Kids

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH BROOKE BURKE-CHARVET

School supplies… new clothes… and of course, the latest Skechers styles for school! As we prep our kids for BTS, we thought we’d get some tips from one of our favorite moms: Brooke Burke-Charvet. The busy Skechers ambassador, fitness guru, entrepreneur and mom of four tells us how she manages the BTS frenzy with her big brood, and what it takes to juggle school with everything else on her plate.

The new school year is here!  Do you have any tips on how to prep for the chaos that surrounds back to school?

bye-bye-summer-igI think it’s important to get really organized.  You have to try to gradually get your children back into a routine – including bedtimes. I like to do a lot of shopping online. Of course, I have all of the Skechers lined up for fall! I also set goals during the summer so the kids aren’t cramming and trying to develop new habits in the chaos of back to school; they read a couple chapters a day from easy, age-appropriate books. I think one of the keys is finding material that children can respond to, that they’re personally interested in. We also make it family time – I get into bed and read at night while my children are reading beside me, which makes it more enjoyable.

How do you make sure that your kids balance their activities with their schoolwork?

I’ve learned to listen to each child and make adjustments along the way. My son plays soccer, baseball and basketball and he’s able to manage that – but he’s going into third grade, so it’s a little bit easier at that stage in life. My nine-year-old’s a dancer, and there have been semesters in her life where she’s had to put her practice on hold to keep up with schoolwork. With my teenagers, it’s a matter of the homework and school load, and finding that balance with extracurricular wishes. I don’t ever like to have my kids overly stimulated. I like to figure out what’s just enough for them so they can manage their school load. It’s really about finding that sweet spot of balance for each child, and it’s different for all of them.

Any tricks that you use at home to keep the kids organized?
One of the great things that I learned from an elementary school teacher and have used since my older daughter was in second grade is a homework box. It’s great for young kids, and it’s really simple. You get a box and you put all of the school supplies in there, everything from glue to scissors to crayons to pencils and markers – anything a child needs at that particular age. So when they sit down to do their homework, they pull out the box, have all their supplies, and they’re not getting up five times. There are no distractions. And it’s been so helpful. It encourages them to be self-sufficient and get organized.

whiteboardI also just painted my daughter’s wall with whiteboard paint so that she can write out all of her schedules – we painted a certain area and she’s got dry erase markers so she can schedule and add little reminders, which eliminate all the post-it notes.

As a working mom, I use a weekly tear-away calendar pad that I love – it’s basically a big seven-day calendar because I feel like with monthly calendars, you can’t fit in much stuff.  On Sunday night, I map out everyone’s schedule for the week: times, school, drop off, pick up, who’s doing what – it’s usually me when I can, but without that visual list, the household cannot run properly.

On Saturday night, I tear the last week off, throw it away and start a new week. It’s a tear-away pad that stays at home, but it’s big enough that I can organize everything on there.

You’re a fitness icon for a lot of women. Do you share your love of fitness with your kids?

Yes, I really do believe in family fitness. And I try to lead by example. My oldest daughter is a varsity cheerleader which takes up a lot of time, but it gives her a sense of loyalty and leadership at school, so that’s really great. Two of my daughters dance. My son plays every sport. My nine-year-old rides horses. It’s really about figuring out what’s enough, what’s too much – and introducing them to a lot of different things.

You come up with simple but fantastic ways to stay organized.

One of my favorites is that I set the breakfast table at night before I go to bed. It helps because with tired kids, nobody can make a decision in the morning, and we’re all rushing. I set it up at night and figure out what everybody wants – that way, I know they’re starting their day out right with a great breakfast. Some days it might be a smoothie on the road when we’re on the go, so I’m at least getting some nutrition in – but on a good day when the table’s set the night before and I know what everybody wants, it’s one less thing for me to do. I can get up a little earlier and get them set up.

img_0401

Speaking of food, how do you pack healthy school lunches?
It’s really tricky. I try to pack the good part of the lunch boxes the night before. I do healthy snacks, but also let them have something enjoyable, because every kid wants something yummy that someone else is packing. I have a snack drawer with packaged goods because you can only do so much, it has to be convenient – so maybe it’s healthy chips, a protein bar, granola bar, popcorn, seaweed – but it’s easy stuff they can grab. They get one of those, and they choose a fruit.

final-1Some days, I make chicken fried rice, a sandwich on whole wheat bread, or even chicken taquitos that I heat up in the morning and put in heat-saving containers. Every mom knows that half the stuff comes home anyway. Don’t throw it away, bring it home! If it comes home, I know you didn’t dig it. If you throw it away and your bag comes home empty, I’m clueless as to what you do and don’t want. I think the most valuable thing to being successful as a parent is communication: talking, tweaking and listening. We don’t get the information we need unless we ask the right questions.

I also have a little snack bag or cooler in my car for drinks and snacks. Every mom knows you pick up a starving child from school – I don’t care what they’ve eaten or what you’ve packed for them, they are cranky and they are hungry. Hangry is one of my favorite terms… there is nothing worse than a hangry mom and a hangry child! So I always have something like popcorn, nuts, a bar. And drinks like a cold ice tea or a lemonade to hydrate them.

How do you connect with your kids after a long day at school?

One of the things I’ve learned about raising older kids: you pick them up, you haven’t seen them all day, you’re dying for a conversation, you ask them a bunch of questions, and you get completely shut down or blown off. I used to wonder, what’s up with that? I’ve learned to pick up my older children, not say a whole lot and let them decompress. Like, hi – how was your day. Stop, listen, wait. The truth is that teenagers need a moment to let go of the stress of their day. And when my daughter has decompressed for a moment, she’ll engage. Just hitting the pause button and being patient and being more open to listening than drilling is really helpful.

With little ones, we use dinner as a time to connect. We’ll play a little game like “tell me the worst part of your day and the best part of your day.” Because if you just say “What did you do at school?” it’s so vague. If I can tap into specific questions with my kids later in the day, they love to share something crazy, something quirky, something terrible, something amazing. They love that. And that really inspires conversation. So creative questions help get our dialogue going.

Huge thanks to Brooke Burke-Charvet for all of her great advice! What techniques do you use to get your kids back to school?

A PERFECT FIT: SIZE YOUR KIDS’ FEET

With back-to-school in full swing, we have a lot of parents visiting our stores to grab new shoes for their kids’ growing feet. Much of mom’s and dad’s attention focuses on what styles to buy for their little ones (More Skechers Memory Foam sneaks for boys and girls? Twinkle ToesS Lights or Skech-Air? Mega Blades and Game Kicks for fun? So many options!) but many parents overlook one of the most crucial elements of shoe shopping: the importance of properly sizing your kids’ feet. After all, running in shoes all day long is serious business!

If you want to get into the science of it all, our kids are actually born with cartilage in their feet, which doesn’t completely become bone until they’re around 16-18. A good fit tester will tell you that it’s not just where your toes are, but also the width of your foot, your heel shape, arch support and more. So where to start?

IMG_2427Skechers stores are one great option, where our associates can help parents find comfortable shoes for their kids. Believe it or not, sizing is a lot more fun than it used to be! We still have tools like the Brannock Device (you know, that old school metal contraption you’d stand on) but now our stores also offer a much more fun way to size kids’ soles.

Our colorful blue Skechers Kids mats have bright orange footprints that are fun for kids to jump on, and they measure their feet in seconds flat. A lot more kid-friendly, which makes for a much happier shopping experience.

IMG_2299But what happens if you’re at home and want to buy your kids’ shoes online in the comfort of your home? No fear, Skechers has found a way. Enter the Skechers Fit Guide: a quick and easy way to get your kids’ feet sized up right at home. All you need is a printer, ruler, scissors, some scotch tape and voila – your very own foot sizer!

IMG_2360

Some tips to keep in mind when you’re sizing:

– Measure kids’ soles while they’re standing.

– Make sure to measure both feet, and order the size that fits the longer foot.

– If your child is between sizes, always get the bigger one (remember, their feet grow fast!) or you can buy a shoe that’s up to a half size over your kid’s current foot size to give yourself a little more time before you have to head back to Skechers for the next pair.

– Keep an eye out for the blue borders on our Fit Guide – if your kid’s feet overlap onto them, Skechers also offers select children’s styles in wide width sizes, which may be a more comfortable fit.

Once you get your kid’s shoes, there are additional ways you can make sure that they’re a great fit. Check where your child’s toes end, and make sure that there’s a half a thumbnail width from the end of the toes to the front of the shoes. A lesser known but equally important tip: see if the widest part of your kid’s feet is in the same place as the widest part of the new shoes. It’s important that shoes flex in the right place on your child’s feet, which can only happen if they fit properly and aren’t too big.

Ready to measure your kid’s soles at home? Let us know how it goes!

HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again… it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the end of school, and now suddenly we’re prepping to head back!  At a time when we should be celebrating the end of summer, we often find ourselves racing around like mad to get everything ready for the kids’ big day. What do you do to prepare?  We asked MEGLEEWEST fashion blogger and mom of three Meghan Westbrook how she plans her attack, and she had a lot of great ideas on how to stay organized and relieve potential first day jitters.

Shopping: Supplies and Clothing

As soon as the supply lists come in the mail, I hit the store immediately.  A lot of things sell out quickly and I want to make sure I get all the items on their lists with plenty of time to spare.  I try to purchase extra where it seems reasonable. Often teachers will ask for additional supplies throughout the year as they run out, so I’m one step ahead of the game when these lists get sent home and my items are ready to go.  It’s also good to have extra pencils, glue, and markers at home for school projects.  I can’t tell you how many times I learned this the hard way doing last-minute projects in years past that I didn’t have glue for, or tape for that matter!

As far as clothing, I keep things to a minimal to start.  Let’s be honest – underwear and sock restocks are first on the list!  A fresh couple pairs of PJs as we slide into the chillier evenings of fall somehow makes everyone “sleep” better (strange but true!).  We go through everyone’s closet and drawers and pull out anything that doesn’t fit so 1. we are decluttered and 2. we know what we have to start.  I like to take those items to a consignment store and get a little cash back in my pocket to help with the new items we’re about to shop for (cha-ching!).

Generally, I look for a couple pair of jeans, pants (leggings for my daughter and something easy to pull on for my son, such as joggers), a couple new tees that aren’t too summery (great to layer under long sleeved items), a couple tops with longer sleeves, a hoodie, as well as a fall coat and new backpack, if needed.   The most important item on my list though is SHOES!  Everyone needs new shoes – especially kids with their fast-growing feet!!  My kids require a great pair of gym shoes and then I like something a little more casual in addition to those, to give them variety.  Gym shoes in my opinion are the number one playground necessity!  I want them to be comfortable as they are running around (like when my daughter chases the boys) and provide support while they are in gym class.  My son will be looking snazzy and cool in his Burst – In the Mix Skechers.  My daughter will be equally fun and fresh in her Burst – Ellipse pair.  These are great choices as they both provide Air-Cooling technology and Memory Foam.

Haircuts

Haircut 2 - finalThis section is quite simple… your kids need haircuts!  I’m telling you.  Even if you cut their hair a few weeks ago, plan the back to school cuts 1-2 weeks before school starts.  Most often Picture Day happens in the first couple weeks, so what you think “looks good” now, will probably NOT look good in a couple more weeks, trust me.  I have mom-failed at this many times!  Make your appointments a month before school starts and set them for 1-2 weeks prior to the big day.  The earlier you call, the more appointment times you’ll have to choose from.  Don’t be left trying to fight the crowd or worse, wait until after school starts and fight your schedule and the kids’ new schedule!
My daughter and I hit the mall for her cut.  She has a hot pink streak in her hair that we get touched up every six months.  My boys, on the other hand, can head out with dad.  What a fun date day!  The girls can hit the mall and shop (win-win) while the boys can hit the barber and… well, do whatever it is that dudes do!  My guy will be heading out in style.  My hubby is sporting his Relaxed Fit – Palen – Nieto kicks with gel-infused memory foam.  My oldest is feeling as cool as daddy in his memory foam Outgo kicks!

 

Lunch Planning and Schedules

Why is lunch planning important?  Because I guarantee you your child does not eat the same thing today that he/she did last week.  OK, welcome to lunch planning.  I sit down with each child a week or so before school and talk about lunch items they had last year, things I have noticed them eating or not eating this summer, and go over expectations – both mine and theirs.  We brainstorm new lunch menus.  I want to make sure I am not heading to the grocery store buying items they won’t eat, but in fact getting items they have requested within reason.  If your kids buy hot lunch at school, you can turn this into dinner planning with the same concept.

Lunch Planning 2 - FINAL

Additionally I like to go over their schedules as far as afterschool activities.  This way, everyone knows where they are going each evening if they do have an activity.  This also helps with dinner planning.  Lastly, I check the old containers and this is usually a good time to replenish the stock of sealed containers, purchase new water bottles and thermoses, as well new ice packs.  One last key item to bring this all together… a new lunchbox! Skechers even has their very own here.

Mornings are busy.  Keep things simple by finding something easy to throw on without taking the extra time to lace up while running out the door.  I’ll be sending my littlest off in his Lil Lad – Swagy soles.  My oldest will be confident in his Skechers Throwbax.  My daughter will be the talk of the bus stop in her Nebula – Prism Pop Skechers, and she wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’ll be keeping things easy and comfy in my air cooled, Flex Appeal 2.0 memory foam sneaks.

First Day Expectations

I like to get the kids back into a routine before the big day (or try to, anyway).  We hit Move-In Night at our school so they can meet their new teachers, find their lockers, and see their friends they’ve been missing all summer.  We review where other classrooms are and talk about the bus route if we have any changes for the new school year.  Taking a trip to the bus stop and reminding them to “BEHAVE – this is someone else’s driveway you’re standing in every morning” is always a plus!

Then there is that First Day outfit.  We choose our outfit a couple days before and get everything laid out and ready to go to make sure that first morning is a breeze, or close to it!  Do you take photos the first day?  We do.  I’ll admit they are usually lame with us all standing at the bus stop holding fingers in the air to show what grade everyone is in.  This year, I decided to get all Pinteresty and make signs.  OK, I bought signs, and I bought chalk.  Cute, simple, and reusable!  My little Princess will hopping her way to her classroom in her lighted Twinkle Toes – Shuffles – Sweetheart Sole.  My 4th grader’s stylin’ in those kicks he wore with dad earlier, Outgo.  And our little man’s just turning two, but he needs shoes to run around in as well – his Lil Lad – Swagy will allow him to do just that.

Chalkboard pic

Enjoy Summer!

This should be a no-brainer… ENJOY THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER!  You know it flew by.  Take time in these weeks before school starts to enjoy your time as a family.  Get the ice cream you’ve been promising all summer.  Hit up the local Farmer’s Market.  Go see that movie they’ve been waiting to see.  Take one last road trip if you can.  Hit up the park and have a picnic.  Spend the time with your children before school starts.  Continue to make the memories and build on the bonds you have created.  My husband is doing it all in his Oldis – Stound Skechers (at select Skechers retail stores) – they go with everything and make chasing little ones around a breeze.  I like to be stylish, but I also like comfort and mobility.  The Jitter Bug sandals (at select Skechers retail stores) give me the best of both worlds!

We all have our lists, our To-Dos, our plans.  Yes, there are things that need to get done.  I encourage you to get those items checked off your list quickly and efficiently as soon as you can so you can truly embrace the last days of summer.  Because let’s face it… next summer is a long ways away!  XOXO

Enjoying Summer 3

 

Photo of Meghan WestbrookMeghan Westbrook is the blogger of the fashion, beauty and style site, MEGLEEWEST. Check out her tips and pics of the newest trends, home decor and more at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

BTS 2016: HOT NEW STYLES FOR BOYS

Part two of our top trends for kids: the boys are back and ready to rule school! So many of Skechers’ latest looks are standout styles for comfort, color and cool, and these four topped our list as must-haves – offering everything from the latest gaming technology to roomy, cushioned comfort.

NITRATE – PULSAR

2

The Nitrate – Pulsar pairs the latest looks with the future of technology: Skech Knit mesh makes this a nearly one piece upper (so huge seamless comfort for kids) and fresh new 3D printed details perfect for racing into school. Jump into an easy slip-on design with stretch laces and a comfy gel-infused memory foam insole, and you’re ready to go.

SKECH-AIR – TURBO SHOCKS

3 (I'll crop out the woman in the bkgd)

Skech-Air – Turbo Shocks are perfect for guys on the go… these shoes look blazingly fast with a black and silver upper, combined with a bold and fearless dual translucent green and orange air cushion outsole. Boys will love racing on air in these sneaks! And moms and dads can take comfort in the athletic mesh fabric and gel-infused memory foam, which means all-day comfort for their feet.

RIVE

4

Sleek, fast and vibrant, the Rive sneaker is a popular favorite with boys. An easy slip-on athletic with glossy overlays, orange pops and a cool white bottom that’s super-smart. Plus it’s made with comfy breathable mesh fabric to keep you fast on your toes.

DAMAGER – GAME KICKS II FIGHT

3

Gamers unite: here’s a style that’s sure to captivate kids into the year… the shoe that you play! Boys love the Damager – Game Kicks II Fight sneaker’s airplane game feature. Complete with a metallic leather upper that’s reminiscent of an old school fighter plane, this shoe’s got lights, sound and even a remote game controller!

1

Love our week’s top picks for boys and girls? Have some favorites of your own? Tell us in the comments!

 

BTS 2016: HOT NEW STYLES FOR GIRLS

We are so excited for school this fall! We raided the Skechers vault for the hottest new kids’ looks, and found tons of color, lights and bling perfect for making a big entrance this season. Check out a few of our top picks!

SKECHERS BURST – EQUINOX

1

We are really loving Skechers’ heathered jersey knit: not only is the look totally on-trend, the comfort is unbelievable… they’re so soft on your feet! This Burst – Equinox sneaker is no exception: from the upper to the air-cooled memory foam. The pink color pops give these versatile soles a fun burst of color, and the single strap and slip-on bungee lacing makes it easy for kids to jump in.

SKECH-AIR – STARDUST

2

These brilliantly pink Skech-Air – Stardust soles are perfect for little ones who love to stand out… not only are they super-easy to throw on (thank you, stretch bungee!) but their comfy air pillow outsoles are totally unique… take a peek! They’re made of glittery purple stars – oh-so adorable, and perfect for running on (or showing off to friends).

TWINKLE TOES: SHUFFLES – SWEETHEART SOLE

2

Metallics and quilted looks are huge this season, so what could be better than pairing the two together? Twinkle Toes heard the call: enter the Shuffles – Sweetheart Sole, so cool in quilted metallic canvas. The bejeweled buckles, rhinestone toe caps and flashing lights make these sneaks totally glam for BTS.

TWINKLE TOES: SHUFFLES – TWIRLY TOES

3

Here’s a great limited edition style for fall: Twinkle Toes: Shuffles – Twirly Toes is a classic white sneak that’s totally glam and unique, thanks to the flashes of color and bling. It’s dressed up with glittery gold, ombre rainbow stretch laces, sequins and rhinestone gems. And it even lights up! LOVE.

Want to see the latest in boys’ styles? Come back on Thursday and check out Part Two of our top back-to-school trends series!

MUST-DO MONDAY: PREP YOUR KIDS FOR SUMMER

Just a few more weeks before the kids are out of school! Summer’s a favorite time for children and families, but you can make it even better with a little pre-planning. Check out all the ways you can turn three months into a lifetime of great memories.

2The great outdoors. Hiking, swimming, waterskiing, river rafting, arts and crafts, s’mores and camp songs. Whether it’s day camp or week-long caravans, summer’s a great time for kids to explore mountains, forests, beaches, caves and more. Sign them up for their favorite activities, or try out a few new ones. Space is often limited and goes quickly for the most popular camps, so be sure to start early and lock in spots now for your little ones.

Travel. If you’ve been itching for a place to take your kids beyond the classic camp adventure, summer’s the perfect season to venture to new cities, states, and even countries if you’re feeling ambitious. Create your very own adventure by stocking up on travel books at the bookstore or library, and choose a place that the entire family can explore. Hotels, motels, RVs, home rentals – there are a million ways to get to know a new place. Poll your coworkers, ask friends and go online for tips on hidden restaurants and local haunts. If heading abroad, check your passports now: a non-rush renewal can take four to six weeks, and kids’ passports expire every five years (plus some countries require that your passport expires at least six months after your trip dates).

IMG_6802Gear up. Every outdoor outing needs gear to match! Stock up on 30 SPF sunscreen and sun hats to keep the rays off the kids, along with UV-protective polycarbonate sunglasses that offer shatterproof protection. Do a test run of their swim suits to avoid any surprises on pool day. And stock up on name tags and labels so they come home with everything they left home with (or at least as much as possible).

Skechers has some great summer styles as well: sandals for the sand, water-friendly shoes and rugged boots for the outdoors. And of course, our go-anywhere collection of sneakers for boys and girls.

Indoor fun. Indoor time has never been more fun and imaginative – thanks to the slew of creative activities at your disposal. Get them lost in all kinds of worlds through your favorite books. Strike up your own masterpiece with coloring books. Become the master of popsicle and ice cream makers, and new discoveries like kinetic sand and science kits that cover everything from electricity to magnetics, chemistry and more. You can even order caterpillars for kids and help them grow their very own butterflies.

3Above all, make memories. Take a few minutes out of every day to enjoy the longer days (and stargazing nights) and spend some time together. Even the simplest experiences (an evening walk, dinner outdoors, a board game) can mean a lot to your kids. Collect snaps of this summer’s adventures to share with family and friends now, and your kids in the future. Most importantly, do everything you can to live in the moment and enjoy the most special thing in our lives: each other.

Styles shown: the Empire – Rock Around sneaker in Neon Pink/Coral and the Skech Appeal – Fabtastic sneaker in Gray/Mint.

BLOG TAKEOVER: A DAY IN A MOM’S LIFE

 

In celebration of Mother’s Day next week, we asked the multi-talented Amy Kavelaris to share moments of her life as a mom. The artist, author, illustrator, art school owner and blogger dressed up in her favorite Skechers and shared her personal side with us in a series of beautiful snaps that chronicle a day in her life.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Although I work from home several days a week, we are also constantly on-the-go. Truth be told, we are crazy about our Skechers and how they have every kind of shoe for every activity under the sun. Their Skechers Memory Foam insoles are dreamy and I am often amazed at all of the different beautiful styles!

Here we are at my art school, Bloom-Prints Studio. In this beautiful, eclectic space, with original hard-wood plank floors dating back to the turn of the century, I am constantly inspired while teaching fine art classes to all ages.

Art Studio 1

“Surround yourself with great content” has always been my motto, so as often as we can, our little family loves to find a great museum, or a historical site for inspiration. We adore our Milwaukee Art Museum, and the classes and enrichment they offer (you might have seen it featured in Transformers 3).

Since my husband and I both own businesses, we are constantly working. So, as a family we find it crucial to unplug and find time to play with our sweet girl. We live in the Midwest in an area called the “Lake Country.” So of course whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter… you can usually find us at the lake.

And ANY opportunity we get, we spend time outdoors. Here we are, parkside, reading our book Bloom With Mi which I wrote and illustrated. It’s a sweet story about a girl named “Mi” who learns how to give back and celebrate others, and a portion of every sale goes towards a different give-back organization each month.

Picnic 2

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and blooming Mother’s Day! And thank you for stopping by!

_______________________________________________________________________________

Picnic 3Drawn in black and white to connect with every girl, Amy Kavelaris’ best-selling book Bloom with Mi is a sweet tale of a girl named “Mi” who has an opportunity to make life about herself… or about others. Every time she decides to use her gifts for someone else, she leaves her “bloom” behind. Follow the Bloom With Mi journey on Instagram as @AmyKavs, at Amy’s blog or on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

1 2 4
%d bloggers like this: