A reader recently emailed and asked:
“Katie, I have loved your blog for months now! In a lot of your posts, you mention that you always keep something-or-other in your purse. Your purse is starting to remind me of Mary Poppins… And I would love to see a post: “what is in Katie’s purse?”
Which gave me a great excuse to go through my purse (*ahem* clean it out) and make a list of everything in there. As I was doing this, I realized that it really is starting to resemble Mary Poppins’ famous bag and I probably have everything but a lamp in there…
On the positive, it weighs so much that I get a workout from carrying it!
My purse doubles (er.. triples) as a diaper bag and on-the-go survival kit so it has a very random assortment of items at any given time. I’ve included the basics in this list, though there are often other items as well. I was aiming for a post that looked like one of those “What’s in her bag?” profiles in a magazine, but I’m definitely not a throw-a-lipgloss-in-a-clutch-purse kind of girl… If you didn’t already think I was a little strange with the whole making my own deodorant and toothpaste thing, you might now…
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1. My purse, a Saddleback Leather Tote, is by far the most expensive accessory I’ve ever bought. I saved for it for years but consider it an investment because it comes with a 100 year (yep… you read that right) warranty that can be transferred to your heirs. It is literally the last purse I’ll ever have to buy and I wrote it into my will…
It is extremely well made, comes in three colors, has a removable liner that makes it easy to clean, and a handy inside pouch that is perfect if you ever need to conceal anything It can be carried cross-body or over the shoulder and has an inside pouch that is perfect for wallet/checkbook and a metal hook that I attach my keys to so
I don’t lose them the kids can’t take them.
I also love that this purse holds its shape, doesn’t fall over and has enough room to actually organize things within smaller bags inside. Why would one need bags inside of bags? Read on….
2. Two things I always keep with me are my phone (in an Otterbox case since I have kids) and a Moleskine notebook which I use all the time for making lists (because I’m mildly OCD and feel more productive when I do) and for outlining random blog posts as they come to me.
3. Long hours as a doula are the reason I carry these items. I always keep magnesium oil, rescue remedy, and herbal hand sanitizer and herbal breath spray from Tropical Traditions. I’m not one to use hand sanitizer all the time but it does come in handy when the kids decide to feed ducks at the park or we have to use a port-a-potty. (Note to self: should probably start carrying TP too…)
The Survival Gear
4. I married a man with many brothers and they all love anything outdoorsy. If I’ve learned anything from them, it is that you can never be too prepared. I have a small bag (see #9) inside my bag with the following items:
- A fire steel for starting fires- works great for campfires, not so effective on candles.
- A para cord bracelet- you know, in case I ever need to repel or tie a Christmas Tree to the roof of the car or whatever… I also carry regular hot pink paracord so I don’t actually have to mess up the bracelet if I ever need paracord (logical, I know).
- A knife- I have a Smith and Wesson Tanto Blade Knife which has been excellent for cutting fruit or cheese at picnics and taking those little plastic tag-holders off of new shoes. I’m guessing it would also be useful in a defense situation… I also carry a Swiss Army Knife which I’ve used much more than I ever expected to, especially the phillips head screwdriver.
- Pepper Spray (not pictured)- because you just never know.
- A whistle/compass (not pictured)
- A LED Flashlight (not pictured)
5. With kids, someone is always hungry or thirsty. I keep a klean kanteen full of water and a leak-proof Lunchbot with snacks (like nuts, coconut, dried fruit, etc) in my purse at all times because a hungry two year old in a crowded store is not something to mess with!
The Herbs and Oils
6. I keep another small bag with first aid and health essentials. I have a glass jar full of coconut oil and some little bottles of essential oils and tinctures with me at all times. I get the amber glass bottles from Mountain Rose Herbs and fill them with what I need. I usually carry:
- 1/24th ounce glass bottles with essential oils of peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, oregano and lemon.
- 1 ounce tincture bottles with chamomile tincture (calming), digestive tincture, plantain tincture and sleepytime tincture. All of these have come in handy, especially on road trips.
- 4 ounce jar of coconut oil for everything – bug bites, natural sunscreen, lotion, lip chap, diaper cream, and we could eat it if we were hungry…
7. I’ve always thought cloth diapering was easier, but especially with two kids still in diapers, it saves time and space. I can keep a couple one-size diapers in a wet bag in my purse and they can be adjusted to whichever child needs them at the time. Then, I just throw in the wash and grab a couple more when I get home.
The Bag in a Bag
9. Why does one need a bag-in-a-bag? For organization… My hubby found these Eagle Creek Quarter Cube Pack It Bags and they fit perfectly in the Saddleback purse. I could probably fit up to four of them in the purse if I needed to, but they hold a lot and most of the loose items above fit well in one of these.
The random items in my purse vary daily, but often I carry:
- Superglue (again, you never know)
- A tape measure (you’d be surprised how much this gets used)
- A toothbrush, or five…
- Business cards
- A ring sling for baby
- Extra baby blanket – I love these that a friend just told me about and they double as a burp cloth or swaddler
- safety pins and a sewing kit
- lip chap
- extra rubber bands for hair
- travel scissors
- Vitamin C
- a lighter or matches
- extra cash
- kleenex or handkerchief
- pens and pencil
So, that’s a look inside my (40 lb) purse… what do you carry? What is the most unusual item you have in your purse right now?