Birkenstock Review: The Mayari Birko-Flor Sandals

With my pandemic-induced teleworking schedule, my style has certainly gone towards comfort. Not that I embraced uncomfortable clothing or shoes previously… but for the last few months I’ve been living in my Birkenstock sandals.

After rambling around the house barefoot in the spring, I decided that I needed something comfy with a little bit of foot support. Birkenstocks were calling to me. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on them though, because Birks are a ‘love them or hate them’ kind of shoe… and I haven’t worn a pair since college. Oh, and that wasn’t even a real pair, as mine were knock-offs from Payless.

I wanted a sandal I could slip on, but I wasn’t quite sure about the thong style. I HATE flipflops, due to the SLAP SLAP SLAP sound they make when you walk and also the fact that I have tripped out of them way too many times to count.

I fell down the Poshmark rabbit hole and found a pair of Birkenstock Gizeh sandals for a steal at just $25. I scooped them up in April and I had been wearing them daily.

I wear them around the house all day. I wear them when I leave to do kid camp pick-up. I wear them when I run out to the grocery store. The pair I got are a pretty shiny silver and I’ve been wearing them with everything. I typically wear an 8.5 – 9 in shoes depending on the brand and fit, so I tried a EU 39 in Birkenstocks and they fit perfectly. The strap goes a bit higher on your foot, so there are no SLAP sounds and I haven’t fallen out of them once.

After loving my Gizeh sandals for a few months, I decided to peruse the Birkenstock website to find a pair in a darker brown leather.

And that is when I saw the Mayari style. They are still a slip-on sandal, but they have a crisscross over the big toe and an extra strap around the middle of the foot. After going back and forth, I ended up with the Birko-Flor version in Graceful Toffee for $99.95. These are the exact ones I ordered on the Birkenstock website. They also have the same style in a different color on the Nordstrom website here and here is a pretty rose gold pair on Amazon.

Shoe details:

  • The upper is made from Birko-Flor, a synthetic leather.
  • It has an anatomically shaped cork-latex food bed with suede lining.
  • Both straps are individually adjustable, so you can get your perfect fit.

I recommend adjusting the straps a smidge too tight when you first start wearing them, rather than too loose. This allows the straps to shape perfectly to your foot over the first few hours of wearing.

Right out of the box, I found these super comfortable and they didn’t need any break-in time at all. In fact, I’ve been wearing my Mayari sandals nonstop for the last week and they are incredibly comfortable. The Graceful Toffee color has a little bit of a sparkle/sheen to it, so Travis says they look like my fancy Wonder Woman shoes. Which is totally my aesthetic.

If you have been thinking about trying Birkenstocks, I do recommend ordering your first pair from somewhere with free shipping and free returns (like the Nordstrom website or some Amazon sellers). However, once you know your proper size, check out Poshmark because there are dozens and dozens of listings!

Disclaimer: This post contains a ShopStyle affiliate link and an Amazon link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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The Bright Side of Staying Home

I’ve been thinking a lot about the unexpected positives of staying home due to the pandemic. I actually shared a bit about this on my Instagram yesterday, but I have more thoughts. You can see my initial thoughts/post here.

Many of us have been shoved into a different sort of life. It’s a life we may not have chosen or anticipated, but with very little warning it happened. Suddenly many of us are working from home full-time. Vacations have been cancelled, shopping habits have changed, and we have to figure out how to help our kids with online schooling while working at the same time.

It’s easy to focus on the negative. Sure, I’m super disappointed that I had to cancel our trip to Universal Studios. And I’m crushed that Jack and I haven’t had a chance to go to the beach at all this summer. And we miss the pool.

However, there have been some unexpected positives:

Positive #1: I’ve been home since March. That’s 5 months (so far). When I gave birth to Jack, I was home on maternity leave for a little over 2 months before I had to go back into the office a few days a week to keep my health benefits (I was too new to qualify under FMLA). So, this is the longest I’ve EVER been home… including when I pushed a baby out of my hooha. Yes, I’m working. But I’m HOME. And that’s amazing.

Positive #2: Typically, my morning commute into Baltimore is 30 minutes by car and then another 30 minutes by metro. And back in the evening. That’s 10 hours every week of commuting time that I am saving. I just did some quick calculator work: 5 months is about 20 weeks. 20 weeks x 10 hours a week is 200 hours. I have saved over EIGHT DAYS of my life just in commuting time.

Positive #3: With all this extra time, I have time to do things I want to do:

  •  I’ve been taking a morning walk.
  • I’ve been exercising using fitness DVD’s that I’ve thrifted.
  • I’m getting a solid 9 hours of sleep every night.
  • I have the time and energy to complete home improvement projects.
  • I started playing with watercolors and really enjoy it.
  • I have the time to read and I’ve read 67 books so far this year.
  • I’m more confident in my cooking and have made some dang good meals.
  • I have been purging and purging and purging some more. I’ve not only listed a bunch of stuff for sale on Poshmark, but I’ve donated truckloads to our local thrift stores!

Positive #4: I’ve stopped wearing makeup. For years and years and years, every workday I’d paint on eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, pencil in my eyebrows and then add a little powder on my nose before I left the house. It got to the point that I didn’t really like the way my face looked without makeup. I felt that I looked tired all the time (which maybe I was… but now I’m getting NINE HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT!). Since March, I’ve barely bothered to put on any makeup at all. Occasionally, I’ll mix it up and stick on some eyeliner. But it’s been so long that my go-to products now feel like they are too much. I actually like my bare face now. Not too bad for a 42-year-old woman!

When I posted this on Instagram, I had friends telling me that they have experienced positives too. Many said that they now have the time to work out and focus on getting healthy. And I’m not the only one enjoying getting more sleep!

How about you, have you experienced unexpected positives?

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Apple iWatch Band Dupe

I’ve had an Apple iWatch for almost three years now and I’m still loving it and strapping it on every single day. Typically for work, I upgrade to more of a fancy watchband look (I have this one in leopard). However, now that I’ve been home full-time for quite a while and most of my looks lean more towards athleisure (aka pajamas or workout clothes), I went back to the black silicone band that came with my watch.

But that is just so boring…

So, I did some Amazon stalking of watchbands and I found the PERFECT Apple iWatch band dupe! Go back and look at that photo above… one of those is my original watch band and the others are the silicone version from Amazon. The iWatch bands cost $49 on the Apple website and the lookalike bands are $11.99 for a 4-pack. The official Apple band is the one on the far left and the only difference I can find is the color of the pokey bit and the amount of holes.

I wanted a fun mix of colors, so I chose the Wine Red/Olive/Black/Coral Red pack. I’ve been wearing the coral red band for the past month and I love it. It’s just the right amount of orangy-red pop that I wanted.

It’s also super comfortable and when I get it wet or sweaty, it wipes right off. The best part… the entire 4-pack of colors is only $11.99 with free prime shipping! There are eleven different color combo options to choose from and in my opinion they are almost identical to the much more expensive Apple version.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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