Today is not just any Friday – it’s a celebration of the 46th annual Earth Day!
Earth Day was inspired by the initiative to make our world healthier, and to make humans more aware of what we’re putting into it. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 1, 1970. The Earth Day movement serves to better our world as a whole. Coincidentally, Kalso Earth Shoes (which also serves to better our world as a whole, in my humble opinion) was launched on the same day exactly 46 years ago.
What you probably didn’t know about Earth shoes is that they are designed with a lot more in mind than simply style. Anne Kalso, the creator of the Earth brand, became immersed in the practice of yoga. Anne firmly believed the all-around wellness yoga inspires is not just for the body, but for your entire being, mental and physical.
While studying yoga in Santos, Brazil in 1957, Anne noticed the incredibly aligned, straight posture of the Brazilian inhabitants. As she watched the natives walk through the sand she noted something about their footprints: the Brazilians heels made deeper imprints in the sand than their toes. These footprints reminded Anne of a familiar yoga pose. Tadasana, or mountain pose, is achieved by standing with your back straight, arms at sides or above your head, and feet rooted firmly to the ground from heel to toe.
Tadasana is the root of most standing yoga poses. Mountain pose encourages proper, supported posture, open airways and a feeling of grounded-ness, or connection, to the earth.
Anne began walking as the Brazilians did, and she observed a positive change in her posture and breathing. Anne began to wonder what would happen if she made shoes that encouraged the proper posture and support found in Tadasana.
Thus, Earth Shoes was born.
It took years for Anne to create her first shoe that, “takes into consideration all the natural demands of the foot and body”. (earthbrands.com). Who would’ve guessed an activity primarily practiced barefoot would inspire a line of footwear?
Yoga reminds us to be present. Not thinking ahead or behind, but to be appreciative of each moment. Likewise, Earth Day serves as a reminder to do our part to protect the world (and each moment) we live in. This Earth Day, let’s try to be more mindful of the world and everything we put into it – including our attitudes, fuel emissions and cute, comfy footwear.
Mar-Lou’s heart lies in making people happy, comfortable and confident in their own shoes – no matter the foot size, shape or ailment. This philosophy reverberates from the front of the store, starting with our sales associates, to the back of the store where the rest of our team works hard to keep business flowing smoothly and customers happy.
We wouldn’t be who we are today without our customers and the Cleveland community. Cleveland holds a special place in the heart of this business, and the Ungar family uses every opportunity presented to give back to the city that’s watched Mar-Lou grow and thrive throughout the past 58 years. As we find ways to give back, we know none of our donation events would be possible without the kind-hearted community that resides in the Cleveland area.
April is Autism Awareness month, and we couldn’t think of a more worthy cause to be a part of. Promoting research and funding to improve the lives of those affected by Autism is a cause that is near and dear to our heart, and the heart of our vendor, Alegria Shoes. With help from Alegria Shoes and Milestones Autism Resources in Cleveland, we hope to make this April a month to remember.
100% of the profit from every Alegria shoe
purchased at Mar-Lou
will be donated to
Milestones Autism Resources
from April 14th thru April 24th.
Milestones Autism Resource serves to “improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum by educating, coaching and connecting the autism community with evidence-based information.” (milestones.org).
Follow us on our social media pages to keep up with the event and to learn more – #MarLouForMilestones #Alegrianation.
To learn more about Milestones Autism Resources click here.
To donate directly to Milestones Autism Resources click here.
To view our collection of Alegria Shoes click here.
Naot is giving back this weekend – and so can you! For every pair of Naot shoes tried on at Mar-Lou , 1 pair is donated to the CCBDD. For every pair of Naot shoes bought, 2 pairs are donated! It’s technically like you’re buying 3 for the price of 1. We had a great start to the day with 14 pairs of Naot shoes donated to the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Day 1 was a fabulous start! We are thrilled to see what the next 2 days of our event will bring. We truly thank all of you who have already participated, and those of you who are planning to stop in to help with this great cause! With customers like ours, we know we are going to rock the last 2 days of this event! Taking care of someone in need is only 1 shoe away. 🙂
Here’s a recap of the event for those who want some more info:
All pairs of shoes will be donated to Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Their mission is to support and empower people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, work and play in the community.
If you can’t make the event, still participate by shopping online with Mar-Lou on March 24 – 26!
Straight from Naot: At Yaleet, Inc. we believe that all people should have the opportunity to live comfortably & look stylish. This is one of the countless reasons behind our drive, with the help of our retailers and local charities to fit as many people as we can around the nation with Naot Footwear.
PICTURES FROM DAY 1 OF NAOT EVENT
A photo posted by Mar-Lou Shoes (@marlou_shoes) on
A photo posted by Naot Footwear (@naotfootwear) on
Did you know your phone is a gateway to clean water for people around the world?
Add up all those times you click the home button on your iPhone or Android just to check the time, or see if you’ve gotten a text, or check twitter and email. What if each time you didn’t check your phone, a child across the world received clean water for a day, or two days, or three days? You’d definitely give up checking your phone if this was possible right?
Well, get ready to eat your words. BECAUSE IT’S POSSIBLE!
UNICEF has just provided us with the simplest way to give back this March with the UNICEF Tap Project. The Tap Project is so easy, there is no excuse for anyone with a phone to NOT be participating. For every five minutes you go without checking your phone, a day of clean water is provided to children around the world by UNICEF and participating donors.
Here are the steps to participating:
- Use your phone to log onto uniceftapproject.org
- Type in your first and last name, and email address
- Click the prompt to get you to the timer
- The site will ask you to set your phone down on a flat surface – once you do this, the timer begins … and so will your self control
The only thing you need to donate to help out is time spent on your phone, literally.
You must keep the website open in order for the timer to run. If you close out, even if you’re not touching your phone, the timer will pause until you open the website back up again. I set it away from me, out of my site so I’m not bothered, but as I glanced over at it just now I noticed that UNICEF flashes different facts about cell phone usage and water statistics. The fact that just popped up on my phone read “44% of Americans say they can’t go without their phone for a day”. We can live without our phones, for 5 minutes at the very least. We cannot live without clean water. Unfortunately, children in other countries face this reality, this lack of clean water, every day.
I understand there may be some skepticism associated with this. How do you know UNICEF is actually going to donate water based on the amount of time you set your phone down? My initial answer would be this: what do you have to lose, regardless? Nothing. People around the world on the other hand, have a lot they could potentially be losing out on. My second answer is this: Check it out for yourself. Click here to link to UNICEF’s national partners and the fine print regarding this campaign.
If you were to write down all the things you truly cannot live without, I guarantee you wouldn’t write down your cell phone. Water would (hopefully) make the list. This is why I challenge you to put down your phone for at least 5 minutes today. Make it a challenge with friends, family and coworkers. I just checked my phone – I’m at 35 minutes for today. That’s one week’s worth of clean water donated to children who really need it, and all I had to do was log onto uniceftapproject.org and set my phone down. LET THE TIMERS BEGIN!
Stay on-trend in cute & comfy espadrille-style wedges by Clarks! Petrina Selma and Petrina Lulu add a laid-back, beachy vibe to any look. These women’s wedges are crafted with smooth leather, soft lining and OrthoLite® footbeds. Whether you’re walking around town or out for the evening, the Petrina Selma and Petrina Lulu keep your look fresh and fun.
PETRINA SELMA & PETRINA LULU by Clarks
SAS makes getting ready in the morning easy with all the gorgeous slip-ons they have to choose from. From the Simplify to the Metro SAS makes sure you look good, and most importantly, they make sure your feet feel fantastic.
“It’s a Matter of Fit” with Walking Cradles
I’ll let you in on a secret – one of the best parts of my job is writing descriptions about the shoes we get in at the store as I upload them to our website. I make it a point to try on almost every shoe new shoe we get in…basically, I get to test out a lot of very pretty, very comfortable shoes.
You may have seen on our Facebook recently a post about a new heel, Sophia, we received from Walking Cradles. Sophia is fantastic from heel to toe. This heel features classic design – I call it “the little black dress” of heels – pointed toe, reasonable heel height of approximately 2 inches and is crafted with smooth leather. Every woman should own a pair of pumps she can rely on when she’s just not sure what shoes to throw on. I believe Sophia could, and will, be that shoe for many of you for one reason alone: unmatched comfort paired with beautiful design.
I’ve never been particularly fond of heels. I’m not very graceful when it comes to walking in them – I resemble a baby deer taking its first steps – and I typically feel uncomfortable. Obviously, there are a few exceptions, but overall this has been my experience. I stepped into Sophia expecting the same tipping, shaky sensation that overcomes me when I put on a pair of heels. I was shocked to find out this was not the case as I trotted easily back and forth across carpet and tile flooring.
Sophia is in a league of its own. Insole padding reaches from heel to toe. With each step, you feel a reinforced padding in the heel cup. It makes for a stable, incredibly cushioned experience. The fit is true to size: I wear an 8, and the 8 fit perfectly. If you’re worried about feeling cramped in the pointed-toe style, I recommend ordering a half size up and sliding a heel pad in the back. I tried on the 8.5, and it added some extra space for my toes at the end, but I did experience slipping in the heel… a heel pad would probably take care of that problem. An added bonus with Sophia by Walking Cradles: the range of widths, sizes and colors. Comfort, stability, style, and under $100… what more could you ask for in a high heel?
Sophia makes style an easy choice.
I attempted something risky last night. Stepped outside of my comfort zone, if you will.
Well, technically, I baked. But, still.
Many who know me are aware of the fact that cooking is not my forte. I frequently skip over steps in the simplest of recipes because I get too excited about the end product and don’t thoroughly read the directions. If I’m being honest, I actually missed a step in my first attempt at the recipe I’m about to share with you all. Luckily, I’m an expert problem-solver and found a way to improvise (and it still tasted AWESOME).
Because it’s Fat Tuesday, my inner Betty Crocker stepped out and decided to Pinterest fun, Mardis Gras related recipes. I became instantly intrigued by a recipe for “mini king cakes” – mostly because it involved the least amount of ingredients and steps. I then found ANOTHER recipe for mini king cakes that involved CINNAMON ROLLS. At that moment, I was hit by a stroke of genius.
I decided to the elements I liked best about each recipe and combine them into one, inspirational dessert. I took safety precautions during the taste-testing portion of my experiment…I had my boyfriend try one. He said it tasted “damn good”, and he wouldn’t lie to me. (Seriously, he would be the first to tell me if it sucked, I promise).
I like this dessert so much, I need to share it with all of you. The recipe is easy, inexpensive and took me all of 45 minutes to complete from start to finish, including pre-heating the oven! This is a great recipe for a fun breakfast or a tasty dessert.
Because this recipe is technically my own, I took the liberty of naming it. May this be the fattest Tuesday yet.
PURPLEY/GREEN/GOLD CINNAMON THINGS
(aka MINI KING CAKES)
– 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 tsp lemon juice (or 1/3 of a fresh lemon, squeezed)
– 2 packages cinnamon rolls
– Sprinkles (I chose yellow and green in honor of Mardis Gras)
– 1 container frosting (15.6 oz is the size I chose, and I had some leftover)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking sheet/pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Blend (or mix well with a spoon) cream cheese, powdered sugar & lemon juice.
3. Remove cinnamon rolls from container. Use fingers to pinch and form a hole in the center of each cinnamon roll.
4. Put cream cheese/powdered sugar/lemon juice mixture in the center of each cinnamon roll.
5. Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Take out of oven and let cinnamon rolls cool for 5 minutes.
7. Decorate with frosting & sprinkles of your choice.
You may be wondering how I could’ve possibly messed up the first batch I made. Here’s how: I forgot to put the cream cheese/powdered sugar/lemon blend into the center of the cinnamon rolls before baking them. However, it simply prompted me to find another way to put these little wonders together! After the cinnamon rolls finished baking, I cut a circular piece of dough out of the center, placed the cream cheese mixture inside, put back the piece of dough I cut out and frosted over it to secure. Voila! Fixed. However, since the cream cheese mixture wasn’t baked, I refrigerated this batch. If your dessert sits over night, I suggest heating your purpley/green/gold cinnamon things up in the microwave for 10 seconds to make them deliciously melty and warm. Yes, melty. MINI KING CAKES FOR THE WIN.
Disclaimer: I’ve never actually made a king cake before, so I couldn’t tell you how closely my recipe or the ingredients in it mirror one. But the colors I decorated with are Mardis Gras colors. So I decided that counts.
It’s been busy in the receiving room at Mar-Lou Shoes. There’s a reason I’ve dubbed this room “box city”: In the short time I’ve been at Mar-Lou, I’ve witnessed the room where we receive all of our merchandise literally ceiling-high with shoe boxes – more than a dozen times. When box city fills up, my days revolves around taking images of new products, preparing the images for our website, writing descriptions, and uploading all of it to marloushoes.com.
While writing product descriptions this morning, I thought to myself how strange it is that all these “shoe terms” that once were so foreign to me are now a regular part of my vocabulary. It took time for me to get comfortable with and become somewhat knowledgeable about all these words I spout so frequently. Even now, I still have to look up what certain terms mean from time to time.
Everyone’s got stuff they know a lot about. Because of my line of work, shoe stuff is moving pretty high up on the list of “things I know”. (I really didn’t ever see that one coming, but I’m not complaining.) Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of shoe aficionado (yet). The list I compiled below is not your complete guide to every shoe term ever spoken or written about, however, it will detail some important, frequently used terms. These terms don’t apply to EVERY shoe ever created, but they do provide a working knowledge of basic footwear anatomy.
MAR-LOU SHOES’ ANATOMY
Material covering the entire outside of a shoe
Section of upper material that covers from a little behind the toe to just before the heel
Section of upper material that covers around the heel
Fabric covering the inside of a shoe (excluding footbed) – may help improve durability
ENTIRE part of shoe below the foot (body of shoes consists of an upper and a sole)
Layer between sole and foot (typically adds comfort, sometimes removable)
Bottom of shoe that makes contact with ground
Where the heel sits
Piece (typically of metal) that is found between the sole and the insole (shanks often hit the arch of the foot to provide extra stability)
Material that binds the upper of a shoe to the sole, comparable to a seam on clothing
“The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances”
How It All Began
When a hose burst at Avner Talmon’s Olive Oil Press in Israel, it’s safe to say his first reaction was not one of excitement. See, the pipe that burst was filled with a substance called olive residue. In the video found on the Olea Essence website, Talmon describes the experience as “frightening” because olive residue is toxic to the environment. Due to the break in the hose, Talmon found himself covered in the harmful residue.
After cleaning himself off, Talmon realized something: his skin felt softer and cleaner than ever before. This accident-turned-inspiration brought about the next endeavor for the olive oil creator; a line of eco-friendly, all-natural, olive-infused skin care.
Talmon’s team discovered a way to purify the olive residue, or blackwater, that is typically thrown away during the olive oil production. Before Talmon there simply wasn’t a safe way to use the residue so it was disposed of, damaging the environment in the process. Olea Essence Skin Care is revolutionary in its use of the entire olive, saving the environment AND our skin all in one fantastic line of products.
Across the world, as Talmon’s business flourished, Dan Ungar, Owner of Mar-Lou Shoes, left on his trip to Israel. He ventured abroad for two weeks and brought back memories, stories and experiences, rich in culture, that will last a lifetime. One of Dan’s treasured stories was of a visit to an olive oil factory . . . It’s funny how two worlds so far apart end up colliding.
A New Adventure
Dan was so impressed by the experience at Avner Talmon’s factory, and the quality of Olea Essence Skin Care, that he brought samples back with him. Naturally, the staff at Mar-Lou was curious about this new product, and we all tried it for ourselves. What we found is that Olea Essence not only softens skin; it smells fresh and natural. No harsh chemicals, nothing to add “scent”. Olea Essence is pure, clean skin care.
After careful consideration, and with the cooperation of Avner Talmon and his wonderful staff at Olea Essence, Dan is putting four Olea Essence products on the shelves at Mar-Lou Shoes. We are the first retailer in the U.S. to carry Olea Essence Skin Care in our stores, and it’s an honor to present this beneficial skin care line to our customers (and let’s face it, this stuff is THAT awesome, to ourselves).
How It Works
For those who may be skeptical, here is my personal testimonial. I scrubbed my hands with the Olea Essence Olive Wash and Exfoliate for Face and Body (yes, you actually can use it on your face, it’s that gentle), and afterwards I rubbed a DROP of Olea Essence Rich Hand Cream on the tops of my hands. The Olive Wash and Exfoliate made my palms soft enough I did not feel the need to put the Hand Cream on them.
FUN FACT: you have pores everywhere on your body EXCEPT the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. For this reason applying lotion to your palms sometimes makes them feel greasy because the lotion doesn’t get absorbed as easily; it simply sits on the surface of your skin.
I exfoliated and applied the hand cream at 11 a.m. My hands stayed considerably softer than usual until 3 p.m. (I washed my hands three times during this time period and did dishes once using Dawn Dish Soap). That’s four hours, three hand washings and one dish session later, and my skin felt fantastic.
In the past I’ve used Body Shop brand Body Butter, and I’m an avid user of Suave Body Lotion, but I’ve found I prefer the long-lasting effects of the Olea Essence Hand Cream. An additional bonus to Olea Essence is the eco-friendly, all-natural makeup of the products. If you’re not prone to buying skin care with heavily perfumed or flowery scents, Olea Essence is perfect for you. The scent is refreshing and light, defying the typical, strong burning-your-nose-hairs-off scent of other lotions.
Still not sure how you feel about Olea Essence? Stop into the store to try it for yourself! We’ve got samples we’re more than happy to share. You’ve even got a chance to win a free Olea Essence product right at Mar-Lou. It’s as easy as taking a photo of you using the product at our store, uploading it to your Instagram account (or letting us upload it to ours) and hashtagging #marloushoes #oleaessence to get entered into our drawing. The contest runs from now until February 22, 2016.
Olea Essence is a brand new venture for us at Mar-Lou Shoes, and we’re thrilled to bring it forward to our customers. Thank goodness for happy accidents.