What's In My Bag?

I have been known to carry a Mary Poppins-like bag. Whatever you need, I probably have. Bandaids? Check. Lip balm? Check. Hand wipes? Check. This is something my friends have joked about for years and years. What can I say? I like to be prepared.

Because I'm a fairly nosy person, I like to read these kinds of posts. And because I tend to have a good amount of stuff in my bag, I thought some of my fellow nosy readers might like to see what's in mine.

This is my bag of the moment. I've carried this bag pretty much every day since the beginning of March, it's usually too full, and it's held up pretty well. It's starting to show a little wear and tear, and I'm starting to think about shopping around for a new one, but I've been too lazy to actually do so. I should also maybe mention that this is technically a handbag, but I carry my school/teaching stuff in it on the days I do that. I'm pretty sure I got this at an Aldo, but I can't seem to find it online. I bought it at a mall in Boston when the strap on my previous, much beloved laptop bag broke. This was an emergency purchase I have gladly not regretted it.

Most days my bag is in school mode, meaning I need the larger compartment freed up for my laptop and charger and papers and things. So my bag organizer with all the little things that end up in a purse gets shoved in this front pocket. It works out better than you might think. I used to have all of these little things just hanging out in this pocket, and it made the pocket much less bulky looking, but I hate (read HATE) digging around in my bag, so organizer to the rescue!

For some reason this backdrop looks kind of fuscia in some of these pictures, and red (the actual color it is) in others. Weird. I mean, I totes did that on purpose. For like an ombre effect? Anyway...remember how I said I had a Mary Poppins bag? This is all the stuff I have in my little organizer right now. And believe me, I've cut this down in recent months. There used to be more. Much more.

From left to right (ish): pen flashlight (you never know when you might need that), moist towlettes (when I go to a steakhouse or for wings or whatever and they serve these with the plate of food, I always tuck away the unused ones. They come in handy!), q-tips (for touching up makeup and such. I think I got this little travel pack from Target), mini lint roller (also Target), sugar packets (I like to stash a couple extra when I get coffee at a coffee shop. Sometimes you don't put enough sweetener in there and you don't realize it until you leave. Sometimes you get a bland latte. You never know), Altoids Small, Trident (this gum is actually supposed to help prevent cavities if chewed regularly), assortment of granola/energy bars (I get super bitchy when I get low blood sugar, so having food on me is a must), contact eye drops (I don't wear contacts very often, but I like to keep this on me for when I do), Avon Care Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream, mini first-aid kit (some bandaids, Dayquil, cleansing wipe, Excedrine), mini toothbrush and toothpaste (for in case I leave the house in the morning without brushing my teeth, or need to freshen up after lunch), and my Tide To-Go Pen (which I could not live without. Works so well, so convenient, so awesome), and my makeup bag. The makeup bag is my most recent addition to my bag, and I'm going to do a separate post with the contents of that to avoid this post getting too outrageously long.

I always like to have a notebook and some pens in my bag. I'm a big fan of the Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine pens and have them in a bunch of colors. I've been carrying one of these customizable notebooks for a while from Staples, and I like that I can move around the sheets of paper. I got my Nine West wallet from Ross years ago and it's worked great ever since. Has room for all of my cards, is big enough to keep my checkbook in, cash spot, change pocket on the back, easy to snap shut, everything a person needs. I'm not fussy with wallets. I just wanted something reasonably attractive that works, and this one fits the bill. I don't really worry about matching my wallet to my bag. I don't think anyone else really notices that kind of thing. I have my laptop in my bag more often than not, and I use this sleeve to keep it from getting scratched up or bumped around since this bag isn't padded. My adaptor for the classroom AV system is constantly in my bag so I have it when I need it for teaching, and I always have a set of headphones with me as well.

In the front pocket of my purse I like to keep my Student ID so it's handy when I need to pull it out and swipe it and some emergency cash. I've left my wallet at home more than once when I've gotten it out to pay bills or buy something online, so I like knowing that I've got some cash tucked away for lunch or whatever.

I almost always have this water bottle either in my bag or in my hand when I'm going out. I got it at Target and it's glass, which I like better than plastic and think water tastes better in it, and the glove does a great job of protecting it. I dropped this thing once when I was jogging on the street and thought for sure the glass would be cracked and it wasn't. The lid pops open easily and the mouth is big enough to put ice in but small enough that I don't worry about spilling water all over myself.

So that's my bag. I'll often have my Mac charging cord in there as well, and something to read. It's also not uncommon for there to be some paperclips floating around in the bottom. And obviously my iPhone, which I was taking pictures with today.

What are some essentials you keep in your bag?

Yours Truly, Jen


  1. Great idea for a post. I have two kids, five and two, so add a travel first aid kit, crayons, hand sanitizer and an extra set if clothes. I also have a set of Sesame Street themed Envirosax for shopping. (We live where there is a charge for disposable bags.) I use a Purse to Go insert that makes it easy to stay organized in any bag and it can move the whole thing at once.

  2. I should carry some re-usable bags with me. That's such a great idea! When I lived in Austin I always used re-useable bags, but I seem to always forget them here for some reason.

  3. I just noticed this water bottle at target yesterday and almost bought it. It seemed a bit heavy for a bag though. Is it worth it?

  4. I like it. I guess it depends on what else you typically carry though. I'm used to having a heavy bag, but if I have my laptop with me and my bag is pretty heavy, I'll usually carry the water bottle. If it's just my wallet and purse organizer, I'll stash the bottle in my bag. I really like having glass for water bottles so it's worth it to me, and even the heavy duty plastic ones I've gotten in the past have always ended up cracking on me. It comes down to preferences, but I think the value for your buck is great.


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