Celebrity Gossip: Oh Baby!

Yet another set of twins is being born to a celebrity couple. Actor Charlie Sheen and his new wife, Brooke, are expecting twins in April of next year. According to Brooke’s mom, Moira Fiore, they think that the twins are boys but are not certain. The couple announced in August that they were expecting a baby next year, but did not mention twins at the time. Sheen already has three children from previous relationships, and these kids will be Brooke’s first children. There must be something in the water in Hollywood, because it seems like almost every celebrity couple that gets pregnant is expecting twins.

Another pregnancy announcement broke in Hollywood this week. Actress Alyson Hannigan and her husband, Alexis Denisof, are expecting their first child together next spring. You may remember Hannigan from the American Pie movies and her current job on How I Met Your Mother. The couple has been married for almost five years and originally met on the set of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Good luck to these two on their new little one!

Is there one couple in Hollywood who aren’t expecting a baby? Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer. There were tons of rumors going around the web and even in magazines that claimed Jennifer Aniston was pregnant and that is why the couple has rekindled their romance in the past couple of weeks. Well, Aniston’s rep has come out publicly, telling Entertainment Tonight, “Give me a break. She is NOT pregnant.” The couple seems to be giving their relationship another try though. They were spotted holding hands and celebrating Mayer’s 31st birthday together. Why is it that whenever a couple gets back to together, it automatically means there is a baby involved? Maybe they just really missed each other and want to give it another shot?

Sources:
www.people.com
www.usmagazine.com

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Fitness Resolutions: Try Indoor Athletics and Excape the Winter Chill

When the forecast calls for snowstorms and subzero temperatures, heading outdoors on your usual morning run or biking excursion might earn itself a rain check status. Still, keeping in shape during the winter months is easier when you schedule yourself a few indoor sporting activities. You don’t have to be an athletic superstar to take on an indoor roller skating challenge or show off your skills on the indoor soccer field. Just grab your gear and head off to a fun, heart-pumping activity that will get you that fitness fix!

Kick off your athletic shoes and strap on a pair of roller skates for a lower body workout like no other. Just track down a roller skating rink in your area for a fun, but challenging, fitness activity that will get your fitness routine into high gear. Be sure to get fitted for the right size so you’re slipping and sliding on that rink for the right reasons.

If you’re a soccer aficionado, head to the indoor field for a calorie-burning game that might just keep you in great shape this season. A pair of indoor soccer shoes will get you on track to soccer stardom; just look for a pair with extra traction and a flexible sole for extra comfort.

Missing those outdoor tennis games? Turn yourself into a racquetball enthusiast this season and get a terrific total body workout in the process. This fast-paced sport requires a lightweight pair of athletic shoes so you can maneuver around and play the court like a pro. Look for hard-court shoes with extra lining and cushioning for extra comfort.

When the day calls for a game of indoor volleyball, get yourself in gear with some supportive court shoes. A pair of lightweight shoes made with a molded toe and mesh inserts will give the extra support and comfort you need to stay on your toes for that fast-paced game.

From the roller skating rink to the indoor soccer field, you have few excuses to skip the fitness routine this winter. Grab your gear and take on that next fitness challenge with any of these indoor sports this season!

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History of Shoes: The Go-Go Boot

The swinging sixties and seventies were decades where experimentation was big in fashion. One of the shoe styles that emerged from the fashion explosion that occurred during this generation was t*he go-go boot.* Go-go boots were revolutionary because they made women’s boot fashions street wear instead of just functional, inclement weather wear.

Go-go Boots: The Design
Go-go boots were traditionally made from synthetic materials; however, modern variations also use natural materials like leather. They tend to be a low-heeled boot that can have a calf, knee or rise above the knee. They can be either form fitting against the lower leg, or they can be loose. Generally go-go boots designed for girls are looser fitting and have a flat or low heel, while women’s go-go boots have a tighter fit and a higher heel. However, while two-inch Cuban heels have been used in a variety of go-go boot designs, the heel tends to be less than one inch.

Go-go Boots: Fashion
Go-go boots emerged back in the mid-sixties. Shoe designer Andre Courreges is given credit for the first go-go boots. These first boots were made from either vinyl or plastic and were generally white in color. The height of the boot complimented the shorter hemlines found in women’s fashion during the 60s and 70s. The height of the boot’s rise followed hemlines as they migrated up the leg. This was great for women who were a bit shy about exposing so much leg with daring fashions of the era. The boots provided significant coverage without having to sacrifice fashion forwardness.

Go-go Boots: Pop Culture
Go-go boots were very popular with young girls and women. They were popularized by pop cultural icons like Nancy Sinatra and Jane Fonda who both sported these boots. Nancy Sinatra promoted her single “These Boots Were Made for Walkin” by wearing a pair of sexy go-go boots, and Jane Fonda wore a pair in her sci-fi erotic film “Barberella.” While not as popular as they once were, you can still see variations of go-go boots still making their way down runways around the world.

Making Pregnancy Easier: Setting Up A Nursery

Setting up a nursery is one of the more fun tasks facing first time parents, but if you’ve never hung out with babies before, the variety of baby-themed products on the market can be overwhelming. Here’s a short guide to what you really need and what you can do without, even if your nursery is just a corner of your one-bedroom apartment.

1. A Crib
Though we all have heard stories of older relatives who were surprise babies and slept in a drawer (or maybe it’s just my weird family), a crib is an absolute essential. Whether you’re buying a crib new, borrowing from a friend or purchasing from a consignment store — safety features are essential.

When purchasing bedding for the crib, make sure to order extra-deep sheets. The safety factor makes the extra cost worthwhile. Non-deep sheets can slide off the bed and become a strangulation hazard.

2. A Changing Table
This can be a fancy model from a catalog, or it can be as simple as a changing pad placed on the floor with a basket next to it for changing essentials , like diapers, wipes and ointment. Wipe warmers are NOT essential, but a trash bin to put soiled diapers in is essential. In my experience Diaper Genies and the like are more trouble than they’re worth and just end up smelling horrible. You’re better off with a regular trash can with a tight fitting lid, but most times you’re going to want to take the bag with the dirty diaper out immediately.

3. A Comfortable Chair
Gliders are excellent for this purpose, but any soft chair where you can snuggle with the baby will do. Whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, you’ll get up several times in the middle of the night in the beginning, and you need a place where it won’t hurt if you fall asleep!

4. A Baby Monitor
When my second daughter was born, she had the lungs of an opera singer, and my house was compact and vertical so you could hear a voice from any room in it. Even still, the baby monitor came in handy for when I was outside getting groceries out of the car or down in the basement doing laundry. This is something you can borrow from a friend as long as it’s in working order.

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Snowboarder of the Week: Eddie Wall

Eddie Wall is one of the hardest-practicing technical experts in professional snowboarding and one of the most fun-loving free spirits. His background demonstrates why these seemingly opposite traits go together.

Born in Pennsylvania, Eddie Wall managed to land in the state’s definitely non-Allegheny flat portion. He grew up in the small town of Rome, which he describes as two hours from “the smallest hill imaginable.”

Still, he found his way to enough places to gain some skills. His main accomplice and friend was his father, Eddie Wall Sr., who was also into boarding as one of the sport’s elder statesmen. Eddie Wall Jr. worked construction with his father from the time he was 13-years-old.

“My dad and I started snowboarding together, which is really cool,” says the younger Eddie. “We always used to go up and poach pipes, just hike up the mountain and ride the pipe.” On one occasion, at Camelback in the Pocono Mountains, they got busted by ski patrol officers.

Eddie knew what he wanted. Upon graduation, he headed for California and Mt. Nebo, where he supported himself for two years as a dishwasher and night janitor. With gradual practice, he became one of the world’s best and best-known snowboarders.

This experience sort of makes Eddie Wall an older scolder, as he observes younger snowboarders who follow an easier path.

“The money and fame that these kids are chasing is taking a lot of the purity out of the sport,” he laments. “In a few years, it may be similar to baseball and football, soccer moms yelling at their kids for not landing a 1080 … Snowboarding was never supposed to be like that.”

Eddie Wall says his crib in San Clemente is filled with so many loose surfboards and skateboards that “it’s such a ghetto.” He lists his favorite places to party as “Europe, L.A., premier tours, Whistler, Quebec, my house, pretty much anywhere.”

That covers a lot of ground, but if anyone has earned it, it’s Eddie Wall.

Sources:
http://snowboardermag.com/features/snowboarder-vital-20-eddie-wall/
http://fueltv.fuel.tv/FUELTVED/blogs/view/3446?item=25774&type=Blog
http://snowboardermag.com/features/online-exclusives/eddie-wall-interview/
http://www.grindtv.com/athlete/eddie_wall/bio/

Update

The following email was sent to our employees today:

——-
To all Zappos employees:

Today has been a tough, emotional day for everyone at Zappos. We made the
hard choice of laying off about 8% of our employees. The layoffs will
affect almost every single department at Zappos. In addition, we are also
looking at closing some of our brick and mortar outlet stores in Nevada
and Kentucky.

This is one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make over the past 9.5
years, but we believe that it is the right decision for the long term
health of the company. The rest of this email will explain why…

We feel fortunate that we have Sequoia Capital as an investor who had the
foresight to see the ramifications of the tough economic times that lie
ahead for all of us. On October 7, Sequoia held a meeting for all of their
portfolio companies (including Zappos), with one very clear message: Cut
expenses as much as possible and get to profitability and cash flow
positive as soon as possible.

Here is a link to an article that talks about the Sequoia meeting:

http://gigaom.com/2008/10/08/sequoia-rings-the-alarm-bell-silicon-valley...

Jason Calacanis also has a well-written email that talks about avoiding
the “death spiral”, which I highly recommend reading:

http://calacanis.com/2008/10/28/good-news-for-people-who-hate-bad-news/

Fortunately for Zappos, we’re in a much better position than many other
companies. Unlike many other companies, we are still growing and already
profitable and cash flow positive.

And we are also fortunate that we have a revolving line of credit from
Wells Fargo, US Bank, and Keybank. This line of credit has given us a lot
of financial flexibility. However, given the current economic uncertainty,
we believe it’s prudent to reduce our reliance on debt financing.

We’ve decided the right thing to do for the company is to be proactive
instead of reactive. We are proactively cutting back some of our expenses
today so that we can take care of our employees properly, instead of being
reactive and waiting until we are forced to cut expenses.

Because we are still growing and are already profitable, we do not have to
take as drastic of a step as most other companies of our size. Last year,
we did $840 mm in gross merchandise sales, and this year we are
forecasting to do about $1 billion in gross merchandise sales. However,
when we first put together our 2008 plan at the end of 2007, we were
expecting our gross merchandise sales to be even higher than $1 billion.

Because of all this, we are reducing our staff by 8%, but because we are
being proactive instead of reactive about it, we are able to take care of
our employees and offer them more than the standard 2 weeks severance (or
no severance) that most other companies are giving.

We are offering to pay each laid-off employee through the end of the year
(about 2 months), and offering an additional amount for employees that
have been with us for 3 or more years.

In addition, because our regular health benefits cover 100% medical,
dental, and vision for employees and 50% for spouses and dependents, we
decided to offer to reimburse laid-off employees for up to 6 months of
COBRA payments.

In doing all of this to take care of laid-off employees, we expect that it
will actually increase, not decrease, our costs for 2008, but we feel this
is the right thing to do for our employees. It will put us in the position
of having a lot more financial flexibility in being able to respond to
potential changes in the economy in 2009.

Ecommerce growth has slowed compared to its growth rate a year ago, but
the good news is that even in this tough economic environment, ecommerce
overall is still growing.

Within the footwear category, we are the online market leader. When times
are tough, the strongest players in any market have an opportunity to gain
even more market share, even if overall growth may be slower.
Historically, we have actually grown faster than the overall ecommerce
market, and we anticipate for that to continue in 2009.

For the rest of 2008 as well as for 2009, we anticipate continuing to grow
year over year. Our current forecasts are that we will continue to be
profitable and cash flow positive, as long as we are proactive instead of
reactive in managing our business and financials.

I know that many tears were shed today, both by laid-off and non-laid-off
employees alike. Given our family culture, our layoffs are much tougher
emotionally than they would be at many other companies.

I’ve been asked by some employees whether it’s okay to twitter about
what’s going on. Our Twitter policy remains the same as it’s always been:
just be real, and use your best judgement.

These are tough times for everyone, and I’m sure there will be many follow
up questions to this email. If you have any questions about your specific
job or department, please talk to your department manager. For all other
questions, comments, or thoughts, please feel free to email me.

  • Tony Hsieh, CEO

CRAVINGS - LAYERED NECKLACES

What is better than a long, elegant neck layered in fabulous jewels? Nothing as far as the Couture team is concerned. We are loving the past few season’s offerings of multi-strand, multi-layered necklaces. Think several chains mixed with gemstones, semiprecious stones strung on satin ribbon, a funky, electic mix of gold, precious and semiprecious stones, need I go on? Our fave picks for this week are: Rachel Leigh 18 k multi-strand gold-plated and freshwater pearl necklace, Tarina Tarantino lucite bead, bows and skull necklace with Swarovski crystal eyes, Carolee double-row Silvertone, sodalite and amazonite stone chain necklace with toggle closure, and Betsey Johnson two-tone metal with crystal detail multi-strand necklace.

Wayne Newton Room in 2290!

Continuing on with our 2290 Las Vegas Icons Conference rooms, you know we couldn’t leave out the amazing Wayne Newton, who is sometimes referred to as….. Mr. Las Vegas. For good reason, I might add.

Wayne is probably the most popular and most well known entertainer that is directly associated with Las Vegas. He has come to represent the standard for an evening show in the 702 Area Code since the 60s. Wayne has also appeared on many tv shows and in many movies as himself….no movie about Vegas is complete without a little Wayne!

Four decades in the business should earn you a reputation, and it also earned you a conference room at Zappos 2290!