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PJ Day!

Here at the Zappos HQ we understand that every once in a while it’s hard to wake up and go to work in the morning. Well, we can’t give everyone the day off whenever they feel like staying in their jamies, but today we are allowing everyone to wear their pajamas to work! Now that makes getting ready in the morning a lot easier! And since Zappos provides cereal and coffee, the only thing our pajama wearing associates had to do this morning was brush their teeth.

Bringing the comfort of your own home to work. Now that’s service!

This is the first day of Customer Service Week, in which we celebrate our commitment to the customers of Zappos and our CLT department, and we always have a theme every day of the week.

Keep you eyes on the blogs all week to see the craziness!

IT'S A WRAP!

Or so it would seem for Louis Vuitton with its latest design collaboration with film director Sofia Coppola. Hot on the heels of their extremely successful collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons for their monogrammed leather goods in Tokyo (currently completely sold out), comes the announcement that Ms. Coppola was tapped to design a line of handbags and shoes. The products are said to be launching in Japan, Vuitton’s recent international test market, with the intention of selling worldwide. Of course Ms. Coppola is no stranger to fashion, as she is often front and center at several designer shows, in particular Marc Jacobs, the creative force behind the Vuitton label. Sofia’s choice should prove to be a very interesting one, both from her perspective and detailed eye from behind the camera, to her being a well known francophile, to her love of pretty ladylike flats. Both Sofia and her father, director Francis Ford Coppola, star in Vuitton’s ‘core values’ ad campaign. Viva la Vuitton!

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Blood Drive!

‘Tis the Season to donate your blood – either to a blood sucking vampire or United Blood Services, Inc. We don’t discriminate if you do both, but we do recommend donating to United Blood Services, Inc.

On October 30th, Zapponians who wish to give their blood in order to help those in need, may, right here in our very own headquarters. It’s quick, relatively painless, and you can say that you got your Blood drawn for real on the eve of Halloween! A few rules do apply: You must be at least 17 years old and in good health and if you are one who likes needles so much that you just got a full tattoo sleeve, then you need to wait a while before donating. For more information about blood donation and to see if you are eligible, you may go to the United Blood Services website.

Here’s Ubie, the mascot of United Blood Services with a very important announcement:

You be trippin if you don’t donate your blood!

For those who are interested, email rsearcy@zappos.com with THREE ideal appointment times and she’ll get you in there.

Run Wild for a Child 10K and 5K, San Francisco

I’m a huge kid advocate, having worked at tons of children’s nonprofits in my professional fundraising career. So, when I saw a notice advertising the Run Wild For A Child 10K and 5K runs/walks in San Francisco, it really grabbed my attention.

The Run Wild For A Child 10K/5K runs are not only very fun runs; they’re also a cool time to donate toys! The runs benefit the San Francisco Firefighters’ toy drive. On race day, there will be drop offs to donate a new toy or a book for SF area disadvantaged kids, and proceeds from the race go to the toy drive. The toy drive distributes more than 200,000 toys every year to over 40,000 kids. They also help out kids all year long who are displaced because of fires, floods, earthquakes or any other natural disaster.

The Run Wild For A Child 10K/5K runs are held every year on Thanksgiving weekend. The runs start at JFK Drive and ends at Golden Gate Park. What could be more perfect than running early in the morning in beautiful Golden Gate Park and overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge? I mean, come on, you’d have to be a philistine not to think that was gorgeous.

But the coolest thing for me about this race is you can dress up as your favorite toy for the “Favorite Childhood Toy” costume competition. If I was running this year, I’d dress up as Winnie the Pooh (okay, maybe not – might be a bit too hot and heavy a costume to run in,) or as someone with superpowers like Wonder Woman. (That would help win the race, right?)

The race will be held this year on November 30, 2008, and starts at 8:30 a.m. You have two choices of entrance fee; either a straight $30 entrance fee, which will put you in the race, or a $50 fee with 20 bucks of that going directly to the toy drive. Come on, it’s almost Christmas. Fork over your 50 bucks and help some kids have a nice Christmas. Christmas is for kids and these 10k/5k runs will help some of them have a great holiday.

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Coolest Skateparks: China Creek, Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia is home to numerous skate parks. In fact, there are skate parks located in nearly every borough in the district. If you are in this city and have a need to grind rails or catch some air, try out the China Creek Skate Park. This skate park can be found inside the China Creek South Park in East Vancouver. This is an outdoor park that has a lot to offer beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters.

China Creek Skate Park – The Basics

China Creek Skate Park is a very basic, outdoor skate park. It is primarily made up of asphalt and concrete, with concrete lining the bowls and asphalt covering the street course segments of the park.

While not the premiere skate park in Vancouver, China Creek Skate Park has a reasonably good variety of skateboarding features to play around with. On the street course segment of the park, you will find benches, flat-bar rails, round-bar rails and various obstacles. In the interior of the skate park, you will find a variety of bowls, ramps and launches. Many of the ramps and launches are homemade, so be careful. Check the ramps and launches, especially those that have been brought in by skaters, to make sure that they are sturdy enough to handle you, your board and the momentum needed to trick off the ramp or launch.

China Creek Skate Park – Competitions

China Creek Skate Park is the location of numerous skateboarding competitions throughout the year. Two of the most popular skateboarding competitions held at this park are the Jaks Team China Creek Competition and the Memorial Skate Competition.

If you want to practice for these competitions, bring your board, your skateboarding shoes and your tricks to the China Creek Skate Park. To do well at these competitions, you will want to practice your tricks and skills both inside the bowls and on the street course. If you live in Vancouver, you can practice year round. However, if you are traveling to the city for the competition, arrive a week early so you can become familiar with the shape, depth and temperament of the skate park before the day of the competition. This will improve your performance and your chances of walking away a winner.

Celebrity Gossip: Weddings, Honeymoon Babies, Goodbies, And Rehab

Another Hollywood actor and actress have headed down the aisle to marital bliss. Scarlett Johansson, 23, and Ryan Reynolds, 31, got married this past Saturday. The small wedding was held in a resort outside of Vancouver. The couple had been engaged since May 5. Scarlett was given a mighty big engagement ring from Ryan, but she never made public when the couple would marry. The couple had been dating since the spring of 2007, after Reynolds broke off his engagement with singer Alanis Morissette. With the way that Hollywood marriages are lasting these days, these two are going to have to break the celebrity mold to make their marriage last. Best of luck to Scarlett and Ryan.

It seems like another Hollywood actress has been arrested. Heather Locklear was taken into police custody Saturday night. She was held overnight and released Sunday morning. Locklear has previously been in a rehab center in Arizona for depression and anxiety.

Former Bachelor star Andrew Firestone and his new wife Ivana are expecting their first child. The couple just got married in July and will become new parents next April. Can we say honeymoon baby? The couple admits that they were trying to have children as soon as they got married, and it seems to have worked.

On a sadder note, legendary actor Paul Newman has passed at away at the age of 83. Reports state that he had a long battle with cancer and had been sick for quite some time. Not only was Newman a great actor, he was also a passionate racecar driver and philanthropist. He created his own line of food products called “Newman’s Own” with the profits going to different charities. He also created a camp for children with illnesses called Hole In The Wall Gang. His great works and great movies will live on long after his passing.

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

Importance of Clothing in Film: All that Jazz in Chicago

With the global financial markets in turmoil, taking a look at the fashions of the 1920s and 30s is almost irresistible. New York City has been filled with events from these decades of late, including a club night called Dances of Vice that celebrates the era, and a multi-day jazz picnic held on Governors Island.

But no matter where you are, it’s easy to take a look at the spectacular fashions of the period, simply by turning to your DVD player and taking a look at the Oscar-winning 2002 movie musical, Chicago. From fabulous flapper dresses to the sensual, structural masterpiece that is Mama’s dress, Chicago highlight the best of the 1920s fashion, in a theatrical, over-the-top way. It’s a great movie to take cues from for everything from sexy Halloween costumes to fun New Year’s Eve formal wear.

When it comes to style, Chicago doesn’t overlook the guys either. Spectacular pin-stripe suits make everyone look thinner, taller and sexier, while the details of vests and pocket watches lend an air of refinement to suits that often feel bold when compared to today’s pattern pallets. When it comes to shoes, the spectacular wingtips on the men should not be missed.

One of the truly great things about Chicago, when it comes to 1920s fashion, is that way it highlights both the clothes that have held our interest for decades and the simpler attire everyday people wore. Not everyone was a flapper, and not every woman was wearing dresses that relied on being slim and minimally curvy. While many people complained about the film’s choice to present the musical numbers as essentially a product of Roxy’s imagination, this strategy allowed costumer designer Colleen Atwood to provide some realism for viewers who are normally uncomfortable with the music genre and to take a look at non-ostentatious clothes from the period. They may not be inspiring to your wardrobe, but they provide a fascinating contrast and a reminder that no period has ever been about high fashion all the time.

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Meals For The Family: Healthy Yet Satisfying

Cooler weather makes it hard to stick to a healthy lifestyle. All you can think of is digging into a bowl of chicken and dumplings or maybe even a hot piece of apple pie with ice cream. How are you and your family going to make it through fall without giving into these temptations? More importantly, how can you prepare a quick meal that’s healthy, yet satisfying? It’s easy. Here’s a great recipe to get you started:

Chicken Meatball Stew
Serves 8

1 pound of 98% lean ground chicken
½ tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 cup of bread crumbs
½ of a small onion, pureed
½ of a small green pepper, pureed
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
Fresh ground pepper to taste
8 ounces small dry pasta, your favorite type
4 cups of frozen, mixed vegetables

1. Combine the ground chicken, poultry seasoning, bread crumbs, onion and green pepper. Form into meatballs. Be careful not to overwork the meat or your meatballs will be tough.
2. Melt the butter in a large pot and combine with flour to create a roux. Stir in the chicken stock and season with pepper.
3. Add meatballs, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for one hour or until the meatballs are cooked through.
4. Add pasta and cook according to the package directions.
5. Stir in frozen vegetables and heat through.
6. Serve with crusty French bread.

What about dessert? Obviously, you want something warm and decadent. Thankfully, there are several healthy desserts to be found at your grocery store. For example, why not prepare a reduced-sugar brownie mix? Or you could even prepare, cook and serve sugar-free pudding. Warm, decadent recipes don’t have to be loaded with sugar. Throw caution to the wind and indulge.

It’s important to find substitutes for those high-calorie fall dishes. Remember, it’s not a free for all from fall through New Year’s. You must prepare recipes that are healthy or you can say bye-bye to that little black dress.