Monthly Archives: September 2016

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.

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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?

BEST COLLEGE MEMORIES

Now that colleges are swarming with new and returning students for fall, our team has been reflecting on our own years on campus. While we all came from a wide range of local colleges, liberal arts schools and universities across the country, we all agree that those years were an amazing time that made some lifelong friends, great memories and more than a few crazy stories! Read on to hear a few of our favorite college moments… and share some of your own with us!

6“I went to Miami University in Oxford. On move-in day, I took all the cash that I made over the summer and ‘hid’ it somewhere in my new apt so no one would steal it while we were in and out. I was planning on opening an account at the local bank. Never found that money again until move OUT day because I’d outsmarted myself and stashed it between my mattress and box spring and totally forgot. Lots of ramen that year!” – Sadie

 

“Dr. Charles Harper Webb was my favorite professor of all those I had at CSULB. I loved (and still read) an anthology he edited called Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology. I highly recommend for a deep, but quick read!” – Haley

“I worked on the school paper at my California university. My choices were to write about the squirrels taking over the campus, or music and entertainment. Clearly, music won out and so began many years in the music journalism world before I came to Skechers.” – Ashley

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“At the start of every school year at Boston University, we celebrated a holiday called ‘Allston Christmas.’ Named for the Boston community where most at BU lived off-campus, this was when apartment leases ended at the close of August and students rushing to move would abandon tons and tons of furniture on the sidewalk. From refrigerators to couches to televisions you could score some amazing stuff from all the rich kids graduating on to post-college life. But sometimes the joy of Allston Christmas would turn dark—like when a few days later I discovered the bed bugs in that sweet mattress I claimed… and then discovered they migrated to my brand new living room furniture as well.” – Frankie

5“I had a friend who was older than me at Duke Law School and I used to attend all of the social activities and parties with her. At their graduation party, three of the law professors came up to me and congratulated me on graduating and wished me luck in my new career in law… Funny, because I wasn’t in law school, they only thought I was because I attended all of their parties… Oh, and they never congratulated my friend – Oops! :)” –Topher

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“Aside from the all-you-can-eat plain cheese quesadillas at UC Santa Cruz, I think living in an apartment and using a broom to bang on the ceiling to silence the upstairs neighbors was the most vivid thing about living ‘college town life’.”

– Jude

“Four-day school weeks at my college in California. Need I say more?” – Shaya

“I went to UCSB, so there was a lot of work hard, play hard. Some of my favorite memories are snapshots of college life: the basketball crowds who’d toss quesadillas onto the court in protest, dining commons food fights, dueling dorms’ 3am fire alarm evacuations, the campus crusaders who’d try to convert us to everything, from religion to new credit card debt. Gross, gross portions of pizza and crazy bread. Near-misses on people’s beater bikes as they’d cruise to class. Auditoriums of guys with their baseball caps flipped back during no-cheat exams. Making movies on shoestring budgets (one with Jack Johnson when he was a student filmmaker who ‘played a little music’). Hunger strikes, passionate politics and fierce convictions to change the world.” – Amy

On him: the Sycamore casual in Gray. On her: the Flex Appeal 2.0 – High Energy sneaker in White/Black.

TRAVELING WITH THE MISS-HAPPENSTANCES

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Last year Jessica Maiuzzo of The Miss-Happenstances made a life-changing decision to quit her desk job and travel. We invited her to share how Skechers became a faithful companion on a few of her adventures.

TRIP 1: ITALY, ISRAEL and JORDAN

In Italy, my versatile dark gray Skechers Sport sneakers were my shoe of choice to dress up for wine bars, midnight strolls through the city, and happy hours along the water. They impressed me even more as I walked five to eight hours a day through the major cities of Italy, starting in the north and making my way south for the next three months. Happily, I didn’t get any blisters the entire time, and I LOVED the way the gel-infused memory foam insole made it feel like I was walking on pillows.

In Venice, I took a ride through the canals, and in Turin, one of my new local friends took me on a 7-hour bike ride through the entire city. Again the shoes stood up to the test. The very next day, we hiked the Alps that bordered Italy and France. Skechers helped me conquer the mountain and led me to some spectacular views! I learned to cook with locals in Sicily but spilled some sauce on the shoes! A quick wipe and the shoes were almost as good as new.

From Italy, I traveled to Israel where we swam in hot springs near the Sea of Galilee and marveled at the ancient city of Caesarea, where the Romans still left their influence centuries later. A new friend I met in Jerusalem encouraged me to cross into Jordan with him. After traveling by foot, car and camel, we ended up at a remote bedouin village. I spent the night gazing up at a sky of stars that seemed to go on for eternity.

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My final destination was Petra—a lost city carved into the desert mountains, creating breathtaking temples, a treasury, and hundreds of dwellings. While tourists hired donkeys to ride through the four-mile city of sand, I felt fabulously tireless in my Skechers and decided to trek and climb the 850 steps! With my faithful foot companion, I was unstoppable!

TRIP 2: GUATEMALA and SOUTH AMERICA

Just two short months later I packed my Skechers for another adventure with some friends to Guatemala where we hiked a couple of volcanoes, pushing one another to the top. These shoes were my saving grace through all kinds of terrain as I glided my way over lava rock that was steaming from the heat still rumbling under the surface.

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Traveling through airports with these shoes is easy. No shoelaces and slip-on shoes that hug my feet in just the right way made jumping from country to country a breeze. In Argentina, I walked comfortably for days in Buenos Aires and ate the best steak ever. And then in Chile, I layed by the turquoise waters reflected on the beauty before me. As I explored, I was greeted by purple mountains, weirdly gorgeous desert plants, and salt flats that made me think I must have somehow walked mistakenly to Mars. I hitchhiked north to the border and caught a bus into a new Peru.

Peru is a land of food you will never forget and landscape that changes you. Cusco was my home base for much of my stay and Lomo Saltado became a new favorite dish as I coveted the cooking skills of these wonderful people. From there I did a four-day trek through the jungle to get to Machu Picchu. My trusty gray shoes still propelled me forward even when I thought I couldn’t take another step. I met monkeys, stepped to the edge of cliffs, and picked carefully over rapids across broken-down swinging bridges. I biked down a 5,000-meter mountain at high speeds. And I zip-lined like Supergirl over the tops of the jungle trees.

It was Rainbow Mountain that took my heart though. At 5,400 meters high, it was like walking through water to get to the top. Yet my Skechers helped me to conquer it, and once again my trusty shoes led me to the summit. It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen – one of my top five places to see in the world. A mountain frozen as a rainbow on one side, a towering glacier mountain on the other, and beautiful landscape of all kinds in between. It was the perfect ending to this trip. I was ready to head home and tell everyone about the latest adventure and how Skechers was truly the best shoe ever!

New York City

I am still wearing my Skechers daily through the streets of NYC. With all of the cultures represented here and the hours of walking we New Yorkers do, it is like traveling the world every time I step out of my front door. I’m still fulfilling my dreams as I continue to do the things I have put off. I am a writer by heart but I never had time to really follow that road or my passion for acting when I was sitting behind my desk. Now, I have worn Skechers on many sets of prime time television shows. And, I continue to document stories about life, love, and transparency on my website. During my long shoots, it is my Skechers that I love to slip on for the journey home. And when I sit at the coffee shop to write, it is my Skechers that I always wear. Public transportation is not my style since I love the freedom that biking around the city affords, and again it is Skechers that lets me do it in style and comfort. I am in love – with travel, with NYC, and most certainly with Skechers!

Keep up with all of Jessica Maiuzzo’s adventures around the world and through life on her blog The Miss-Happenstances and follow @themisshappenstances on Instagram and Facebook.

Photographs from Trip 1 and Trip 2 by Jessica Maiuzzo. Photographs from New York City by Keri Tan. Find more of Keri’s work at keritanphotography.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

MEN’S FOOTWEAR FASHION FIX

Guys everywhere are discovering that Skechers has the perfect footwear that delivers on comfort and style! Designed for a roomier fit, the Skechers Relaxed Fit collection for men now features new lighter materials for an even more comfy feel without compromising on style or making your feet look wide.

With so many great easy-to-wear designs—from canvas to leather, slips-ons to lace-ups—you’re bound to find something to complement any outfit. Slip on a pair or Braver-Rayland loafers or Elected-Horizon boat shoes, lace up some Diamondback-Rendol sneakers or a pair of Porter-Ressen shoes and you’ll step effortlessly from work to play whilst creating your own individual look.

All styles include the Skechers Memory Foam insole for ultimate comfort and are finished with stitching and overlay accents to give that added edge to your look. Available in rich Autumnal browns and taupes as well as classic black and navy, you’ll be bang ‘on trend’ this season.

The Skechers Relaxed Fit collection for men is the epitome of smart-casual comfort! Which pair of Skechers will you be teaming with this season? Let us know what you choose and why in the comments!

SUGAR RAY LEONARD RETURNS

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is back in the ring in an all new commercial for the super comfortable Skechers with Air-Cooled Memory Foam footwear collection. Filmed on location near downtown Los Angeles, the shoot happened to be right around our favorite boxer’s birthday and of course we had to celebrate. Can you believe he has reached the ripe young milestone age of 60?

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Age means nothing to the star athlete who proved that he’s in far better shape than most people half his age—and certainly everyone else on set that day! Go behind the scenes with Sugar Ray as he explains how much he and his entire family love the comfort of the new collection. Plus, get word from the man himself on why he returned to boxing after originally retiring at 25 and his current focus in life.

As he explained to us, “I’ve been blessed in more ways than one and if I made an impact in the ring, I want to make an even bigger impact outside the ring by helping others!” These days Sugar Ray is making a difference through his Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation by raising awareness and funding research for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes plus promoting active lifestyles for kids. He has also appeared at the annual Skechers Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk benefiting children with special needs and education.

We’re fortunate to have this motivated, fun and inspirational legend back in our corner on a new campaign. Check out Sugar Ray’s complete commercial for the Skechers with Air-Cooled Memory Foam below. Watch and see why a man who understands the importance of footwork things Skechers is the undisputed champion of comfort. If you’re a fan, let us know your favorite Sugar Ray fight moment in the comments!