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Zapponians Go Red for National Wear Red Day

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In honor of American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day on February 3rd, a few Zapponians proudly wore red to work. Our amazing Benefits Team also arranged for free blood pressure screenings and treated the entire Zappos HQ to red-colored foods in our Bistro.

Happy American Heart Month and Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

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Super Awesome Description-December 2011 Winner

The Super Awesome Description award is a way of recognizing a member of the Zappos Development content team once a month. If a product description is particularly witty or creative, anyone in the company can nominate the person who wrote it.  The nominations are then read by other members of the content department and voted upon; the description with the most votes wins. The writer of that description is rewarded with a trophy and a certificate, not to mention recognition from their peers.

Zappos Development, inc.,zappos content team,super awesome description,zappos cultureThe winner for December is Angelina F. Angelina is part of the clothing team and her witty description for the Lucky Brand Café Racer Jacket was too clever to ignore. Congratulations Angelina!

We asked Angelina a few fun questions to get to know her better. Check out her answers below!

What is your biggest Grammar pet peeve?

I used to teach writing and grammar to high school students, so my biggest pet peeve is the use of text message shorthand in formal writing. I can LOL with the best of them, but def not in a professional setting.

What inspired you when writing this description?

My incredibly cool mother and stepfather are avid Harley riders, so they are always my inspiration when I write about moto-inspired looks. Although, to be fair, they are both very punctual people.

What is your favorite Zappos core value?

Pursue Growth and Learning. I love that our culture encourages and celebrates individual growth.  Even better, growth and learning may come from taking one of our Pipeline classes, working through a department progression plan, or just having the freedom to try out that harebrained, but potentially brilliant, idea you just had.  

What's a fact people would be surprised to learn about you?

Even though my stuffed Lewis and Clark are always with me, I have very little interest in that period of American history. My undergrad thesis was actually about Shakespeare and Elizabethan England. The dolls were just a gift from a dear friend who knew I thought they were hilarious.

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Zappos Managers "Arrested" for a Good Cause

For Zappos Alcohol Awareness Week, we continued the tradition of “arresting” our managers to help educate and remind everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving. Remember: A cab ride is way cheaper than a DUI! Always drink responsibly!

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Zapponian Spotlight: Donny G.

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For the first Zapponian Spotlight of 2012, we’re getting to know a little bit about Donny G., a senior User Experience Designer from Zappos Development, Inc.

Donny considers Alaska his home state and moved around the country as a “military brat”.  The self-proclaimed “geek at heart” is also a talented athlete. Donny was an All-American basketball player in college and spent some time playing a little pro ball as well.




Read on to learn more about Donny:

Pick 3 words to describe your personal style

D: Passionate, Determined, Hippie

Who is your favorite musician or band?

D: Dave Matthews Band

Name 3 things you never leave home without?

D: Open mind, kind heart, and my cell phone

If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?

D: Would have been Steve Jobs but now I would say Warren Buffett

What’s the weirdest thing to ever happen to you?

D:  Growing up, for about 3 years straight every holiday (albeit Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) I ended up in the hospital from things like trying to jump over a car with my bike, playing hockey in the street, tackle football (no pads) with football buddies, etc.

What’s your favorite part about working at Zappos?

The awesome people I get the pleasure of working with!!!

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Goals Coach: Here's to Happiness

Here is your Action Quote For The Week:

Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.  Strive for excellence, not perfection.” – Musician, Jackson Brown

Your action for this week is to take an area in your personal life where you could be happier.  Ask yourself if you are doing the best you can.  If you are, don’t focus on the results.  Keep putting forth your best effort.  If you’re not, find ways to apply yourself more. 


Core Value #4:  Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded

Core Value #9:  Be Passionate and Determined


Yours in being happier,


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What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Darren walked around Zappos HQ to ask a few folks what their New Year’s resolutions are. What’s YOUR resolution for the coming year?

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2012!

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A New Year's Eve Wish Granted!

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As part of our Zappos Wishez program, one of the teams in our ZCLT department decided to grant the New Year’s Eve wish of one of their team members, Amber W.

Amber is getting married on NYE day in a simple courthouse ceremony. They wanted to celebrate the special day by watching her and her soon-to-be-hubby’s favorite band NOFX at the House of Blues. So, her team decided to spread some holiday cheer and grant Amber’s wish to make her special day even more memorable!

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New Year Resolutions: Kyle and Sonnet's Weight Loss Journey

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How did you lose the pounds?

I started with a simple plan. Counting calories and formal weight-loss systems didn’t work for me. I knew that some things needed to and that some things were not happening at all and they needed to occur. This was the basic weight loss outline: 

Write down everything you eat. No exceptions. One bite of a cookie? Write down ‘One bite of a cookie.’ Working towards a complete day of healthy eating was a nice subplot to my weight loss. It is very satisfying to see the patterns start to develop. It gets easier!

Eat slowly. I can’t stress this one enough. Being conscious of what I was eating and how much of it I was eating was absolutely imperative. After every single bite, I would ask myself ‘Am I full? How am I feeling?’ This was a huge step in getting to the point where I could control the amount of food I was eating -- a huge contributor to my bad habits.

No soda (diet or otherwise), sweet tea or sugary fruit drinks. No energy drinks. No sweet coffee drinks (i.e. Starbucks Frappuccinos or Double Shots... I used to INHALE those). I did a lot of label reading to make sure I wasn’t consuming huge amounts of sugar. I still follow this rule. I drank coffee, but I had very small amounts of sugar and creamer. I had lattes, but I either got sugar-free syrup or drank them plain. I actually drank more beer during my diet than any other time in my life and it didn’t seem to impact my progress. Recap: water, coffee, beer, and skim milk.

Snacks! If I snacked, I snacked on vegetables I liked, but I mostly focused on yogurt, granola and smoothies. Occasionally I would substitute a smoothie for a meal. I didn’t starve myself; I ate at regular intervals throughout the day so that the temptation to overeat at a meal wasn’t overwhelming.

Work out. I did exercises that worked the major muscle groups (quads, pectorals and abs), and this all occurred in my living room floor. Manual exercises with gradually increasing reps. Push-ups were my bread and butter, and I tried to do at least 100, every other night. I had to work my way up to that. Running was off and on, mainly because I found that my body responded differently every time I ran and it became too much of a mental battle to go consistently. I love to run, but it wasn’t working for this experiment. That, and it burns less calories.

Healthy calories. Lots of fish, vegetables, fruit and grilled chicken. Different combinations of those things. I actually researched the top 10 healthiest things you can eat and I tried to just eat from that list.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I really, really love salmon. Salmon, tilapia, most any fish, mainly because it can be prepared so many different ways.

What was the hardest thing for you to give up?

I drank sweet tea with every meal. Penn Station was a favorite of mine, and that had to go. I often get pretty amused, when I think about the things that I routinely ate at coffee shops and restaurants.

Any tips for the rest of us?

I realize that what I did won’t work for everyone, but getting the basics of what goes into your body down is all there is to it, in my opinion. You can’t cheat science and gain weight inexplicably by eating things that are natural. It’s cause and effect. You will get healthier. It’s also simple math -- burn more than you eat and you have to lose weight.

I found that in talking to people about their habits that at least one element from weight loss was always missing. It takes all the elements. No gimmicks, no magical drinks, no bizarrely engineered shoes -- no shortcuts. Don’t cut corners. Do yourself a favor and don’t be wishy-washy about it. Do it. I cannot explain the amount of pride that I feel from accomplishing what I did. I lost fifty-five pounds (in six months), and it’s one of the best achievements of my life!

What's in store for your weight loss journey in 2012?

Maintain, maintain, maintain. This should be easier because I’ve regained control of what I eat and my overall health. I’ve worked too hard to squander my progress, so that weighs on my mind when I feel like I’ve started a trend in an unhealthy direction.



What made you want to lose weight? 

Being on camera can make a gal self conscious about her weight.  It doesn't help that I had trolls calling me a whale on my videos.  I was pushing 200 lbs. on my 30th birthday and I remember looking for a dress and having to ride the escalator up to the plus-sized section. I cried the whole way up.   

How did you drop those pounds?

I have a fitness app on my phone that I use all the time.  I've been using it for a year now and I love it!  I programmed in all my favorite meals, so all I have to do is select what I had at mealtime and it counts my calories for me.  It also subtracts my exercise from the equation and gives me a nutrient summary as well as a chart to track my weight.  This app stays on my home screen at all times, because I use it constantly.

I exercise four days a week, but most of those workouts are pretty easy.  Sometimes I play catch for 30 minutes with my boyfriend, I'll read a book on the treadmill, go to water aerobics, or play “Just Dance” on Wii.  I only make myself "tomato faced" once a week and that's usually through Spin, Kickboxing, or Zumba class.  

Variety is the key to fending-off boredom!

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I love apple-cinnamon oatmeal.  For lunch, I can have a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins for only 470 calories.

What was the hardest thing for you to give up?

I didn't give up a lot of foods. I mostly focus on portion control. However, I did have a major cheese addiction and I quit cold turkey.

Any tips for the rest of us?  

1.   Slow and steady wins the race.  Once upon a time I was trying to impress a boy, so I did one of those excruciating diet and exercise plans.  It worked. I lost 30 lbs in no time, but I couldn't keep up that kind of pace.  I don't think anyone can.  What they don't tell you when you buy into these extreme fitness workouts, is that when you lose weight too quickly, your body thinks it is threatened with starvation and goes into survival mode. It fights to conserve your fat stores, and any weight loss comes mostly from water and muscle. Sure enough, as soon as I starting eating like normal, I gained twice the weight that I had lost!

4 years later, I decided that I wanted to be the same weight I was when I started dating my boyfriend (Yes, the one I tried to impress to by losing weight. And no, he didn't seem to care that I had gained 65 lbs. Apparently, he had liked me before I lost the initial weight in the beginning of this story.  What a sweet guy!) 

I also decided that seeing as though it took me 3 years to put it on, I would take 3 years to slowly ease it off.

 2.   Your weight will have peaks and valleys, but don't worry about it.  I love the fact that my fitness app will let me set my graph to a 3 month view, so I can see the bigger picture and not worry about the fact that I gained 3 lbs overnight from eating too many Christmas cookies.

3.  Drinking anything but water is a waste of calories.  A friend of mine used to drink sweet tea ALL the time.  The moment he gave it up, he lost 10 lbs. from that alone.

4.  Eat slow.  When you gobble down your for food, you eat more.  I like to play a game called eat slower than the person across from me.  They don't know that they are playing, so I usually win.

5.  Don't drench your salad in high calorie dressing! Eating a salad is pointless if you're going to add a 300 calories worth of salad dressing on top. I usually pour a spoonful of my favorite lite dressing on the side of my salad. When I eat it, I dip my fork in the dressing before grabbing some lettuce and I get just a taste of dressing, which is all I need.

What's in store for your weight loss journey in 2012?

I'm happy to say that I didn't stick to by 3 year plan.  By my projections I will be hitting my goal in only 2 years and I'm pretty excited about that!