WHAT TO WEAR TO WORK: SUMMER 2017

As the weather warms up, it's time to break out the light-weight wardrobe and summer colors! Layering is also important during this season, as you go between hot summer temperatures and air conditioned offices. Get inspired by these work-ready, sunny outfits:

summer work outfits
Marquam Laptop Handbag

Marquam Laptop Handbag

A stylish handbag that keeps up with your busy schedule is an important addition to any office wardrobe. With Clark & Mayfield totes, there's a padded sleeve for your laptop and plenty of room for the other necessities your daily itinerary demands. Choose a classic black - or go bold with cheery summer colors.

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BEST PORTLAND NEIGHBORHOODS TO VISIT

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Our beautiful home town of Portland, Oregon shows its true colors in the various neighborhoods around the city. They are one of the biggest draws for transplants and visitors alike who are flocking to Portland.

Exploring at least one or two Portland neighborhoods is a must-do activity for any visitor. Walk the streets, window shop, and grab some tasty treats. Each neighborhood has its own local vibe, so you'll find that big box and chain stores are almost non-existent.

Here is a quick overview of the top neighborhoods to help you plan your visit:

Mississippi/Williams

North Missisippi Avenue and North Williams Street have seen serious transformation in the past decade. Just half mile from each other, these areas are a microcosm of the city's trendy, unorthodox, and ever-expanding nature. Mississippi and Williams streets are now overflowing with restaurants, quirky shops, food carts, and bars. You'll find everything from gourmet salts at The Meadow to reclaimed housing materials at The Rebuilding Center. 


NW 23rd

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Photo credit: Wikimedia

The Northwest 23rd/Nob Hill neighborhood can be found in downtown's "Alphabet District" - where the streets are conveniently in alphabetical order. This area has long been one of Portland's hippest neighborhoods. Thankfully, the classy boutiques and variety of restaurants here are accessible along the street car route because good parking in this popular neighborhood can be difficult to find. After browsing the shops, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a fancy dessert at Papa Haydn's, Blue Star donuts, or Salt & Straw ice cream. 


Hawthorne

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Southeast Hawthorne Avenue is an eclectic, walkable shopping street in the heart of Portland's East Side. The neighborhood is home to several artsy theaters, vintage clothing shops, and tasty restaurants. You'll also find an annex of Portland's famous Powell's Book Store on this street.


Alberta Arts

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Like Mississippi, NE Alberta Street is another pocket of Northeast Portland that has grown up quickly in recent years. Home to another Salt & Straw location, live music venues, and unique attractions like the Caravan Tiny House Hotel, this area is perhaps most famous for its street fairs. The monthly "Last Thursday" events, plus the Alberta Street Fair in August, are lively community happenings highlighting local artists, musicians, and food vendors.


Sellwood

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Heading South along the Willamette River, you'll find the cozy Sellwood/Moreland neighborhoods. With a giant park, wildlife refuge, and riverfront bikeway to the West, this area has a quieter feel than some of the more central Portland neighborhoods. You'll find plenty of tree-lined streets, boutiques and antique shops, cute cafes, and family-friendly restaurants.


We have by no means exhausted the list of Portland neighborhoods worthy of exploration, but these are some of the best to get a feel for all our city has to offer. If you're looking for more detail or are considering a move to Portland, check out this full neighborhood guide.

WINNING FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS

 

Dads can be hard to shop for. Getting a great Father's Day gift is all about Dad's unique interests and the kind of gift he appreciates. Does he like practical, useful gifts? Does he prefer a sentimental gesture or words of affirmation? Is he into tech, the outdoors, movies, or art? 

Here are a few ideas for where to start, with links to more complete gift lists from four trusted companies:

For the outdoor adventurer or athlete: REI Father's Day List

Gifts starting at $15, including:

  • DoubleNest Hammock
  • YETI Cooler
  • HydroFlask
  • Osprey Backpack
  • Bushcrafter Knife
  • FitBit Watch

For the techie or DIY guy: Amazon Father's Day List

Gifts starting at $7, with daily deals including:

  • Shower Speaker
  • Virtual Reality Glasses
  • DEWALT Drill Kit
  • 3D Doodling Pen
  • Bluetooth Headphones
  • Cold Brew Coffee Maker

For the one-of-a-kind, finer things: Etsy Father's Day List

Gifts starting at $25, including:

  • Custom Cuff Links
  • Monogrammed Dopp Kit
  • Personalized Map
  • Personalized Beer Labels
  • Reclaimed Wood Charging Station
  • Best Dad Ever T-Shirt

For warm fuzzy family mementos: Pinterest DIY Father's Day List

  • Hand-painted Grilling Plate
  • Photo Collages
  • Hand-made Cards
  • Heart-shaped Bacon Breakfast
  • Favorite Snacks Gift Basket
 

SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

"I've traveled alone to dozens of places, and come to the conclusion that solo exploration is one of the best ways to learn and challenge oneself. It's a great way to re-center, to escape from the details of daily life that can distract us from our own big picture and to come back with a new sense of self-sufficiency and purpose." 
       ~ 
Jill Filipovic, "Do yourself a favor: travel solo at least once" / The Guardian

Solo Female Travelers

Women traveling alone is not new or unusual. In fact, solo female travel bloggers are plentiful, sharing their own real world examples on the internet.

Lisa of Girl About the Globe has traveled to 70 countries on her own. Full-time teacher, Lindsay, recently took a year off to do a Round The World Sabbatical. Shannon of A Little Adrift also did a round-the-world trip, but she just kept on going! Stephanie travels frequently for her work with international humanitarian organizations. As for domestic travelers, Jill works from the road full time with her Vespa, RV, and laptop - as do many other solo female full-time RVers!

These are just a few examples among thousands. Some travel full time, others take solo trips on occasion, others have picked up and moved abroad.

What do solo female travelers need to know about safety?

Safety is often a top concern for women traveling alone. Here are some tips and advice from other women travelers:

  1. Follow Your Instincts - Trust your gut and if something feels sketchy or uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation asap. Safety is more important than politeness. So be kind, but don't worry about hurting someone's feelings or seeming rude in order to minimize your risk.
  2. Travel During Daylight Hours - Whenever possible, plan your transit and move about town before the sun sets. Ask locals which areas are safe and what they recommend doing if you need to get from place to place at night. 
  3. Blend In With The Culture - Most travel crimes are "crimes of opportunity." This means, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a target by blending in and looking confident about where you're going (even if you have to fake it). Let respectable local women be your fashion inspiration - avoid wearing revealing clothing and expensive jewelry.
  4. Stay Connected - Make sure someone back home knows your travel itinerary. If you're traveling more spontaneously, use social media to stay in touch. If you're serious about going off grid, consider getting a personal locator device.
  5. Research your destination - Every city and culture has its own unique concerns. Make sure you're aware of any frequent scams and unsafe neighborhoods to avoid. Don't let these reports scare you too much, but just be aware of them. Also, the more you can plan ahead and make back up plans, the less likely you'll be to end up somewhere you don't want to be.

Best Solo Female Travel Destinations

According to Travel + Leisure, the top international destinations for women - based on safety and accessibility - are currently:

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Munich, Germany
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Saba, Caribbean
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Norway's Fjords
  • London, England
  • Iceland

Although safety is certainly a concern for women traveling solo, most have found that it doesn't have to be a scary experience at all. In fact, the biggest challenge most solo female travelers report is decision fatigue. Being on your own means you are 100% in charge of your day. You decide where to eat three times a day, where to sleep, what to do, how long to stay, who to talk to, and more. It's a challenge, but it can also be a truly liberating and transformational experience.

Have you ever traveled solo? Would you consider it? Where would you go?

 

THE BENEFITS OF LEATHER LAPTOP BAGS

For more than 10 years, we’ve been perfecting the craft of smart and durable design so you can focus on work, family and the future. That's why we've chosen top grain leather for many of our laptop handbags.

Leather provides a number of benefits.

Look

Leather looks great. It's fashionable for a night out on the town, while still fitting in well in more formal or corporate settings. 

Flexibility

Morrison 14.4"

Morrison 14.4"

Leather is sturdy, yet not too stiff. Clark & Mayfield bags stand upright on their own and hold their shape. But the leather exterior allows some give and take. This is helpful when the bag needs to squeeze into a small space or needs to be stuffed full from time to time.

Protection

Leather is one of the most hard-wearing materials. It is resistant to water as well as to excess scuffing. While the texture of a leather bag can spoil if it comes in contact with too much water, you can be sure that your laptop inside will avoid water damage. Our bags also come with padded laptop sleeves and durable handles, which can easily support the weight of a computer and other accessories.

For more great leather laptop and tablet handbags: SHOP NOW >

Top 5 Things to Do in Portland in the Summer

 

At Clark & Mayfield, we're proud to call Portland, Oregon our home. (We even name our handbags after the streets and neighborhoods here!) Summer is arguably the best time to visit Portland. The days are long and warm, and all that rain leaves behind a lush, green wonderland.

If you have a chance to visit Portland in the summer, here are 5 things we think should be on the top of your to do list:

Urban Hiking: Council Crest

The vista point at Council Crest Park is the perfect place to be on a clear day. Hike up through the forest on dirt trails, or wind around on the paved sidewalk. Overlooking downtown Portland with views of 5 iconic mountains in the distance, this urban hike is a Portland classic.

Scoop Up Local Flavors: Salt & Straw Ice Cream

salt and straw

The Salt & Straw Ice Cream is so popular it Portland, it draws lines that circle the block. Waiting in line and sampling the quirky flavors is all part of the experience. Grab a staple flavor - like Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, Honey Lavender, Pear &  Blue Cheese - or order something off the rotating seasonal menu, featuring more unique combinations of local ingredients.

The shops are also located in some of Portland's most trendy and charming neighborhoods, so be sure to take some time to explore! Locations include:

  • 38 NW 23rd Ave. 
  • 3345 SE Division St. 
  • 2035 NE Alberta St. 

Events & Festivals

2WBF060707

Portland pulls out all the stops in the summer, with festivals celebrating craft beer, music, art and the city’s internationally acclaimed culinary scene. Check Travel Portland to see what's in store while you're in town, or plan your trip around one of the following favorites:

  • Portland Rose Festival
  • Portland International Beer Festival
  • Waterfront Blues Festival
  • Oregon Brewers Festival
  • Musicfest NW
  • Feast Portland

Get Out: Springwater Trail

The Springwater Corridor Trail is part of a 40-mile loop around the city. The paved, scenic trail connects Sellwood Riverfront Park, Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Beggars-tick Wildlife Refuge, the I-205 Bike Path, Leach Botanical Garden, Powell Butte Nature Park, and Gresham's Main City Park.

We recommend starting at Sellwood Riverfront Park trailhead and heading up along the Willamette River. It's a great place to bike, blade, jog, or walk.

Feast: Portland's Food Carts

Portland Food Carts

You can't leave Portland without partaking in its renowned food scene. There are countless eateries to suit just about any taste. And Portland's quirkiness shows up strong in the food cart craze. Food cart "pods" have popped up in multiple locations across the city - making it easy to sample from various vendors in one sitting. 

Check out some of the hot spots in this food cart pod listing. Bon appetit!


Looking for more ideas of things to do in Portland? Check out our Pinterest board: Portland, Oregon - Localvore.

 

PURSE MEETS BRIEFCASE: WORK-LIFE BAGS FOR WOMEN

Life gets busy quickly. When balancing a career with the rest of your schedule, it helps to simplify. That's why our handbags are designed to help you go seamlessly from the office to the kids' soccer practice to a night out with friends.

It's like having a purse and briefcase in one.

No longer do you have abandon your fashion sense in order to carry everything you need. Protect your laptop, store your files, and keep personal items neatly organized - all tucked inside our beautiful, top grain leather handbags. 

Our laptop handbags are sturdy and elegant. They're roomy, but designed with purse pockets so everything has its place. And they're travel friendly, too. A strap in the back slips easily over rolling luggage handles, so you'll be ready to go in the blink of an eye.

WHERE'S MY BAG: MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

WHERE'S MY BAG: MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

The “Where’s My Bag?” series highlights Clark & Mayfield bags in interesting locations around the world. This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com from her recent travels to Colombia. Michelle and her husband are "digital nomads," running their business online as they travel. Michelle shares about some of the destinations she's visited with her Clark & Mayfield bag in tow.

Medellín, Colombia

WHAT IS A BULLET JOURNAL?

List lovers, this one is for you! Turn a notebook into the keeper of your calendar, thoughts, to do list, and anything else you can dream up. The bullet journal makes capturing and organizing ideas really fast with a practice called "rapid logging." It's designed to help you focus on things that are worth your time.

All you need is a blank journal and pen or pencil. The original Bullet Journal tutorial can be found here, but you can always adapt the concepts however you want. Take standard symbols used in a bullet journal and tweak them to fit your needs:

*    task
/    in progress
X   done
<   scheduled
-    note
O   event
>   migrated

For example: Start on a new page for this week's tasks. When you have a new task, write it in the list with a dot in front of it. If you've started working on it already, change the dot to a slash (/). When it's done, make it an X. If you don't get around to a task during the week, you can migrate it to the next week's page - or not, if you decide that task is no longer important.

You can also use pages in your journal for things like:

  • Project plans
  • Reading or movie lists
  • Gift ideas
  • Weekly menus
  • Meeting notes
  • Shopping lists
  • Tracking exercise habits
  • Listing things you're thankful for

Keep the first page of the journal as an ongoing Table of Contents. That way, you don't have to worry about leaving enough blank pages to keep all related thoughts in one section. If you need to start a second page for a certain project, just use the next available page in your notebook. In the Table of Contents next to that item, add a comma and the new page number next to the original.

For more examples, search #bulletjournal on Instagram

For more examples, search #bulletjournal on Instagram

Some people use the bullet journal in a purely functional way, while others have a carefully crafted style. The Art of Simple has a great example of how a full-time blogger and mother of three uses her bullet journal. You can also check out inspiring examples on Instagram and Pinterest, and see what works best for you.

 

OUR FAVORITE LAPTOP SKINS AND ACCESSORIES

At Clark & Mayfield, we're all about the laptop lifestyle. Our tech-friendly handbags are crafted to blend practicality with style. And we're always on the look-out for other head-turning laptop accessories. These are some of our favorite laptop skins and accessories that are not only useful but beautiful, too.

Laptop Skins

Why use a laptop skin? It's a great way to "dress up" your computer and give it your own unique flare. In addition, laptop skins protect the outside of your laptop from scratches. Most skins can be easily removed so if you ever want to resell your laptop, it will be in great shape.

We like the vintage vinyl decals by TaylorHe. They're affordable and come in a variety of patterns.

Another great place to look for beautiful laptop skin designs in Etsy.


Keyboard Skins

Using a removable keyboard skin is great for keeping out the crumbs and other grit that always seems to find its way into the crannies of your keyboard keys. More importantly, they're waterproof so when you accidentally spill coffee, your keyboard stays protected. You can easily remove the keyboard skin to wash it. And it gives your computer a cool look, too! 

There are a variety of different keyboard skin styles on Amazon


As a bonus, you can often find matching laptop and keyboard skins to tie the whole look together, like this city rain set:


Matching Mouse and Mouse Pad

What better way to brighten your workspace up than a matching mouse and mouse pad? Even if there's a track pad on your laptop, using a mouse can be easier on your hand and posture. We love the cute chevron design here:


Cord Keepers

Tech devices tend to require lots of cords and cables, and that can get messy. One of the best ways to keep your work space sleek and simple is to tame those tangles with a cord organizer. We like the elegance of this magnetic option, which can suction to your table or wall. Laptop, phone, printer, and charger cords will magnetize to it and be right where you need them.

What about laptop sleeves or cases?

Thanks to the padded laptop sleeves in our handbags, there's no need for an extra case! Just slide your laptop into one of our bags and you can tote it anywhere, safe and secure. 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

PACK LIKE A PRO: SMART PACKING TIPS FOR CARRY-ON BAGS

This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com.

Packing for a trip requires us to overcome conflicting considerations: being thoroughly prepared versus not being over-burdened by our luggage. Taking just the right amount can be tricky to figure out. 

What's in my bag

I've had the Clark & Mayfield Morrison bag by my side for almost a year now, and it has always doubled as a work bag and a carry-on. Since I'm constantly on the road and working from my laptop as I travel, it's important for my bag to hold only what I need.

So what do I pack? The picture to the left shows the contents of my carry-on bag for the flights on our latest journey: five weeks in Hawaii, two and a half weeks in Vietnam, and two and half weeks in Japan. (My checked bag was a Gregory backpack that held my clothes, toiletries, and extra notebooks.)

*Macbook Air 13" with power cord
*Notebook
*iPhone 4S with ULAK wallet case (contains ID and credit card)
*sunglasses
*Corsair 32 Gig flashdrive
*mini address book
*Kindle Paperwhite with leather case
*checkbook
*Japanese phrasebook
*iPod shuffle with earbuds
*foam earplugs
*lipstick
*prescription bottle
*business cards and back-up credit cards
*glasses case
*G2 pens and pencil
*Gorge Delights Just Fruit snack bars
*multi-purpose scarf
*one change of clothes 

And, of course, it's all held together with the Morrison laptop bag.

Packing Tips

1. Your carry on should hold anything you absolutely can't do without if your check-in bag gets lost en route. On our trip to France this past summer, a glitch in the system caused our luggage to arrive 10 days late. Carrying on a light-weight change of clothes and prescriptions are always a good idea, just in case.

2. Valuables like electronics, expensive jewelry, and cash should never be left in checked baggage.

3. If you find yourself overpacking in attempt to prepare for every possible weather variation, or if you're unsure about what you'll need at your destination, don't sweat it. Remember that most things can be purchased at your destination if you determine later that you really need them.

4. The secret to minimizing your clothing items is to pack things that can be layered and to go with a general color scheme so that each piece can be mixed and matched with the others. 

5. Use a carry-on bag with inner pockets to keep your belongings in place and easy to access. This is why I love the Morrison bag. I like to keep my passport and airline tickets in the front outside pocket so I always know exactly where they are and can quickly pull them out when needed.

WHERE'S MY BAG: GALINA, JAMAICA

The “Where’s My Bag?” series highlights Clark & Mayfield bags in interesting locations around the world. This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com from her recent travels to Jamaica. Michelle and her husband are "digital nomads," running their business online as they travel. Michelle shares about some of the destinations she's visited with her Clark & Mayfield bag in tow.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SAFE, ETHICAL MAKEUP

Could the makeup you wear every day actually be harmful?  Most of us don't think twice when we apply our favorite lipstick or eye shadow. Unfortunately, there is an ugly side to name brand beauty products that shouldn't be ignored.

Keeping yourself informed and knowing which products are safe and ethical is all it takes. Here are some of the primary concerns you should be aware of when it comes to makeup products:

1. Toxic Chemical Ingredients

Dr. Kim Harley studies hormone disrupting chemicals at UC Berkeley. She says, "there is a lot we don't know about the long-term health effects. But we do know that if they're in our products, they're getting into our bodies." 

According to the Environmental Working Group, “Nearly 90 percent of the 10,500 ingredients the FDA has determined are used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA or any other publicly accountable institution.” Many of these ingredients, which are known carcinogens, have been linked to breast cancer.

Nanoparticles like zinc, titanium and iron oxides are often included in cosmetics. If these penetrate the protective layers of the skin, they may cause reactions with UV light that could result in damage to cell DNA. 

Unfortunately, here in the U.S., we currently don't have any system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics, and products containing nanoparticles do not have to be labelled as such.

2. Environmental Impact

It's probably no surprise that the same synthetic materials that may be harmful to your body are also toxic to the environment. The process that cosmetic companies use to produce makeup can have a negative impact on the environment. The end of a product's life is another concern. Disposing of cosmetics through our bathroom sinks means they can find their way into our soil and water systems.

Product labels that advertise "natural," "organic," and "green" should be taken with a grain of salt. There is no standard definition of these terms. And note that some brands may claim to use clean ingredients, even though they make up only a small percentage of the full ingredient list for the product. 

3. Animal Testing

Humane Society International estimates that 100,000-200,000 animals - rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice - suffer and die from cosmetics testing every year. Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned throughout the 28 countries of the European Union since 2009. Currently, animal testing is still at the discretion of individual cosmetic companies in the U.S. In the majority of cases, animal tests continue because some companies insist on developing new ingredients rather than using materials that have already been verified.

How to Find Safe, Ethical Products

1. Choose brands certified by the Soil Association

By shopping these brands, you can be sure of the following:

  • Products are never tested on animals
  • Contain no genetically modified (GM) ingredients
  • Only use natural colors and fragrances from plants and flowers which are gentler on your skin and for the environment
  • Do not use silicone oils or derivatives
  • Follow the principles of green chemistry and minimize waste and pollution.
Neals Yard Remedies

Neals Yard Remedies

2. Read your product labels

When selecting a product in a store, watch out for ingredients like “phthalate,” “sulfate,” “paraben,” “triclosan” or “toluene.” These can be listed as either a stand-alone ingredient, or as part of a longer-named ingredient. These are not safe for your health.

3. Check your product's score

If you already have some favorite makeup products, you can see how they rate for health and ethical concerns. The Skin Deep database, by the Environmental Working Group, focuses on personal care items, while Good Guide rates just about every household product out there.

With just a little research, using the above resources, you can create a list of makeup brands and products for yourself. Granted, they will likely be more expensive than name brand items from the drug store. It's up to you to weigh the price against the other costs we've discussed here and find a solution that works best for you. 

SMART SIDE HUSTLE IDEAS

 

According to Portland-based author and entrepreneur, Chris Guillebeau:

"A side hustle isn't just nice. It's necessary." 

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a project or business that brings you extra money, apart from your day job. For many successful side hustlers, it has the potential to eventually replace traditional work - but it doesn't have to. It can simply be an additional source of income, providing you an outlet to develop skills and use your creativity.

When job security gets unpredictable, or your work no longer meets your needs - whether mentally or financially, it's a good idea to have something going on the side. A side hustle reduces your vulnerability to job loss and gives you options if you ever want to change directions with work.

Starting a side hustle is low risk. You don't have to quit your job to start one. You can begin small and build it up over time. Today's online tools have opened a lot of doors for solopreneurs and side hustlers. If it doesn't work out, all you'll really lose is your time - but you'll probably gain valuable experience and skills along the way. 

Get ideas for your own side hustle

There's a new, free resource available to anyone who wants to start a side hustle. Launched in January 2017, Chris Guillebeau is now producing a daily podcast called Side Hustle School. Each day he shares a profitable side hustle story from the real world, breaking down the strategies that led them to success, with actionable take-aways that can be applied to your own situation. 

Side Hustle School podcast episodes include stories like:

  • College Lecturer Makes Money By Helping Other Instructors Teach Better
  • How One Man Used A $100 Microphone To Make Over $8,000
  • “AIRBNB For Dogs”: Woman Hosts Pets At Her Home For $200/Day
  • 17-Year Old Canadian Makes $7,000 From Holiday Pop-Up Shop
  • PE Teacher Makes $11,000 With Membership Site

The ideas range from ordinary to outlandish from every business niche you can imagine. And the success stories include projects bringing in a little extra pocket money to businesses that sky-rocket to six figures.

The concise, info-driven episodes are great for getting your entrepreneurial creativity flowing and for learning practical strategies to start your own side hustle. You can start enjoying the daily podcast here: https://sidehustleschool.com/podcasts.

 

 

 

4 BENEFITS OF WHEELED LAPTOP BAGS

Stafford Pro rolling laptop bag in black

Stafford Pro rolling laptop bag in black

At Clark & Mayfield, we offer a variety of tech-friendly bags for women. Each style meets a different need. Our cross-body bags are perfect for protecting tablets and e-readers. Women who want the style of a purse that can comfortably carry a laptop, will find a variety of suitable handbags in our collection.

Last but not least, our designs also include rolling laptop bags. Here's why the rolling laptop bag might benefit you: 

Rolling laptop bags are spacious. Each of our rolling bags are at least 17 inches and can fit large laptops and hefty multi-media equipment. On top of that, they're full of useful pockets for all your other belongings.

Carry a heavier load. These laptop bags have a sturdy light-weight frame to accommodate heavy tech, books, etc. They can be carried by hand, but you'll save strain on your back, shoulders, and fingers by rolling it instead. Just extend the handle and you're good to go.

Double up with another bag. Thanks to the extension handle, you can set a smaller bag on top of the wheeled roller. Or, if you're traveling with a larger suitcase, use the slip strap to slide the laptop bag securely over the handle of another rolling bag!

Be versatile. Wheeled laptop bags are truly multi-functional. Use them as a rolling briefcase for meetings, a carry-all for conferences, an overnight bag for short trips, or as carry-on luggage you can store overhead in the airplane.   

Hawthorne leather wheeled rollers in red, black, blue

Hawthorne leather wheeled rollers in red, black, blue

WHERE'S MY BAG: MERIDA, MEXICO

The author with her C&M Stafford laptop bag

The author with her C&M Stafford laptop bag

The “Where’s My Bag?” series highlights Clark & Mayfield bags in interesting locations around the world. This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com. Michelle and her husband are "digital nomads," running their business online as they travel. Michelle shares about some of the destinations she's visited with her Clark & Mayfield bag in tow.

Mérida, Mexico

Mérida, Mexico is a popular travel destination in the Yucatan peninsula for Mexican vacationers and foreign tourists alike. The city has a rich cultural life, with frequent community events and dining for both budget and luxury travelers. Many tourists use Mérida as a base to visit nearby archeological sites, cenotes (underground rivers), and beaches.

Why We Went

We decided to stay in Mérida for three weeks at the start of the year, thanks to a recommendation from some well-traveled friends. We were impressed with the many cultural events, colorful exterior walls and secret interior courtyards, grand colonial buildings, affordable eateries, and proximity to Mayan ruins.

Although it was "winter," temperatures still reached the high 90's on occasion, but most days were pleasantly warm - a welcome relief from the snow storms taking place back home in the Northwest!

Getting some work done in the courtyard of Cafe Montejo

Getting some work done in the courtyard of Cafe Montejo

As usual, we split our time between working online for our freelance clients and exploring the area. To learn more about things to do in Mérida, check out our brief guide to Mérida on a budget.

Online Classes for Your Creative Side

If you've ever wanted to learn jewelry making, or you've dreamed of starting a photography business - whatever your creative pursuit - be it amateur or professional, you'll probably find it on CreativeLive.

CreativeLive

CreativeLive brings the world's greatest experts to your computer screen, with dynamic live video workshops and courses. Free online classes are broadcasting live every week. Anyone can watch the live workshops - for free - and interact with instructors in real time via chat. After a class airs live, you have the option to get life-time "on demand" access to it by purchasing the course.

Course topics include:

  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Hand lettering and typography
  • Writing and publishing
  • Sewing
  • Knitting and crocheting
  • Mixed media
  • Jewelry
  • Blogging
  • Scrapbooking
  • Business and marketing for creators
Click the image above to see more Craft & Maker classes

Click the image above to see more Craft & Maker classes

Click the image above to see more Art & Design classes

Click the image above to see more Art & Design classes

CreativeLive is a great resource for starting a new hobby or taking your craft skills to the next level. If you're business-minded, you'll also find some interesting opportunities for professional development on the site. 

Free Tools to Be More Productive At Home

Being productive at home has its challenges. When you're surrounded by every-day distractions, chore lists are multiplying, and motivation is scarce, it's good to have some extra tools in the proverbial toolbox to keep you moving forward. Whether it's paid work or a personal project, try these tips to help you finish well:

Try focus music

Some people are motivated by their favorite tunes when they work - others find it distracting. If you fall into the latter category, instrumental focus music may be a better solution for you. Just search youtube, and you'll find free music tracks, each several hours long. Play it while you're working on the computer to help you concentrate and drown out distracting background noises.

Pace yourself with Pomodoro

The Pomodoro technique is all about working on one thing at a time, in a series of uninterrupted spurts. Typically, it means working at a task for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break before the next 25-minute spurt. After four blocks of time, you take a longer break. The idea is to give your brain regular rest to stay fresh and to get more concentrated, concise work done. To aid in the process, you can use Tomato Timer, or download a Pomodoro app.

Wunderlist

Keeping track of your To Do list is simple with the app from Wunderlist. It allows you to organize multiple To Do lists as well as set due dates and reminders for your tasks. You can even sync up your lists with others and assign tasks to different people. Check off the box when you've completed a task, and hear the satisfying "ding" that it's done!

Track Your Time

Tracking how much time you spend on different activities is not only eye-opening, but it's an important step if you want to make changes to improve your productivity. RescueTime is an app you can easily install on your computer and/or phone to keep record of your online activities. It runs in the background and will produce a report of how much time you spent on various websites and computer programs. You can see the cumulation of productive and non-productive activities, set goals for yourself, and with the paid version, you can even block distracting websites at certain times of the day.

For more tips on productivity, check out:

WHERE'S MY BAG: KO'OLINA, HAWAII

Clark & Mayfield Stafford Pro handbag outside the Marriott Ko'Olina Beach Club

Clark & Mayfield Stafford Pro handbag outside the Marriott Ko'Olina Beach Club

Ko'Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

The Ko'Olina resort community is on Oahu's western - or leeward - coast, just 17 miles from the capital city of Honolulu. Once frequented by Hawaiian royalty, it is now home to beautiful resort hotels and vacation rentals like Aulani Disney Resort & Spa, Four Seasons, and Marriott Beach Club.

For family vacations and destination weddings, Ko'Olina makes a great, more laid-back alternative to Waikiki.

Visitors come from around the world to enjoy Ko'Olina's ocean views, play golf, explore the marina, dine out, and relax on the white sand beaches. The coastline is studded with four man-made lagoons, providing gorgeous and well-protected areas for swimming and lounging. These sandy lagoons are connected by nearly two miles of waterfront pathways, with the Lanikuhonua nature preserve just to the north.