Thursday, January 12, 2017

What's in My Bag?

Disclaimer: All of the opinions in this post are my own. I was not sponsored or compensated in any way for this post. These brands just happen to be the ones I use on a regular basis!

Hello, beautiful! Recently, I was in a bit of a blogging rut, so I ran a Twitter poll with a couple ideas and asked my followers to vote on them. With 50% of the votes, "What's in my purse" won the poll by a landslide! So, for all of you who voted in my Twitter poll, this post is finally here :)

Personally, I love what's in my purse blog posts and YouTube videos. When I got my first purse at around 10 or 11 years old, I relied on them to tell me all of the essentials I had to take with me wherever I went.

Back then - probably since my mom's purse used to be like Hermione's magic bag - I thought it was a sign of maturity to carry around a full purse. Now, I wish I could say that much has changed, but I still carry my entire life with me wherever I go, and I'm still obsessed with ogling the insides of other people's purses.

Not gonna lie, there is a ton of shit stuff in my purse (and in the interest of honesty, I didn't clean it out before I started writing this...eek!), so I'll spare you the lengthy intro and dig right in!

...Literally. Did I mention it's a mess?

The Bag

First and foremost, let's talk about the bag I've been using for about the past two weeks now. 

I bought this Guess satchel at my local T.J. Maxx for about $50.00. Since then, I've looked online and haven't been able to find it anywhere, so I'm guessing it's an older model - or I'm just that special ;) 

I bought it because it was a lot roomier than my old Kate Spade crossbody, so I'd be able to use it to carry my laptop and other essentials to class. (In other words, so I could finally stop using the pink Jansport backpack I've had since high school!) 

As you can see in the photo, the purse is a light lavender-pink color with gray details. It also came with some cute gray tortoiseshell tassels; however, I pulled them off, because even though I thought they were cute, I got annoyed with them flopping around all the time. Plus, this handbag has such a great structured look to it, so I didn't want to compensate that by going too boho with the tassels. Oh, and the lining is printed with a gray leopard print and the word "Guess" written in cursive all over it.

My top three favorite features of this purse, in no particular order, are:

  1. The size. I love that I can tote around my laptop, a book, my planner, and all of my extra little notebooks and odds/ends. However, even though it's roomy, the bag is so structured that it doesn't feel bulky no matter how much I put inside it.
  2. The lining. I love the pink and gray exterior, but to me, the leopard print lining gives it that little pop of attitude and personality that truly makes this bag unique. 
  3. The pockets. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is how many little pockets this purse has! There's a pocket on the outside that's perfect for my phone and keys, two small pockets on the inside where I keep things like tissues and gift cards, and a wider, deeper inner pocket that's perfect for my school ID holder, hand sanitizer, and - let's face it - snacks.


Keys. Obviously. But, one thing you might not know about me is I have two different lanyards: one for college and one for home. My BU one just has my dorm key and CVS card on it right now; my home one is where all the fun baubles and keychains hide out.

Wallet.  Right now, I'm using a Primark wallet I got from a friend as a Secret Santa present. I keep my wallet so stuffed that I could probably do a separate post all about it. However, my hands-down favorite thing in my wallet is a photo booth strip of me and Ryan at prom. In the last photo, he tricked me into talking while it was taken, so he's smiling nicely while I look like a mess! 

ID holder. My ID holder is a mint green leather wallet that says Boston University on it. My mom bought it for me at the bookstore on move-in day, and I've held onto it ever since. The only two things I keep inside it are my Terrier Card (aka my school ID) and my Charlie Card (for public transportation), and while it probably seems a little redundant to carry around an ID holder and a wallet, I like to keep my essentials easy to reach.

Planner. My planner was made by Eccolo (which I have never heard of before in my life - I literally just found this out by looking in the back cover). I got it at TJ Maxx for around $8.00. I love it because it's big, with a weekly spread with a to-do list, notes, and daily schedule. Plus, it has the black, minimalist design that's recently become my favorite for all things stationery. 

Bullet journal. After months of hesitation, I finally set up my bullet journal for 2017! I'm currently using a black, unlined Moleskine notebook that came in a three-pack from Target for about $13.00. It's smudgy like nobody's business, but I'm already falling in love with the DIY layouts! 

Notebook. That's right, on top of a planner and a bullet journal, I still carry around a third notebook in my purse. At first, I bought this $5.00 notebook as an impulse buy from TJ Maxx, thinking I was going to use it as a "goal journal" for 2017. However, it's handy to take with me in case of emergency, such as the time I had to take a phone interview for the paper in the parking lot of a library (yup, that actually happened to me).

Laptop (if I wasn't using it right now). One of the reasons I wanted a Mac for Christmas was so I wouldn't have to carry a heavy backpack to class anymore. My laptop is now only about 13" and weighs pretty much nothing. So, after Christmas I went out and bought myself a bigger purse so I could use it as a carryall for school, work and life in general. Now, I don't have to take a backpack anywhere I go - only my purse! (Which explains why it's so packed full of stuff...)

Odds and Ends

(Warning: there's a lot.)

Pens. For obvious reasons, given the number of planners and notebooks in my bag, I always need to carry a pen with me. This one is the same navy blue polka dot pen from Dabney Lee that I featured in my Christmas haul post. I've used it so much since then, I'm pretty sure it's about to run out of ink.

Gift cards. These won't fit in my wallet, so I keep them in a pocket of my purse. In no particular order, I have gift cards to: Target (that was pretty much all I got for Christmas this year - read more about it here), Starbucks, Sephora and Dunkin' Donuts. Oh, and a play card for the local arcade, which uses swipes instead of tokens!

Condoms. Ladies, be prepared - 'nuff said. Also, for all you girls with a latex allergy, the extra-thin Skyn ones changed my life.

Mini colored pencils. These actually came in some cute mail that Northeastern sent me in high school, after I was accepted there early action. Needless to say, I didn't decide to go there, but I still appreciate (and carry around) the swag!

Mini bottle of Aleve. I am allergic to ibuprofen, so this is my go-to painkiller. Mostly I like to stay away from pills whenever I can, but if the anxiety headache is really THAT bad or the cramps are beyond what I can handle, I'm not afraid to pop one when the (worst possible) occasion arises.

Eye drops. I wear my contacts for 12+ hours a day - which is, TBH, much longer than my eye doctor recommends - so obviously, these are great to have on hand. I'm carrying around Visine for contacts - not because I have a preference, but more likely because they were on sale.

Chapstick. For something like the past two years, I haven't even been using a real brand of chapstick. Instead, I've been using this promotional chapstick I got from State Street at a Girl Scout event I went to in high school. Oddly enough, I like it because it doesn't have any tints or flavors. It's basically like carrying around a tube of Vaseline, which is my preferred lip moisturizer when I'm not on the go.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose. Honestly, I have been using this product literally since I discovered Sephora in middle school. I first got a sample of this tinted lip moisturizer as a birthday gift for being part of Sephora's rewards program, and used it so much that it ran out. I missed it so much I had to buy the full size tube. Long story short, this product is amazing to throw on when you're feeling lazy, and you should definitely try it. It leaves my lips feeling glossy and smooth, with just a hint of "my lips, but better" color.

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Towelettes. I got this deodorant wipe as a free sample from a vegan food festival I went to. It's been sitting in my purse waiting for an emergency ever since. (TBH, I have definitely stepped out of my house without deodorant on since I got it - I just always forget I have it! Note to self: must use this towelette soon.)

Kleenex. It's winter. It's Boston. My nose runs. Sorry, not sorry.

Tampons. I used to be a strictly-pads kind of girl, but recently, I switched to tampons and never looked back. Even when I used pads, Kotex was my favorite brand. They're still the brand I primarily use, but I've also been looking into getting an all-natural subscription service like Cora instead. (Readers: if you've ever used a tampon subscription service before, would you recommend? LMK in the comments!)

Lipstick flash drive. I got this flash drive for Christmas. It's shaped like a tiny Mac lipstick - which is not only adorable, but also a laptop pun, as my friend gleefully pointed out the other day. Embarrassingly enough, it also has more memory on it than my phone. I carry it everywhere because it contains all my files from my old laptop, which I never know when I might need.

Goal slips. Okay, so this is a bit of a weird one - but bear with me while I explain. A few weeks ago, I took Carrie Green's free goal-setting workshop online, and she gave us the tip of creating a "goal jar" with all of your ambitions for 2017. Every day, you pull a goal out of the jar and look at it to inspire yourself. Since I didn't have a cute jar to pull from, I threw my goal slips into a plastic baggie and threw it in my purse for easy access. Kind of a ghetto solution, but hey - it works!

Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers. My love, my life, my obsession. I'm currently carrying two varieties, simply because I forgot one of them was in there and haven't bothered to take the other out: Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte and Aromatherapy Stress Relief, which smells like eucalyptus tea. 

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Raisin. Not sure why this color is called raisin when it's actually a sheer baby pink, but it's my favorite nonetheless. I wear this lip gloss pretty regularly, for a more natural everyday look. Usually I like it paired with a shimmery nude cat eye, using my new Too Faced natural eyeshadow palette and the Milani liquid liner.

Receipts. I usually let these pile up in my purse until there's so many I can't stand it anymore. These ones are from: Cheeseboy (a grilled cheese restaurant at the local mall), the nail salon, Whole Foods, and the gas station. Normally I don't spend that much money out and about, but we have a family friend visiting from out of town, so we've been trying to take her to visit all the sights! 

Pads. I may be more of a tampon girl now, but I still like to be prepared in case I get uncomfortable, have some kind of infection or ever need to spend the night somewhere.

BU Health Stress Ball. Just before finals, I got to visit a therapy dog on campus. After we got to play with the dog, they handed out these "survival kits" with fun stress relief activities for us to use before finals. This star-shaped stress ball is one of them! Believe it or not, I've found it actually helps a lot when I'm in the middle of an anxiety attack, so I carry it with me whenever I go.

Balance nutrition bar. These protein bars are my FAVORITES for snacking on the go! The one in my purse right now is the Cookie Dough flavor, but I'm an even bigger fan of the Chocolate Craze - which explains how I already ate them all. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? Oh, and speaking of which, I love that these bars have a low glycemic index (i.e. the protein in them balances out the sugar, so it won't raise your blood sugar), so I can curb my chocolate cravings without ruining an otherwise healthy day! 

Bath and Body Works Mini Ultra Shea Body Cream in French Lavender and Honey. My friend from Wisconsin has been visiting for about the past week. The first day she was here, we went straight to the mall. One of the first places we hit up was Bath and Body Works - which just happened to be having its massive semi-annual sale - so I picked up this hand cream to pop in my purse. I love Bath and Body Works' products because they're so hydrating and luxurious, smell great and don't break the bank. This particular scent is sweet, fresh and floral, and overall one of the best impulse buys I've ever made.

Bath and Body Works Mini Fragrance Mist in Magic in the Air. I bought this scent on the same shopping trip and have literally been OBSESSED with it ever since! As soon as I smelled it, I knew I had to buy it. I think it is a fairly new scent, but TBH I don't go in Bath and Body Works often, so I'm probably just ignorant. Either way, this has quickly become my new go-to! (Previously, I have been equally obsessed with Forever Sunshine, Forever Red, Cashmere Glow, and Warm Vanilla Sugar, in that order.)

Harry Potter Mini Coloring Kit. Okay, so if you saw my Christmas haul post (if not, check it out here), then you already know the whole story of how I ended up with this coloring kit. I have not had the chance to use it yet, but I tucked it in my purse so I could break it out at restaurants and waiting rooms, much like a littler version of me might color on her menu. Needless to say, I don't quite have the "adulting" thing down yet.

Normalized anxious thinking index cards. Last but not least, the final item in my purse is quite a special and personal one for me, and that is my normalized anxious thinking cards. As some of you may know, I'm in therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so catastrophizing is something I  struggle with fairly often. The workbook I use with my therapist, The Anxiety and Worry Workbook (which, BTW, I 10/10 recommend for anyone who struggles with anxiety disorders), suggested making index cards with normalized reactions to anxious situations that you can refer to when you feel an attack coming on. So, when I'm out in public and start to feel shaky, I can just slip into the bathroom and read a card that reminds me that "I am confident and in control." How cool is that?

There's still time to sign up for the 2017 Whole Body Reset! The FREE challenge starts January 15th at 6 AM EST. 

Want to get my Hustle Hard planner completely FREE? Sign up for the 2017 Whole Body Reset by January 11!

* indicates required