The Things I Carry


I only ever switch between two purses anymore unless I'm traveling. One is a zebra-print bag from Kate Spade that I use during the fall and winter; the other is the tan and pink Kate Spade tote pictured below, a cheery little thing (which isn't very little) that I haul out for spring and summer.

Today, I decided it was time for my bi-annual swapping party, wherein I move everything from one bag to the other and assess its potential usefulness for the next six-month period, and I thought it might be fun to do a "what's in my bag" post.

The Things I Carry
The Things I Carry | Flickr

Clockwise-ish from top left:

A buhmillion bobby pins. I've been growing out a pixie cut for a year now, and I have reached the awful stage between chin-length and shoulder-length hair. It is just the right length to jump in my mouth when I'm leaning over a keyboard or a book, but it doesn't quite stay in a ponytail. Bobby pins to the rescue! (You buy them in jumbo packs because bobby pins disappear into thin air after 1-3 uses.)

Mini Moo cards. I have never ever had business cards, personal or professional, on hand at the right moment, even though I have a lovely collection of each. I now carry some in my purse, so I can hand them out to the zero people I meet up with during the week who don't already know me.

Jif-to-Go peanut butter. I bring a bagel to work every morning and eat it with peanut butter as my at-the-office breakfast with a side of coffee. Sometimes, I'm in too much of a hurry to grab these pre-packaged peanut butter cups from the pantry (yes, I realize how terrible that is), so I keep a spare one in my purse. I like to imagine that it could also come in handy as a method of distracting a vicious dog if need be.

Wristlet, debit card, driver's license, pocket knife, lip balm, lip gloss. I keep all of these items stored together in the wristlet (from NY&Co.) because I don't always want to haul around a giant purse, especially if I'm just walking to the nearby general store for a candy bar or some shampoo. Having a few essentials stashed in a separate bag makes it easy for me to dash out the door for a quick errand. The lip balm is Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch, and I have no idea what the lip gloss is. (It is completely unlabeled and was a gift.)

Kate Spade tote. I love nearly everything that Kate Spade makes, especially her stationery and handbags. If I had the money, I'd get one or two more Kate Spade purses and rotate them out every few months, but until then, I will just bookmark this handsome thing for later and hope to find it on sale for $80 later in life.

Canon PowerShot 300 HS camera. I take a lot of pictures with my iPhone 4S these days, but I still like having a camera/camcorder with me at all times. This particular model is popular among YouTubers and makes a great little vlogging camera, so I have it loaded with a 16GB SD card just in case I bump into Elijah Wood and need to record every awkward second of the encounter.

Hair clip. My hair doesn't really stay in that yet, so I guess it's in my bag just to taunt me.

Top Trumps: Doctor Who. Ian introduced me to Top Trumps a long time ago and was immediately sorry; I kicked his butt every time we played. Even though we broke up a few months ago, I keep the game in my purse because it is a really fun, casual card game to pull out when you're waiting for food to arrive at a restaurant or for your flight to begin boarding at the airport or whatever. Plus, Doctor Who!

Advil (ibuprofen). I started stashing a bottle of Advil in my purse a few years ago for headaches and lady pains. Since then, I've discovered that guys just expect gals to carry this stuff in their purse for any time they get a boo-boo. Well, lucky for you, man-children of the world. I am totally that kind of girl.

Go-Go Squeez applesauce in Apple-Apple. This is the perfect snack! No need for a spoon or really even for your hands. I nearly died of hunger on a train once, but then I remembered the applesauce in my purse and survived to tell this cool story, bro.

Frango mints, milk chocolate. I self-medicate with three things: Lord of the Rings, chocolate, and pizza. I have The Fellowship of the Ring on my phone at all times, and pizza is only a phone call away. Frango mints are among my favorite chocolates on the planet, so I keep an emergency stash in my purse for really bad days. This little box holds four Frangos, and I refill it from a one-pound box I hide at home. Brilliant, I know.

Knit sleeve for coffee cups. This came as a surprise gift from @bethanyactually when she shipped my tiger mug many moons ago. Slipping this thing over a hot or cold beverage from Caribou Coffee brightens my day so much. Plus, it saves me from using a cardboard thing, making it cute and environmentally friendly.

Minimergency kit. When I saw this at the Container Store two or three years ago, I thought, "Oh, that would be a great gift!" So I bought one for myself. The kit contains a teeny tiny bottle of hairspray, clear nail polish, an emery board, floss, a sewing kit, bandages, a safety pin, hair ties, and much more. (Read the full list and/or buy one here.) It really does come in handy in a pinch, and it has even impressed a number of my coworkers. This is no small feat, since a lot of them are mothers and have way more life experience than I do and generally have a solution to every conceivable problem within arm's reach. All in all, really glad I bought this for me and not for you.

Wallet. This NY&Co. wallet has just the right number of pockets and slots for store loyalty cards and imaginary cash. Plus, it's pink. (My favorite color is actually purple, but my favorite accent color is pink. Yes, there will be a quiz later.)

Earbuds and decorative bag. This combo solves two problems for me: 1) it is way too easy to lose small items in a large purse and 2) earbuds are the devil's string. The decorate bag came free with another Etsy purchase, so I was thrilled to find a good use for it. The bag is easy to find in my purse, and keeping my earbuds separated from everything else makes it 20% less difficult to untangle them in a hurry (like when a chatty group forms outside my office to discuss the merits of kale for the third time in a week).

Dior Addict Lip Glow. This Dior product is best described as a balm that lightly enhances your natural lip color. It's a nice and easy way to freshen up my face. I don't even use a mirror to apply it, so I keep it in one of those "your phone is obviously supposed to go here" pockets for fast access while at a red light or while I'm running up the stairs to get to my office in the morning.

Fisher Titanium Bullet Space Pen. If you're only going to keep one pen with you at all times, this is the one. It is compact when closed, but the cap attaches to the body of the pen to form a full-sized writing utensil. It writes well at any angle, even upside-down, and even on damp paper. Also, it's adorable.

Compact mirror and brush. I picked this up ages ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It opens up to a mirror on one half and a small hair brush on the other, which is obviously nice to have for on-the-go situations. I rarely use it because I am very lazy about fixing up my appearance after I leave the house in the morning, but that's another story entirely. If I want to look pulled together all the time, I have the tools to make it happen.

There you have it. I carry quite a bit of stuff with me, and I can give you a reasonable excuse for every item. Impressed yet? Terrified? I'm dying to know what you take with you in your pockets or briefcase or purse or oversized hat. Tell me in the comments or put a link to your own post!