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Q&A with Arianna Huffington on Thrive

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Arianna Huffington’s memoir, Thrive, is out today and we were able to talk with her about her inspiration for the book, tips for finding balance and what she thinks is the real key to success in life. Check out zulily today for a great deal on the book and a selection of Arianna’s must-haves to find rest, relaxation and balance in life. 

What inspired you to write Thrive? Tell us a bit about its message.

I had my personal wakeup call on April 6, 2007, when I found myself on the floor in a pool of blood. I had collapsed on the floor from exhaustion and lack of sleep, breaking my cheekbone and cutting my eye. I was working eighteen-hour days to build The Huffington Post, joining the ranks of the more than 30% of Americans who are sleep deprived. This painful wakeup call taught me that while I might have been considered successful by our society’s misguided definition, I was not living a successful life by any truly healthy, productive — and sane — definition of success.

Over time our society’s notion of success has been reduced to money and power. In fact, at this point, success, money, and power have practically become synonymous in the minds of many. This idea of success can work— or at least appear to work— in the short term. But over the long term, money and power by themselves are like a two-legged stool— you can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over. And more and more people— very successful people— are toppling over. Thrive’smessage is that, to live the lives we truly want and deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need a Third Metric, a third measure of success that goes beyond the two metrics of money and power, and consists of four pillars: well- being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.

What is your definition of success in life?

My wakeup call taught me that a sane definition of success has to go beyond how much money we can make, how big a house we can buy, and how high we can climb up the career ladder. Jobs and financial security will always be important, but when we fall into the trap of chasing only the successes build on money, fame and power, we miss out on the happiness, purpose and meaning that come from reaching out to others, pausing to wonder, and connecting to that place from which everything is possible.

How do you balance being a successful business woman, a mom and a healthy person?

Nothing brings me joy like spending time with my daughters. It puts everything else into perspective. And I have worked to integrate certain practices into my day—meditation, walking, exercise— and the connection that conscious breathing gives me is something I can return to hundreds of times during the day in an instant. Finally, I strive to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and I make sure I have my iPhone and BlackBerrys (yes, plural!) charging far, far away from my bed, to help me avoid the middle-of-the-night temptation to check the latest news or latest emails.

You often say, “sleep your way to the top,” what do you mean by that?

Our creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, and decision making can all be enhanced simply by getting enough sleep. By sleeping more we, in fact, become more competent and in control of our lives. It gives new meaning to the old canard of women sleeping our way to the top. Women have already broken glass ceilings in Congress, space travel, sports, business, and the media— imagine what we can do when we’re all fully awake.

When you’re a mom, usually the first thing to go is your sleep. What advice would you give to our moms for getting a good night’s rest?

The sleep experts I have consulted with have provided me a number of additional sleep tips. Here are some of the ones I found the most useful:

- Get a new pillow. And a new pillowcase.

- Make your bedroom darker and keep it cool.

- Practice deep breathing before bed.

- Take a warm bath before bed.

- Exercise or at least walk every day.

- Banish all LCD screens (computer, smart phones, Blackberry, TV) at night.

- Cut down on coffee after 2 p.m.

Are You in a Shopaholic City?

Who says a little retail therapy can’t help you get through a rough patch or a parenting breakdown? Today, we announced our first annual list of Shopaholic Cities. We found that the cities with the most purchases of kids fashion are New York, Miami and Houston. To determine the Shopaholic Cities, we analyzed data from the top 20 largest cities across the United States, combining the average total purchases on children’s fashion made in an average month with the frequency of purchases. Florida and California each have two cities in the top 10, with Miami, Tampa, San Francisco and San Diego also making the list.

Who Wears it Best?

Digging deeper into the minds of moms, we also recently ran a Facebook poll to find out if moms are buying more for themselves or for their kids. The findings were a bit surprising:

  • 85 percent of mothers say they spent more on their kids’ clothes in the past year than they did on their own wardrobe
  • 84 percent of moms said their children sport a more stylish wardrobe than they do
  • More than half of moms admit to sneaking a purchase in for themselves while shopping for their kids

Based on average shopping cart spend and frequency of purchase in an average month, here are the top 10 cities for kids fashion and some of the popular trends zulily is seeing in each region.

  1. New Yorkers look great in the popular puffy coat. With the bitter winter, it’s no surprise.
  2. Miami kids are all about swimsuits. Rash guards and short are popular trends for boys while girls sport tankinis in bright prints.
  3. Houston girls stay chic with daisy floral printed dresses. Houston moms can also sport a similar floral numbers themselves.
  4. Dallas is all about denim. Maybe it’s the cowboy at heart but from chambray, to jeans and overalls, but Dallas kids rock the trend.
  5. Atlanta kids sport the printed t-shirt, expressing their personality through their tees, with funny images, words, and logos.
  6. Tampa kids know how to accessorize with flair to go with their outfits, like watches, headbands, bracelets, and necklaces.
  7. Chicago keeps warm from the windy city with hoodies for kids.
  8. San Francisco makes flats fun. San Franciscans – both moms and their kiddos – are sporting flats all over town, whether its boots, sandals or sneakers, consider it a “no heels zone.”
  9. Cleveland rocks with darker and edgier clothes with rocker, music themed wear, decked out with jewels, studs and sequins.
  10. San Diego has painted its town plaid, sporting this look in shorts, shirts and dresses.

zulily has the scoop on The Bump Best of Baby winners

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One of our favorite sites for all things pregnancy and parenting, TheBump.com, today announced the second-annual Best of Baby product awards. The awards feature the best gear and products of 2013 for mom and baby. 

We spoke with deputy editor Elena Donovan Mauer to get the scoop on the awards. This is the second year that TheBump.com editors have done the awards, and according to Elena, it’s a huge undertaking. The editors reviewed hundreds of products—from baby carriers to cribs—to find the items that truly excel in design, practicality, value, functionality, saving time, problem solving and innovation. According to Elena, the editorial staff really looks for products that can help a busy mom. And The Bump is really thorough; just take a look at the amount of strollers they had to test out! Elena said that while it’s a lot of work to evaluate all the products, everyone in the office gets excited about the project and seeing all the products come in.

The Bump selects 100 winning products across 27 categories including baby carriers, high chairs, cribs, breast pumps and more. You can see the full list of winners here.

Starting March 21, zulily will feature 35+ of these winners in The Bump Best of Baby sale! These award winners will go fast, so be sure to set your alarm. 

Devon’s Discoveries: Stroller and Car Seat

I can hardly believe that Baby #2 will be here in two weeks or less! Nursery is done, hospital bags are packed, we’ve read I’m A Big Sister to Bean a hundred times… in other words, I think we’re ready! 

Although the house was all ready, I had been putting off transportation methods because it seemed silly to get them ready too soon.  But with just two weeks to go, I figured that now was a good time to get everything unpacked and figure out (again) how to use it all.

We dusted off our trusty infant car seat, the Chicco KeyFit Infant Carrier, which is an amazing car seat.  It is easy to use, nice to look at, and the one that we have holds up to a 22-pound baby.  I’ll have DA install the base while I’m at the hospital, but it’s out and ready to go, so at least I don’t have to try to explain which closet it’s stuffed into while I’m in labor! 

When I found out I was pregnant with Baby #2, I also quickly jumped on zulily and ordered a Phil & Ted’s Black Promenade Buggy, which has the option of converting to a double stroller.  Bean would never tolerate her previous stroller for longer than twenty minutes, so the Phil & Ted’s stroller was a revelation… Bean will sit in this comfortable stroller for up to an hour without making a peep. 

Last week, I wanted to make sure I knew how to attach the Second Seat and the Infant Car Seat Adapter. Much to my happy surprise, it was super intuitive and I had the Adapter installed in about thirty seconds.  I popped the Chicco Carrier on the Adapter to make sure everything worked as planned and, in under a minute, saw my single stroller transform into a single-profile double stroller!  Hurrah!  The best thing that I learned while installing the Adapter is that I didn’t lose my storage space under the stroller.  I was worried that the second seat/adapter would take up the whole storage bin, but it actually leaves me with plenty of room for emergency diapers, a blanket, and even a small bag of groceries. 

 

All of our wheels are ready to go!  And next time I check in with you guys, Baby #2 will be here!  Wish us luck!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Design Trend Tips: Vintage Chic

Just in time for spring cleaning and home makeovers, the hottest new home trend is out—and it’s vintage chic! Inspired by dainty geometric prints, rustic staples and old-timey accents, this style thrives on thrift store finds and DIY projects—but we’ve put together a quick guide with some of our own finds.

First, begin with a color palette of ivories and pastels. Soft hues like mint, ice blue and soft pink are all staples of vintage chic. Key accents you can look out for are driftwood, burlap, linen and mercury and hobnail glass. These pieces embody the look of the antique aesthetic.

Bedroom: Focus on making practical essentials unique with romantic details. Antiqued metal organizers, driftwood frames, distressed paint dressers and ruffled comforters are some ways to play up the timeless trend.

Bathroom: Classic minimalism with a rustic edge should be the mantra of a vintage chic bathroom. A mix of clean ceramic accessories and rustic accents creates a lovely ambiance—woven bins and hobnail jars are perfect for organizing toiletries.  Throw in some in some fun retro art for an extra accent.

Kid’s Bedroom: Enrich your child’s space practically with some old-timey art, a simple bedframe, plush throw rug and rustic shelving.

Kitchen: Hobnail jars are great for storing food or showing off a fresh bouquet, while sunny retro prints on towels or curtains complement milky ceramic dishes quite nicely with an ambiance that is fresh, warm and inviting.

 

 

Family Room: Capture this trend with furniture, rugs and throw pillows in clean, simple, geometric prints and soft colors. Add rustic accents like a wooden side table or driftwood art to complete a space that’s just as interesting as it is relaxing.

OutdoorsAntiqued metal furniture is perfect for some outdoor family time, and you can add ambiance with a few strings of outdoor lights. For the gardening family, a chalkboard organizer is a lovely way to store yardwork supplies.