Getting Ready for Online School & Trying out the Best Buy Geek Squad

Like much of the country, we are getting ready to jump back into the world of online schooling again. While we were able to fall into an okay rhythm with Jack to finish out second grade, I had him using my personal laptop for his schoolwork… which I didn’t love.

I have two main laptops that I use: my work laptop (provided by my job) and my personal laptop (I purchased it from my last job when I left for a great deal). I also have my previous personal laptop that has been sitting on a shelf for a year or two.

That previous personal laptop is the one that I was hoping to fix up for Jack to use. A couple years ago when I was doing an iTunes update, it went all crazy. When I would try to turn it on, I would just get a blank black screen. Since I had a new personal laptop, it wasn’t really a big deal, but now I needed to figure out how to fix it.

I did some googling and it was pretty clear that this wasn’t something that I was going to be able to fix on my own. I decided to try Best Buy’s Geek Squad and it looked like their typical diagnostic fee for stuff was around $150. At my best (super uninformed) guess, I thought my job would be a little more than that if it was complicated.

It was super easy to make an online appointment on the Best Buy website. On the day of our appointment, we masked-up, and checked in with the rep at the front door, who was restricting the number of people in the store. When it was our turn, I met with a nice Geek and explained my issue. She asked if I wanted them to fix it back to where it previously had been, meaning to clear off any virus issues and leave me with all my previous programs and stuff that was saved on the desktop. Or, she could just reset the entire computer and set it up like a brand-new laptop.

Well, I knew that I had a ton of stuff on the laptop… but considering that I hadn’t accessed it in at least a year and a half, did I really NEED any of it? I decided to have her reset the whole thing and then braced myself when I asked her for the cost.

$40

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! It literally cost just $40 to get my old, crappy, virus-ridden laptop totally cleaned off and reset! And I’d been putting this off for over a YEAR!?

Wow.

Sure as can be, when I picked up the laptop the next day it was in perfect, reset condition. FOR $40!

The only drawback was that we no longer had Word or Excel installed on it. However, the nice lady Geek came through for us again and pointed out that many school systems offer the entire Office package to students for free. I checked our school’s website when we got home, did a quick download and BOOM we now have Word and Excel downloaded for an additional $0.

So, if you have an old laptop sitting around that needs a tune-up I would absolutely recommend giving the Best Buy Geek Squad a try. This isn’t sponsored or anything, I was just really pleasantly surprised at how helpful, knowledgeable and inexpensive they were. And now I don’t have to worry about Jack accidentally deleting off my entire bills spreadsheet off my personal laptop!

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Review: Rothy’s The Lace Up

I’ve been a Rothy’s fan since early 2018 and my very first blog talking about them was “Let’s Talk About Rothy’s: Are They Worth the Money?” Over the years, I’ve alternatively loved the brand and been disappointed by the brand. They’re still relatively new to the shoe world… so some growing pains are typical. Now, just two years after I fell in love with The Point, they have a whole slew of offerings including kid’s shoes (love them), purses (don’t love them) and masks (haven’t tried them). I’ve enjoyed their slip-on sneakers for the last year or so, so when they launched The Lace Up… a sneaker with laces, I was intrigued.

Actually, I thought they were ugly.

Let’s be honest. They look a little like grandma shoes. But, with my love of swoopy sweaters, midi skirts, and all things Eileen Fisher… they grew on me.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • They cost $165
  • They come in whole sizes only, sizes 5 – 13
  • Lace Up colors available: vanilla, lilac, bright white, spearmint, and navy
  • They are knit with thread spun from repurposed plastic bottles and the footbed is made with plant-based materials.
  • They are washable, but keep them away from the dryer.

I had some referral credits sitting in my account, so I decided to order a pair of Lilac Lace Ups for science. I typically wear an 8.5 in most shoes and a 9.5 in boots. Rothy’s sizes are their own thing though… in Rothy’s I tend to wear an 8.5 in slip-on sneakers, an 8.5 in the Chelsea, and a 9.5 in the points (I am a 9 in some older points and have also switched out insoles for a better fit). With all that being said, I ordered a size 9 in the lace ups.

Here are the ones I ordered: Lilac Lace Up

My initial thoughts:

I really, really like the look of these in person. The texture in the knit is super cool and I like the brown rubber sole… it makes them look a bit fancier than your average sneaker. The knit is also really soft, so I can easily wear the lace ups with no socks and be comfortable. I am a bit concerned that the lilac color – although it is gorgeous – kind of blends in with my pale skin.

When it comes to comfort, these are pretty wonderful. The top of the shoe hugs my ankle and doesn’t rub at all. In fact, the inside of the tongue has a terrycloth finish which feels really nice. The width fits well on my regular/medium width feet. There is a little extra length though, but not enough that I could go down a size. This way, if I want to throw on a pair of socks, I have some extra room.

Trying them in real life:

I decided to try the lilac lace ups on with three of my typical outfits to see if they fit in to my existing wardrobe. Because nobody needs a cute shoe that goes with literally nothing in their closet!

Outfit #1: Embroidered blouse and jean shorts

This was the outfit I was wearing the day I wanted to take photos, so I just switched out my Birkenstocks with the lace ups. This is kind of a cute look and the sneakers make it look a little sportier. I think I’d probably like this better with a more casual t-shirt, but I had dressed for a Zoom call (party up top and comfort down below).

Outfit #2: T-shirt and distressed jeans

Okay, this is probably the exact outfit I’d wear with the lace ups. This is my uniform all fall, winter and spring… adding in a sweater when it gets chilly. I love the way these look with these boyfriend jeans and I can see them being equally as cute with a pair of ankle-length skinny jeans. Love this combo!

Outfit #3: Casual dress and Casual dress and jean jacket

I always see ladies rocking the casual dress and sneakers combo on Instagram and love it… but do I look like an 80’s secretary who put on her sneakers to commute home from the office? Is it better or worse with the jean jacket? Very undecided on this look… maybe I just need to get used to it? Would love your thoughts!

The verdict:

While I’m not totally sold on the sneakers with my dress outfit, I am digging them with my shorts and my jeans. I typically stay in sandals until September anyways, but these lace ups will be perfect to throw on with pretty much anything in my closet. I’m already imagining them with a slouchy oversized sweater and skinny jeans. These are keepers for me.

$20 Referral Code

If you are interested in trying Rothy’s for the first time, I have a special referral code that you can use https://share.rothys.com/x/5FW89I will get $20 off your first order and I will also receive $20 off a future order. (If you have issues using my special code, please email me at pocketfulofjoules@gmail.com and I’ll send you a new one!)

P.S. If you are interested in checking out how I style my Rothy’s, you can find me on Instagram here: PocketfulofJoules on Instagram!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. If you choose to use my referral link you will receive $20 off your first pair of Rothy’s and I will also receive $20 off a future Rothy’s order.

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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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