What’s in my bag?!

Usually, I write my posts for both men and women to enjoy reading.  Even when I wrote my Travel Tips article, including details about what’s in my travel kit, I threw in a few golden nuggets for the men folk.  Because axe body spray and mints are all you need in life, amiright?  But this post – not so much.  So if you are a man and still reading this, consider yourself fair warned. :)

Curiosity is a funny thing.  I think if you ask most women, they will admit to wanting to sacrifice many personal items for just one glance inside another woman’s bag.  What’s her go-to lipstick brand?  How does she keep her hair so shiny? Is there a small mountain of bobby pins and gum wrappers at the bottom, like mine?

I might not be able to solve all of your nosiness woes, but today I’m offering up a sneak peek into what’s normally in my bag – heaps of bobby pins, and all.  And, please, let me know in the comments what you’re toting around so I don’t have to sacrifice my favorite pair of shoes or a right limb hoping for a glance in your purse.  I need some help!

1. The bag. It was pretty terrible going through life without my magenta Longchamp bag.  This was a gift from ole mama years after my time studying abroad in France.  I love it’s size; it’s perfect for weekends away, airport travel and just wandering around town.

2. Panty Liners are one of my favorite things right now.  Forget the image in your head of a ‘clunky diaper,’ liners are lightweight, flexible and seamless – perfect for the tail-end of that time of the month, or when you just need some extra protection. #freshisfierce

3. Hand Sanitizer – A necessity for every situation you could ever find yourself in.

4. A Compact Mirror is my Mother Theresa.  Sometimes angelic, sometimes sweet, and always there to lend a helping hand.

5. The elephant.  Of course, we had to talk about the bobby pins!  Yes – just like you – I always have piles of them at the bottom of every bag, scattered on the floor of my home and out swimming in the unknowns.  My favorite are the miniature sized ones that are perfect for the occasional frequent fly-away’s and loose pieces of hair going awol.

6. So, the other day.  I actually thought about spending money on expensive makeup – like the really nice kind that promises to remove every flaw on your body.  Before spending a bunch of money, I googled the difference between expensive and drugstore makeup and surprisingly learned that most of it has to do with the applicator, brand name (duh) and sometimes the small, tiny particles in the makeup.  Needless to say, I went out and grabbed some nice makeup brushes, and threw one in my bag for touch-ups on the go! Problem solved.

7. Long lash effect.  Some women’s secret weapon is a concealer stick, or a light stroke of powder after a long day.  Mine is a mascara swipe – or two.

8. Hi! Remember when I wrote a love letter to Chapstick?  I always have at least two in my bag.

the real deal.

I was given Carefree acti-fresh panty liners complimentary in exchange for my thoughts on this blog post.  All opinions are entirely my own.

What have you learned from your mother?

In honor of Mother’s day this upcoming Sunday, my brother, sister and I wanted to share things that we have learned from our mother. My mom reads all the posts on this blog so I hope this one finds a special place in her heart. I’d love to read in the comments what you have learned from your mother!


In response to the question, what have you learned from your mother?

Nicole, mom, me
mom and Nicole

“My mom is a superstar! I have learned so much from her, but three things really stick out:

Celebrate Today – Since the birth of her infamous “Wild & Wacky Wednesdays,” my mom has lived according to the philosophy that every day is a day to celebrate. I remember many times growing up when she would take my friends and me to Panera after school, or we would go out to eat on a Monday night “just because.” (Caitlin’s note: remember the ‘mental health days’ when we got to stay home ‘sick’ from school!) Within this practice was a very important lesson; there is only so much that can be wrong when you are at Cozumel (Ohio Mexican restaurant) eating delicious fajitas. Thus, my mom has taught me that by keeping perspective, we can choose to be happy every single day.

Change is painful – Shortly after my junior year of high school ended, I was going to a lot of graduation parties. Among the really yummy cake and fun times with friends, I got really sad at one of them and couldn’t figure out why. I looked around and saw all of these people just one year older than me, about to leave for college. I saw how much their lives were about to change, and I had the unsettling realization that, pretty soon, mine would be changing, too. When I got home, I cried. I didn’t even know why, but my mom did. “Change is painful,” she told me, “no matter what kind.”

Show love to everyone – My mom is a social butterfly. From her job, involvements, and social scene, she knows just about everyone in our community. She doesn’t just know them, she loves them. Everywhere we go, she offers friendly hellos, asks the person not some generic question, but something uniquely related to them, and gives her own genuine response. She sincerely cares about people and wants them to know that they are valued. By doing so, she has shown me what community is, and how to strengthen it.” -Nicole

Mom, Alex (baby bump), me, dad on our way to the hospital for Alex’s birth

mom and Alex

“She has taught me the importance of education, kindness and loyalty.  That education is the foundation to a successful life.  That kindness to others is a perpetual gift.  And that loyalty means not only being faithful to your friends, family and significant others, but to yourself; to your own goals, hopes and dreams.” – Alex

Me and mom

me and mom

There are a number of unique things that I have learned from my mother. One is a statement that I mentioned many times on this blog, which is “to celebrate every year of your life.” I think what my mom really taught me through that statement, and many of her other actions and words, is that each person has a unique journey and story in their life, and his/her  job is to go live it.  Mom – thank you for being an endless source of support as I continue to pursue my dreams and passions!

Ps. Thank you for also teaching us that even the worst fashion faux pas’ can be overcome. ;)

The fam