Save Money on Off-Peak Family Vacations

When I was 14, my parents got permission to take me (and my siblings) out of school for a week so that we could go to Orlando, Florida on a family vacation in October. Because hardly anyone goes to Disney World in October (or Orlando on vacation for that matter), everything was relatively inexpensive: airfare, lodging (in a condo), entrance passes and car rental. Not to mention that we didn’t have to wait in line for any of the rides. This experience has stayed with me for a looooong time. After all, my parents saved more than a thousand dollars on a family vacation for seven, just by choosing an odd time of year to travel.

Off-peak family vacations
The main trouble with off-peak family vacations, of course, is the fact that they often take place during the school year. It is usually possible to get a week or so off for the kids, but you will have to get the expected homework, and every day there should be time to study. We had to do homework each morning before we could head out for fun. That way, we didn’t fall behind.

In addition to making sure that the kids keep up to date with their schoolwork, it is also important to realize that off-peak means different things to different destinations. You can usually get a cheap Christmas cruise to the Caribbean (although this is becoming less common as the practice becomes more popular), but try to get a cheap ski vacation at Christmas, and you are out of luck. Different hotels, airlines and destinations have differing definitions of “off-peak.” This means that you need to localize your efforts and plan accordingly.

It is also important to dress for the weather. In the mountain west, it was snowing when we left in late October to head to Orlando. So we had to bring coats to the airport. But in Orlando, we wore shorts and T-shirts.

Family vacations are great opportunities to have quality time together and to build shared memories. And you can save money with off-peak family vacations.

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Celebrity Gossip: Circus, Sex-Changes, and "Just Friends"

It appears that Britney Spears is doing her best to make a comeback. Britney’s latest album, “Circus,” is being released next month, and it seems like she has some big plans for it. On Britney’s Celebrity MySpace page, she put up four pictures of her auditioning male dancers “in anticipation of next month’s Circus.” Britney is planning to have her own concert tour next year, and she just sang a song with Madonna last week at the pop star’s concert. At the concert, Britney appeared really put together, like she is serious about her music once again. So, maybe she finally has cleaned up her life and is going back to the old Britney Spears. I can hear Britney fans all over the world rejoicing!

Here’s some really odd news. Actresses Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron will be filming a movie together and will be playing husband and wife! The movie, The Danish Girl, is based on a novel about true-life Danish artists Einar and Greta Wegener. Kidman will play Einar, who dresses as a woman for one of his wife’s portraits. Well, the portrait gains so much fame that Einar actually continues to dress as a woman and undergoes a sex-change operation. The movie is still in preproduction right now. I just find this really odd that Nicole Kidman will be playing a man (dressing as a woman), because her looks are so feminine.

Once again, The Hills star, Lauren Conrad, was spotted out with her boy, Kyle Howard. The two attended jazz night at Teddy’s together. The couple cuddled together at the corner of the bar, and it was quite apparent that the two are more than just friends, even though neither one has come out and made it official that they are together. I don’t know who they are fooling? If they really want to say they are just friends, how about acting like just friends out in public!



What happens when classic styling and craftsmanship meets modernity? The Bulga handbag line of course. From the classic shapes (think hobos, modern doctor-inspired bags and totes), to the vivid colors, to the lovely feminine lining, each bag is a instant classic. Our picks: Bulga De Beber Satchel in chocolate and Bulga Agape Hobo in Brandy.


What’s the significance of a snowflake? Hope. Last Wednesday was the lighting of the historic UNICEF Snowflake, an emblem of hope, peace and compassion for children around the world at the Grand Army Plaza in New York. Songstress Rihanna, spokes model for the print campaign for Gucci’s Heart Tattoo Collection, and Frida Giannini, Gucci’s Creative Director, were in attendance at the lighting ceremony, as well as the hosts of the private cocktail party held at Gucci’s 5th Avenue flagship. The Gucci Group will be donating 25 percent of their white Heart Tattoo Collection sales from stores around the world to UNICEF, from November 19, 2008 to January 31, 2009. The double page ad campaign shows Rihanna perched on a large suspended silver ring holding an exotic skin dual-handle satchel tote, and another with her holding an exotic skin messenger bag, striking a beautiful come hither pose. It is a wonderful thing to see someone as young as Rihanna being so charity focused. She also participated earlier this year in the T-shirt campaign for DAA with H&M. The T-shirt campaign had her along with other celebrities, design tees for the store for Designers Against AIDS foundation. Now if we could get the other young songbirds to do the same, think of how much better their lives would be and the world would be for it.

Green Tip.. Yum Yum eat um up!

Have you ever had a Acai bowl? Its this Harmonious mixture of Acai berries, granola, bananas and its addicting!!!

I love berries, but it really never occurred to me that all berries have seasons, and though it may seem they are available year round, truth be told it takes alot of energy to keep us eating blueberry pie for the holidays


Buy Seasonal Produce
Next time you reach for the strawberries in the middle of winter, think about whether you really need them.

Keeping food available all year round leads to massive travel costs and pollution.

Buy foods seasonal to your local climate. Summer is Berry season and the best time for : Gooseberries, cloudberries, strawberries, blue berries, black currants, red currants, and raspberries.

Till Next time, Stay Green YO!

Four Christmases Screening for Zappos!

Monday night, 300 Zappos employees were given a rare treat when they were invited to a private, preview screening of the new movie Four Christmases, starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn!

Zappos teamed up with Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema for a contest to win two free tickets to see the comedy, and they were nice enough to arrange for the private screening, which was held at the Rave Motion Pictures Theater at Town Square Las Vegas.

The movie, which opens Nov. 26, was great and everyone seemed to have a blast. Zapponians gathered before and after to discuss the movie and the craziness of the evening, video below!

Get out and see Four Christmases in a theater near you!

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Voices In My Head, With Hollie D.!

Hollie D., our HR Generalist Manager, may look like she’s all business when she’s sitting at her desk, but we now know that she really dreams of Smurfs, possibly getting a faux-hawk and being a kitten in her next life.