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 folding pocket 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 use small glass amber bottles filled with whatever 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.
8. Mainly in case of emergencies or food poisoning, I keep a pill container with capsules of cayenne, activated charcoal, and probiotics in my purse at all times too.
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
- bandaids (our favorites are made from bamboo and fun for kids)
- 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?
Discussion (74 Comments)
I’m in awe and feeling slightly jealous! Though I think I’d get arrested here in Brooklyn for carrying a couple of those items. There’s a ban up here on all sleepytime tinctures. 🙂
Yes! I carry super glue too! and duct tape and many other “emergency” essentials. I’m a college student, so my friends generally think it’s weird how much stuff I carry– but they are always grateful when I pull out some obscure item that they need in a pinch.
Wow! I carry 5 credit/debit card/license in my back pocket. A diaper and wipes (only one in diapers) are stored in the car. The keys are tucked into my pocket or the spare set (used 50% time) is around my arm. That’s it! I’m working on a stash of basic items in the trunk of the car. I suspect when we leave toddler/baby stage and I get out more the needs will change and I will begin to haul something around…maybe. I’m inclined to obtain a small backpack for my toddler to carry to hold his water, snack, and some EOs. We are SO different! Thanks for sharing.
Love that someone else feels the same way about not having their purse/diaper bag/first aid kit/emerg kit “purse” fall over or collapse all the time. It has to be one of my biggest pet peeves to not have a sturdy bag. I’ll have to check yours out. Thank you for the post!!
Hahaha! Glad to know I’m not the only one with a fire starter and essential oils rolling around in the bottom of my purse! 🙂 And I too have had shocked looks when I’ve pulled out my knife and wiped it off with a baby wipe – yes, normally to slice apples and such.
Cute purse, by the way!
Wow that is something. you must feel like a pack mule! lol (you must be talking about camping for a week. 😉 When I take my three kids anywhere, My purse is full of: drum roll please – my wallet, keys, phone, diaper, wipes. Oh yeah, we sometimes take a jug of water a snack if we are gone longer than an hour. I must be a guy lol
Do you have a purse or a back-pack? lol and thats kinda a mean looking knife 😛
I so wish I had a friend like you! Your purse resembles mine. Even down to the cost of the purse which is something I too, saved for and expect it to last a lifetime. I can’t think of anything more unusual than what’s in your purse, but I always carry a Sharpie.
My friends think I am so weird and can’t believe all I carry in my purse, especially since nothing in my purse has to do with make-up. Which brings me to my reader request…..I’d love for you to do a post on your friends. Are they lifetime friends you’ve known since grammar school or high-school (so they “get” you), or have you moved from where you grew up and now are friends with people in your town or parents whose kids play with your kids. And do you relate to each other? I am at a loss for friends who live this lifestyle. Most everyone thinks it’s a little odd that my daughter has pet the cow who’s milk she drinks and asks for milk like this, “mommy, can I have some of Custard’s milk” (Custard is the name of the cow). I don’t even get into the fact that we drive 50 miles round trip once a week for our milk.
Thanks for the fun post!
Angela I agree!! She’s like the best friend we’ve never had!!
I’ amazed there isn’t a hair brush in your purse
Fascinating! thanks so much for sharing. I can’t carry that much with me all the time, it would kill my neck (I carry a very very small leather purse, barely big enough for my few cards, phone and keys). But I love the insight and might make up an extra bag to carry with me in the car of the extras you mentioned that I don’t already carry.