Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to School Week: Shoes, backpacks and such...

Today's post will not be about psychological advice or behavior analysis, but rather about some practical aspects of school.  By practical I mean shoes, backpacks and such because getting the kids physically and aesthetically ready for school is just as important as the other stuff! :)
So many parents are lucky to be able to send their kids to school in a set uniform; and I say lucky because I personally LOVE uniforms but if you don't, that's ok too... there are styles for all tastes.. right?
My girls' school is rather strict when it comes to uniforms including shoes, socks, etc and I'm ok with that but I would be lying if I said I didn't spend hours researching about shoes, backpacks and such! And because I always like to share the wealth of knowledge I acquire from countless hours on the internet, I want to talk about what shoes and backpacks have worked best for us!
(Disclaimer: NONE of these companies PAY me anything to post about them, nor do I own stock so every recommendation comes from the heart and it is not financially motivated at all!)

Shoes: Most schools suggest that girls wear Mary Jane style shoes; some ask for black and some ask for blue.  Despite the general belief that "Stride Rites" are durable shoes, I will say that the quality of such brand has disappointed me terribly throughout the years, so I present to you the Ked Ella Mary Jane Sneaker, which is an awesome shoe made out of leather that features a white rubber non-marking sole; this shoe is pretty, durable and affordable.  It also comes in other colors and it is one of the best finds I have ever come across.  The down side?  It only goes up to size 12 for toddlers so this is not an option for older kids..... These shoes can be found on Amazon and several other websites. 

Then there are the Cienta shoes, which are European made canvas style Mary Janes that come in many different colors.  These do come in larger sizes so they are perfect for older kids.  Olivia has had these for the past two years and claims they are the most "comfortable shoes ever!" They feature an inner removable sole which can be washed or changed if desired.  These are super affordable and perfect for uniforms or play clothes... I LOVE these! They can also be purchased on Amazon, Zappos and several other websites.


For those kids that don't have to wear uniform shoes, I strongly recommend any shoe from Chooze Shoes.  I came across this shop on our recent trip to Panama; they had a huge store at one of the local malls and I simply LOVED what I saw.  These shoes are "mismatched on purpose" and they make for the cutes footwear any kid (and mom!) can have. I really love their designs and I especially like the fact that they are comfortable, durable and washable.  Their website also sells shoes for babies and adults and their Fall collection is to die for.  Please check out their site, I promise you will not be disappointed! :)

Now on the the backpacks!  For years I have heard recommendations about Pottery Barn backpacks but I will be honest and say that I always thought they were pricey compared to other options. This year I decided to give them a try and ordered two personalized navy blue backpacks (our school doesn't allow any other color/design backpack, so navy blue it was!).  I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the quality of these backpacks but I think their dimensions are bad.  I made the mistake of ordering the "small" backpack and it turned out to be TINY!! Almost $80 later, the girls will NOT be using these backpacks for school since nothing fits in there.  So if you do go for the Pottery Barn kind, make sure you get something size Large or even bigger.  Both the "mini" and "small" are useless for school aged kids. 

Another option is the backpack line from Personal Creations, they are absolutely adorable and such great quality too.  This website offers and incredible selection as well as matching lunch boxes, all which could be personalized.  Their customer service is incredible and I strongly recommend all of their school items. 

For moms of girls (and I totally realize that most of my recommendations on this post have been geared towards girls!), I also recommend several Etsy sellers that have the most adorable hair bows and accessories.  I particularly like the following two Etsy shops that offer tons of uniform color bows, some of them even have plaid bows that perfectly matched the girls' uniforms.  Please be sure to visit them on Etsy
And with this post I end my "Back to School" week series.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts and advice during these few days and I look forward to posting more fun stuff in the weeks to come.  

Congratulations to all local kids on surviving their first week back and good luck to all those who will be starting in the weeks to come! 

Happy Blogging! ;)


Unknown said...

Hi Adriana! Thanks so much for including us in this list! So glad you love our product! We've shared this blog post on our social channels.

Stories of a Happy Mom said...

Thank you Laura! I absolutely LOVE your product; the shoes are simply genius and we have a few pairs already.
I wish every little girl could have a pair of Chooze shoes.. I wish you all the success in your business and thanks for sharing my post! :)
+Laura Kangas