the product.

If you really want to make an impact, the best way to do this is through reducing the amount of trash and recycled products that you dump per day. Here at Zappos.com, it wouldn’t make sense (especially during the hot Summer months) to get rid of bottled water all together in our offices. However, individuals can bring in their own reusable water bottle in order to lessen the amount of waste he or she uses in an average work day. And we have plenty of water machines throughout the building to fill ‘em up!

Ok, so you cut back on the amount of plastic water bottles you go through in one day and that’s a great way to start your transition into a greener lifestyle. Now, what the about paper plates, bowls and plastic cutlery that we use during lunch hours? Well, why not bring in reusable lunch supplies. A few Zapponians have already jumped on board with this green movement…but not enough to make a big dent in lessening our waste.

Here are a few Zapponians who do their part in keeping their wastes down.

ESTEE LAUDER COURTS THE MASSES

The Estee Lauder Companies, the purveyors of luxury cosmetics and stalwart beauty boutique anchor in most upscale retail shopping centers, has taken a mass retailing turn akin to a seismic shift in the shopping universe. It announced its partnership with Walmart and their plans to sell fragrances as its first step into the mass market fragrance category. Estee will sell fragrances under its Aramis and designer fragrance division, with a trio of scents called C-Thru launching in Walmart doors this December. Starting in January the roll out will continue to Target and Kohls, with additional mass retailing doors following soon there after.

Each fragrance is named after a gemstone, Ruby is concocted of rose, freesia, raspberry and sandalwood; Purple Diamond, with a juice of plum, black currant, Indian night-blooming jasmine and vanilla; and Blue Opal which is concocted of watermelon, red berries, lilac and a wet skin accord. Estee pulled out all of the stops when making each of the scents as they worked with the power three of fragrance makers, International Flavors & Fragrances, Givaudan and Firmenich. With a price point higher than most at Walmart, it remains to be seen if the collaboration will be successful. The company is targeting young women ages 15 to 24, with a fragrance price point of $17 (1oz.) and $25 (2.5oz.), respectively.

Why now? Is it the current world economic conditions, where just last week the Dow Jones was falling an average 300 + points a day? Is it the reality that the Wall Street unabashed spending boom has gone the way of the Studebaker, dressing for first class travel or getting a real meal on your flight? Or maybe it is simpler still, the competition for the single digit luxury customer’s income has become a very tight and competitive battlefield, where many opponents will be trampled in their efforts to obtain the holy grail, the elusive luxe market dollar. One wonders had this been ten or twenty years ago, would the firm have snapped close its upscale Fifth Avenue doors at the mere suggestion of such a partnership. Whatever it is, previously prudent times have proven the most successful luxury goods companies are those with designers that have lower priced lines — beauty or fashion — which provide quick turn around of quality items, variety and speaks to the masses.

Things on My Desk with Sully!

Maura S. is a longtime Zapponian, and today we feature what’s on her desk! Sully works as a manager in our Customer Loyalty department.
Take it away!

Shepherdsville Outlet Store is Having a Sale!!!

OMG, how we all love a good sale! Just stopped by the Zappos Outlet Store located at 376 Zappos.com Blvd in Shepherdsville, KY to see what’s going on; the super heroes were busy stocking the store for a big sale coming up October 15-31.

Despite how busy we were, we took a few minutes out of stocking and straightening to show what we would pick out if given the chance to buy ANYTHING we want!

For more information on the sale, please call 1-888-927-4114.

Enjoy our wish list!

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Healthier Lifestyle Week by Week: A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way

In this week’s blog we’re going to further discuss exercise. A few weeks ago, we discussed getting started and how exercise could be broken down into smaller workouts. Now that the exercise time doesn’t seem as scary, let’s talk about types of exercise. This week we’ll discuss the different types and how it doesn’t have to seem like exercise.

We all know that blood pumping workouts are great for the heart. This doesn’t mean you have to run or do jumping jacks. You could play basketball or even dance. What’s important is increasing your heart rate. If you have kids, just getting out in the yard and playing can be considered a cardio workout. Fun cardio workouts have always been easier for me to tackle. I’m the type of person that gets bored doing jumping jacks.

Not everyone can handle extreme cardio workouts. As I’ve gotten older, and the arthritis in my back has gotten worse, low-impact exercises have become my exercise of choice. Low-impact exercises can be something as simple as working out on an elliptical machine, which I enjoy. I also love to go hiking. You could even go shopping.

What I’m trying to help you understand this week is that exercise doesn’t have to be boring. High and low-impact exercises can actually be fun. Whether you go shopping at the mall or play football with a few friends, you’re going to get great workout. Best of all, it’s the perfect excuse to buy more at the mall or hang out longer with your friends.

Stop killing yourself with exercise and turn this healthy lifestyle challenge into a form of entertainment. Before you know it, you’ll actually look forward to slipping into your sweatshirt and burning a few calories. And if this still isn’t enough to get you going, keep an eye out for future blogs that discuss exercise even further.