ROMANTIC PUNK

The Couture team is feeling the rebel yell of the changing season, torn between our ladylike underpinnings and our rebellious spirit. What better way to express it than merging the sweet with a little spice? Absolutely none! We are craving black leggings tucked into our navy buckle detail male-inspired punk-esque boots, a little pirate swagger with a dash of skulls and skeletons scarf, ladylike indifference with a leather fringed handbag, channeling a little Belgian punk spirit with lace up booties, and cuffed perfection with a crown insigna silver cuff.

Our pics: Paul Smith Navy Back Zipper Boots with Buckle Detail, Roberto Cavalli Black Patent Leather Lace up Ankle Boots, Alexander McQueen Black/White Tree of Life scarf , Jill Stuart Onyx Leather and Metal Fringe St. Germain Felicity Satchel, and King Baby Studio Crowned Heart Cross Cuff.

Green Movement in Clothing: Bamboo

One of the major trends in the green clothing movement is bamboo fabricclothing. Through a process, it is possible to transform bamboo stalks into fabrics that can be used to make a wide variety of products, including bamboo fabric shirts.

Environmental Friendliness of Bamboo Fabric
Bamboo has long been recognized as a preferred material for many things. It is environmentally friendly and is in abundance. It has been used in flooring, furniture and to make other wood products. Now it is being used to make clothing. Right now, there are questions about the “greenness” of the process used to transform bamboo fibers into clothing fibers. Chemicals used in this process may be of a dubious nature, and there are other issues. However, even with these concerns, the Green Guide points out that bamboo is still more environmentally friendly than wholly synthetic fibers or even cotton. This is due to the unique characteristics of bamboo:

  • Requires very little water
  • Naturally resistant to pests
  • Very hardy and requires no fertilizer
  • Grows quickly (up to a foot per day)
  • Grows in the wild (although some are starting to cultivate it due to its popularity).

There are hopes that the process will become greener, but right now a greener process would mean sacrificing comfort.

Benefits of Wearing Bamboo Fabric Clothing
Toasted bamboo fabrics have benefits to the wearer, beyond the knowledge that he or she is wearing something that is better for the environment. Bamboo fabric provides wicking, which keeps moisture away from the skin. It is antibacterial and absorbent. These qualities mean that bamboo fabric has a high level of comfort and performance. It seems a little odd to be wearing bamboo fabric, but it really is comfortable and environmentally friendly.

In the end, it may not be a bad idea to look into bamboo fabric clothing for your next new clothes purchase.

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Tips for Parents of Mulitples: Buying Shoes

As the parents of multiples, one of your biggest challenges is keeping your kids’ shoe wardrobes sized properly and fashionably up-to-date. With the cost of even a modest pair of shoes well over $25, you can easily invest several hundred dollars each year just keeping your multiples in shoes. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your kids in great looking shoes year round without breaking the bank.

Shoe Tips for Multiples No. 1: BOGO Sales

One of the easiest ways to cut your shoe expenses in half when you have multiples is to shop for shoes during BOGO (buy one get one free) sales. These sales happen throughout the year. To get the discount, all you have to do is buy one pair of shoes, and then you can select a second pair of equal or lesser value for free. You will want to buy good shoes during these sales, and if you have the money, stock up on shoes one or two sizes larger for when your multiples outgrow their current shoe size.

Shoe Tips for Multiples No. 2: Accessorize Cheap Shoes

If your multiples are interested in fashion and want to expand their shoe wardrobe, and you don’t have a lot of money to work with, buy canvas sneakers, the kind that retail for less than $10. Then accessorize them. Buy a basic color like white or black. Then find shoes laces of different colors and designs to add a fashionable flare to the shoe. You can also use pins to change the look of the shoes. This is a quick and affordable way to offer your multiples a variety of shoe choices without breaking the bank.

Shoe Tips for Multiples No. 3: Learn Basic Shoe Repair Skills

Dress shoes are worn infrequently, and your kids will most likely out grow them before they are worn out. Because of this, you can find dress shoes in many clothing consignment stores for less than half their original retail price. You can buy dress shoes at these stores, replace their laces and shine them up for a great looking pair of shoes. This is a great option for parents with multiples who are still very young.

Vacations for Outdoorsy Type: A Whale of an Adventure

Some people are simply more comfortable on the water than on dry land and feel pulled toward oceanic adventures, like a paper clip to a magnet. This is why, when looking for outdoor vacation ideas, it’s important to consider destinations that include open water.

For example, whale watching is one of the most popular sea-faring adventures in the United States. Rather than challenging your physical strengths, it instead fulfills a sense of wonder and may even inspire a career in marine biology. Whenever I’m visiting friends on the east or west coast, this is an activity I try to fit into my schedule.

The best thing about whale watching is that no two trips are ever exactly the same. You might see six blue whales on one trip, and then see nothing but pods of dolphins on your next. Of course, there might be times when no sightings occur, but many whale-watching outfitters will give you free tickets for a future excursion if this happens.

The types of whales you see when whale watching will depend on which part of the country you are in. Blue whales, for example, are common off the west coast, while dolphins often make an appearance in Galveston Harbor.

Of course, you’ll need to dress appropriately before you head out on a boat, whether it’s a cruise ship or a dinghy. Even if the sun is hot on the beach, oceanic winds can leave you wishing you’d brought a jacket for your trip.

You’ll also need a heavy-duty bag that won’t be ruined if you have to set it on a wet boat deck. The Timbuk 2 Metro has a padded shoulder straps and a waterproof vinyl interior, which make it perfect for lugging around that expensive camera you bought for your whale-watching trip.

Whale-watching outfitters vary significantly in both price and amenities. Make sure you do your research before heading out on the water. If the boat crew provides champagne and snacks while you’re aboard, you’ll probably pay a steep price for those luxuries. Look for whale-watching trips where you can have fun looking at the marine life without blowing your entire vacation budget.

Weekly Comfort Item/Procedure: Swimming

With the Olympics behind us, it is pretty obvious that swimming is a sport that more people are becoming interested in. Swimming is the best exercise, as well as the best therapy in the world. Just ask your doctor, and he or she will confirm that the buoyancy of water, the water resistance when working out during a water aerobics class, or the exercise received during swimming, far surpasses any other physical fitness activity.

The strength build by swimming may be a way to combat the back and neck pains many children experience at any early age as a result of the increasing number of cell phones, PDA’s and other items weighing down the backpacks of today’s youth. Swimming can also be the perfect remedy for the lack of exercise in a child’s life. The benefits of learning to swim at any age far outweigh any excuse to not learn to swim.

Deciding to pursue swimming for fitness and comfort will require purchasing comfortable swim trunks or swimsuits, nonslip comfortable shoes to be worn around the pool area, and in some cases, other swim accessories. Some individuals prefer covering their eyes with goggles. Other individuals prefer wearing a swim cap to protect their hair from chlorine exposure.

You may not be the next Michael Phelps, but it is important to indulge in a sport like swimming that provides health benefits. But if purchasing the latest Speedo Goggles motivates you or your child to consider venturing into the water as a means of a healthy lifestyle, more power to you! Water is soothing, comfortable and definitely therapeutic. You can’t go wrong if you make the decision to swim as a sport, for relaxation or simply to feel better. Even if you don’t win a few gold medals, the time spent was well invested.

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Healthier Lifestyle Week by Week: Olive Oil

In this week’s blog, we’re going to begin discussing heart healthy fats. While many of these fats are indeed heart healthy, many people still shy away from them. The challenge lies in getting over the fact that many of these foods contain several grams of fat per serving. After you’ve become comfortable with this fact, which you will, you need to figure out how to incorporate more of these foods into your diet. Let’s begin by discussing olive oil.

I avoided olive oil for several years. I knew that it lowered cholesterol, but one look at the nutrition label, and I just couldn’t add it to my shopping cart. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and almost 14 grams of fat. That doesn’t sound healthy at all. Later on, I began to learn about heart healthy fats. Upon closer inspection of the nutrition label, you’ll find that olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and no trans-fat. Olive oil does contain 2 grams of saturated fat, but the same amount of butter has over 7 grams of saturated fat. It’s easy to see that olive oil is the clear winner. With so much heart healthy fats per tablespoon, you can’t go one more day without adding olive oil to your diet.

Of course, knowing that olive oil is healthy doesn’t make it any easier to incorporate into your diet. Over the years, I’ve played around with olive oil and found that it works well in place of other oils. For example, light olive oil works wonderfully in baked goods. I also love to sauté salmon and chicken in olive oil. I’ve even seen Mario Batali use olive oil for deep frying, which can be healthy when done properly. One of my favorite uses for olive oil though is to mix it with vinegar as a topping for sandwiches. It’s more refreshing than mayo and definitely healthier. Also, don’t forget that olive oil can be tossed in your bag and enjoyed on the go on top of salads and as a dip for bread.

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Stitchnapping!

That’s right, a horrible thing has happened here at the Zappos.com HQ. Elvis Stitch, (as in Lilo and Stitch) the action figure has been taken from Kathleen J’s desk! First of all, it really is a serious issue when things go missing from co-workers desks. Most of us (including myself) like to kidnap things from others from time to time…but once the laugh is over, give it back.

Here at Zappos we keep fun things on our desk because we can, and our culture encourages it. So please…just like we all learned in Kindergarten, keep your hands on your desk, and your desk only. (Unless you taking something from someone’s desk brings about a serious laugh and possibly a fun CSI to go with it.)

BRING STITCH BACK!!!

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Zappos Blog World Twitter Party (Part 1)

For those of you who follow our CEO Tony Hsieh (@zappos) on Twitter – which is roughly 13,000 of you – then you got the invite to our exclusive Twitter party hosted at Prive’ in the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino, here in our hometown Las Vegas.

@Zappos likes throw parties or Tweet-ups fairly often, but very rarely do the leading personalities on twitter get to join. Blog World Expo 2008 brought bloggers, podcasters, and all types of social media giants from all over together under one big roof in the Las Vegas Convention Center. And that, my blog-reading friends, was definitely something to throw a party about.

This week we will be sending you bits and pieces of our private party containing interviews from quite a few well known people in Social Media circles, as well as just some regular old party-goers, who lucky for them, might get a few more followers on Twitter from this one.

So if you’re not a huge social media buff or are having a hard time deciding which blog you will add on to the blogs you already follow religiously, then stay tuned, because we had a lot of web dwelling rock stars at this event.