Summer usually means vacations and trips, and the dilemma of what to pack! One of our team members traveled to Spain for 2 weeks in April, and she has compiled a list of her favorite tips for packing smart and enjoying your trip:
The most important thing: TRAVEL LIGHT. According to travel expert, Rick Steves, there are 2 kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had! Travel light = ONE CARRY-ON BAG. Whaaaat you ask? Here are some reasons why:
- You’ll walk with your luggage more than you think you will or you will find your Airbnb accomodations are on the 5th floor…with no elevator. Trust me on this.
- No spending money for checked luggage that could be used to buy that beautiful rendering by a local artist of the charming village you visited.
- You’re more flexible when plans change, either for unforeseen travel complications or spontaneous exploration of a site or town that you had no idea was so fascinating or beautiful or fun.
- You’re not burdened down when you are dashing madly and breathlessly to catch the last train of the day.
- Less chance of it getting lost or stolen or of you being targeted by pickpockets because you are struggling with an oversized bag whose wheels won’t cooperate over sidewalks or cobble-stone streets.
Does all that sound good, but you have no clue HOW to do it? Here were the best ideas I found that worked for me:
- Find a convertible, carry-on-size soft backpack that can expand. Mine was 21″ x 14″ x 9″ which fit the European specifications for carry-on bags. If necessary, it could have been checked as a regular suitcase, but shoulder straps and a waist belt were securely tucked away in a pocket ready to be converted to a backpack. Totally saved the day. See #1 – #4 above.
- Don’t pack over 20-22 pounds. Again, see #1 – #4 above.
- Stack your clothes on top of each other and roll, rather than fold them. They don’t wrinkle as much. There are many YouTube videos to help you figure this out.
- Use packing cubes to corral your smaller items.
- Plan a capsule wardrobe. Choose neutrals such as black and gray or brown and tans. Choose 1 or 2 brighter colors that will coordinate with each other. I took gray, black, bright blues, with a bit of coral, then mixed, matched, and layered them for different looks everyday. I packed 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of leggings that could be worn with my longer tops or under my knit skirt, 2 t-shirts, 2 tunics, 1 tank, one long-sleeved top, one sweater, and took a raincoat. Along with my lightweight accessories mentioned next.
- Accessorize simply. One or 2 lightweight scarves that match your capsule wardrobe not only brighten up an outfit but can double as a blanket on plane rides or as a skirt, head wrap or shawl to cover your shoulders when visiting venues that have strict dress requirements, such as cathedrals. Of course, Style to Go Zulugrass is THE BEST travel jewelry! It is super light, takes up very little room, gives you many options for color, and can be taken off your wrist and given to a host, helpful flight attendant, or new friend. The Leakey Collection even has a couple of Special Edition sets to inspire your travels, in extremely limited quantities so check them out while they’re still available.
- Plan the bare minimum of clothes that you think you’re going to need. Then take out a few things. Again, trust me on this. I could have easily gotten by with 2 or 3 things less than I took.
- Pack a small, foldable shopping bag to bring back any souvenirs you will cherish or small gifts for people. If there is something large you think you must have, consider having it shipped to your home.
Travel light. Pack smart. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
From an intimate tête–à–tête dinner or picnic to a big BBQ, family reunion or cocktail party, summer means dining alfresco! We’ve gathered 7 great tips for making it a magical way to enjoy the long summer evenings ahead without stress!
- Keep the food simple. Start off with a small, delicious appetizer like a gourmet wine and cheese platter. A rotisserie chicken from your local market, combined with easy side dishes, allows you to spend time with your guests!
- Make wind less of an issue. Skip the tablecloth in favor of easy placemats.
- Mix and match plates, bowls, glasses,and napkins. Have fun with different types of seating: indoor chairs, stools, benches with cushions.
- Use natural items for serving and displaying, such as wood, baskets, and pottery.
- Skip the pricey flowers and decorate your table with succulents or small plants and herbs from your garden. Let the beauty of nature be your guide and enjoy them all summer!
- Experiment with creative lighting ideas. Paper lanterns, floating tea lights or candles in mason jars all create a soft ambience.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new like throwing a blanket and pillows onto the ground for a relaxed seating area. Provide blankets for your guests for any later-evening chill in the air.
Above all, relax and enjoy yourself. Summer is a state of mind.
Off-the-shoulder style and peek-a-boo shoulder cut-outs are one of 2016′s BIGGEST fashion trends, providing “Elegance with a Dash of Daring!” This neckline can range from sitting just at or well below the shoulders and flatters most body types. It just calls for earrings to accentuate the feminine curve of a neck and shoulder. That’s why you need plenty of earrings! Luckily, we have several styles to choose from!
The pastoral Maasai are some of the happiest people on earth, joyously celebrating life’s special occasions. They have very close community and family ties so our wish for you this holiday season is the same – that you would have the opportunity to make your celebrations full of that joy and peace with plenty of time to spend with the people you love.
We here at The Leakey Collection are so thankful for all of you who partner with us to Make a Better World.
Designed to raise global awareness and fundraising support, cause-awareness days and months mark time periods on the calendar when a particular social issue is highlighted for special attention. Each person and organization has a heart for different causes that are important to them. Obviously, The Leakey Collection is passionate about women and empowerment issues across the globe. Over the past fifteen years of running our fair-trade business in rural Africa, we have witnessed some wonderful changes in areas that we never expected. One such area is a dramatic decrease in domestic violence. Although that wasn’t one of our initial goals, it was a direct result of our efforts.
“Fair Trade companies around the world concur that domestic violence abates in households when women can become financially independent contributors.” Katy Leakey
Last month, we were honored to have played a small part in the Accelerate 4 Change event, benefiting the National Coalition for Domestic Violence that we wrote about here.
Most definitions of domestic abuse include “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” Of course, the issue of domestic violence is NOT ever simple nor do we want to suggest that. But we do want you to know that providing work opportunity for the Maasai women in Kenya and other communities around the world can help. And we thank you.
The recent International Day of the Girl really made us think about how empowering & educating women & girls can change the world! This year’s theme of “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″ addresses the fact that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, but also that “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to CHANGE THE WORLD – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.” Powerful words!
Studies show that when an educated girl or woman earns income, she reinvests 90% of it into her family. She prioritizes food, medicine, and education for her children. In one of our recent videos about The Leakey Collection’s early days, our founder Katy Leakey shared that even the Maasai men eventually acknowledged: “The women spend the money on the RIGHT THINGS. They put the kids in school. They buy the food.”
Mandy Moore wrote in ONE.org: “Each additional year of secondary school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that increase yields real profits for the countries they live in. When 10 percent more women in a country complete secondary education, the country’s annual per capita income grows by 3 percent. Investing in women and girls makes economic sense.”
We believe in this so firmly that not only is our mission to empower our female Maasai artisans through entrepreneurial ventures, but we are working to keep young adolescent rural girls, who tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education, on track toward graduation. A portion of the proceeds from each Beads for Girls Graduation bracelet is donated by The Leakey Collection to our Girls Graduation counseling program, as well as toward a girls’ scholarship fund.
The words “Fair Trade” mean so much more than just “feel-good words.”
As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, The Leakey Collection is fully committed to the principles listed above in all of our transactions. These principles were created by using the global principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) as their foundation.
Our Fair Trade Federation membership means we go beyond the fair trade basics. It’s a 360° approach that’s about building true partnerships with artisans and working to create positive change through all of our work. 360° fair trade means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses. As an FTF member, we go through a rigorous screening that looks at our whole business. We call it 360° fair trade, meaning that we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do — socially, economically, and environmentally. We practice 360° fair trade, which means we take a more holistic approach than only looking at wages and work conditions. We partner with artisans and make a long-term commitment to helping grow businesses and strengthen communities. We’re proud to practice 360° fair trade. We build true partnerships with producers and act responsibly in all of our work: socially, economically, and environmentally.
The month of October is Fair Trade Month. There are many options to buy fair trade products wherever you shop so make your purchases mindfully. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” Anna Lappe
Every purchase matters.
Zulugrass has traveled from Beverly Hills (in a previous post) back to Africa – this time to South Africa.
“The Journey Is the Destination,” based on the critically acclaimed bestseller, is also the name of a film in production in South Africa, chronicling the life of photojournalist and creative activist, Dan Eldon. On July 12, 1993, Dan and three of his colleagues were beaten, clubbed and stoned to death by an angry mob in Mogadishu during a violent time of upheaval.
Growing up in Kenya, Dan became friends with Philip’s daughter, Lara, forging a long history of friendship and support between the Leakeys and the Eldons. “The Journey” features a talented cast, among them Ben Schnetzer as Dan and Ella Purnell as Dan’s sister Amy. Maria Bello, star of the 1990′s TV series “ER” and movies such as the recent “McFarland USA,” plays Dan’s mother, Kathy Eldon, a best-selling author and visionary in her own right. Los Angeles Confidential Magazine named Kathy one of Los Angeles’ Most Influential Female Power Duos with activist Maria Bello.
It is such fun to see Maria wearing Zulugrass on the set, along with actor Mika Basson, as Elinor Tatum who participated in the Student Transport Aid Safari that Dan led across Africa to deliver aid to a Refugee camp in Malawi.
You can follow the progress of this film right along with us here or here. We look forward to seeing this in theaters!
The Leakey Collection was honored to be a part of this past weekend’s charity event Accelerate 4 Change at the Warner Brothers Estate in Beverly Hills, benefiting Children Uniting Nations and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Hosted by Ben Talei, M.D. & Cinemoi Studios, the evening included special performers, a silent auction, guest DJ, and a fashion show featuring designs from Brian Lichtenberg.
Celebrities and other attendees were given TLC’s purple “End Domestic Violence” Zulugrass bracelets as their entry into the event, as well as being included in the gift bags. We were grateful to see so many of them immediately adorn their wrist or neck with the purple strands to show their commitment to this cause. It was a fantastic night of coming together, supporting two at-risk groups, and getting the word out to help put an end to domestic violence!