3.04.2015

MOM ON THE RUN MUST-HAVES


By this point I've mostly perfected the out-and-about-with-a-four-year-old tool kit. At all times, I am exceptionally prepared. By now I'm like a professional junk-toter, it's my super power. My left shoulder has gotten kinds of stronger than my right. Ship me to Paris, I'm doomed to be a hunchback! I try to only ever carry the barest of essentials, because things can get out of hand real fast and suddenly you're carrying your entire house around with you, and that helps nobody. So, should you find yourself on the run in the city with a toddler, or just by yourself and you want to feel prepared, here are the things I never leave home without:

// POST-ITS AND A CLICK PEN // I can't live without a writing implement and somewhere to scratch down a few thoughts. Sometimes the notes app on my phone just doesn't cut it. Rather than toting a small notebook, which I tend to write things in that I never look at again, I keep a small stack of post-its and a click pen with me. The thing about a post-it that's so genius is that it's just the right size, and you can stick it to whatever you need to stick it to in order to remember to read it when you need it--the back of your phone, your keys, your wallet--I've even stuck a post-it on by boob before (I was trying to remember which side I'd nursed on last). The click pen is key, though. No pens with caps! Pens with caps never turn out well.

// BABY WIPES // There ain't nothing a baby wipe can't accomplish.

// A COPY OF THE NEW YORKER // I like to keep a mangled, folded-up magazine in my bag for unexpected playground stops, long train rides, interminable waits on lines, and for looking busy when you need to look busy (sometimes that happens, I don't know). The New Yorker is especially good for this, because there are enough long-form articles to read through without a ton of ad pages to create too much bulk. A slim paperback book works, as well. I've been slowly making my way through the books I was supposed to read in high school that I Cliff's Notes-ed my way out of. There is no cooler or more pretentious feeling than when you can whip out a beat up copy of Lolita while having avocado toast at The Butcher's Daughter by yourself. Cool points, pretension points, holla.

// SMALL WATCH // I'm trying to break myself of the habit of checking my phone for the time. I swear I'm running the battery down every time I do it, or at the very least, increasing the risk that I'll drop it and crack it. My favorite watches of all time have all been cheapie Casio models. This one is slim and pretty and also durable as heck, plus cheap.

// BAGGU // I hate when things swim around all loosey-goosey in my bag and become impossible to find. I keep my small bits + bobs in a gold leather Baggu pouch. It makes me happy every time I pull it out. (I also carry at least one Baggu reusable shopping bag while I'm at it.)

// LIPSTICK // A tube of lipstick or good pot of lip butter is good for on-the-spot touch ups when you're feeling haggard and want to look pretty. A dab on the lips + a dab on the apples of your cheeks, blammo. I love Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate, it's just about the perfect color.

// FIRST AID // I found this adorable little pill box in the Target dollar aisle once. Inside it I keep Advil, peppermint oil capsules, and Benadryl. You never know. You will also want a giant stack of bandaids. You can never have enough bandaids.

// BOTTLED WATER // Bonus points if yours is reusable and pretty. I usually opt for the basic plastic Earth killers, since they're light + easy to get + carry.

// MOPHIE // Oh Mophie my Mophie! I literally, completely literally, do not know what I would do with out my Mophie. It's a life saver and a half. Four charges! Peace of mind in a battery pack.

// EMERGENCY MINI MARSHMALLOWS // Look, this one seems self-explanatory. Know what's oddly really good together? Mini marshmallows and raw almonds. I mean, if you need it to be healthy.

// HAND BALM + SANITIZER // I can't do a sanitizer session without a follow up moisturizer session. Aesop's Resurrection Hand Balm is every bit as good as you've heard it is.

// COMFORTABLE UGLY SHOES THAT MAKE YOU LOOK RAD // Might I suggest a pair of Wallabees? I wore these every day the first year after we moved back to the city, through pregnancy and post-pregnancy. They look like orthopedics which is sort of why I like them, I think.

// PERSPECTIVE // I try to remind myself a few times a day to really relish this funny time in my life. Especially when we're in the grocery store and Huck keep bumping into people and begging for fruit snacks + sugar cereal and we're trying not to get separated + lose each other and I sort of want to tear my hair out. I try to remind myself how cool it is that I get to have this experience. Someday I'll look back on this so fondly, and why not look at it so fondly right now!? Couldn't hurt, right? This works for me 99% of the time, and instantly calms my nerves and boosts my patience. There is always that 1% though . . .  ;)

Fellow city dwellers + all ye who drive in cars, tell me your must-haves! Let's get some good ideas from each other, yeah?

22 comments :

  1. I got a little Baggu for Christmas and I love it! There are some great things on this list. On top of the hand santizer and baby wipes, I usually carry antibacterial wipes as well (germ freak over here!).

    xo
    Rachel

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  2. Nail clippers! Someone always needs them. I attach them to my keychain.

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  3. LOVED this.
    I'm still struggling with the purse/diaper bag dilemma since my 2.5 year old won't give the potty a chance in hell.
    when my diaper bag contains: diaper, wipes, butt cream, sanitizer, a few hair clips and ties, a snack or two, and a bottle of water, i feel like i should just toss my wallet in there and call it a day.
    but i really want to use myyyy purse. which usually holds my wallet, pouch for pen and small things, a small Avene Eau Thermale, a lip stick or Eos, eyeliner, extra pouch, and then some. but then I have to carry two bags? ugh no thanks.

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    1. You do a big purse with a mini diaper pouch inside. 3 diapers, wipes, good to go. Plus, I don't carry anything that doesn't pull double duty- pack of mints/rattle, baby sling/blanket/changing blanket...

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    2. I think you should try finding a large chic purse that can fit yours and baby stuff. I have twins and a 5 year old and I can't imagine. When I only had one, his stuff was with mine in my purse.

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  4. Great post! I can't leave the house without my Burt's Bees chapstick, a NYX lip butter, hair tie, and alcohol free foaming hand sanitizer

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  5. Graham crackers in a Tupperware container (otherwise they'll get crushed). Graham crackers always perk up my 3 year old if need be.

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  6. Well, I'm now the owner of a new Casio watch! Hahaha wonderful post, as per usual!

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  7. Emergency chocolate, obviously.

    Bookofstefanie.com

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  8. Seriously though, what is it with 4-year-olds and band aids?! No joke, I told my 4yo he could have a treat if he was good at the doctor's office, and he picked a pack of band aids. We never leave home without them.

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  9. I have a three year old sister and we need these items in our lives asap1

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  10. "There is no cooler or more pretentious feeling than when you can whip out a beat up copy of Lolita while having avocado toast at The Butcher's Daughter by yourself." --> HA! I laughed out loud. Also a big fan of Korres lip balm. And I have a question: what are peppermint oil capsules and what are they for/how are they used? Thanks, this is awesome, for moms and non-moms alike!

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  11. I don't have a three year old or a child but I have all these items in my bag...and some! Instead of the mini marshmallows I have a bag of bison treats for my bully.

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  12. Similar to Hey, Bubs, I too carry pretty all this sans child. Different variations of course, but same idea. Like a gluten-free bar for when I get stuck out longer than expected, since I can't stop off just anywhere for something safe to eat. Of course, I also usually have a scarf and umbrella, no matter the time of year, because Berlin weather is so unpredictable. It's a lot to lug around without a car, but a small price to pay for urban living. ;)

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  13. This has made me want a watch. I have serious phone battery problems at the moment, and I suddenly feel like I just need one. Isn't it weird how you can not want something for years, and then suddenly you need it...

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  14. Love this! Though I would skip the hand sanitizer if I were you! Eeeeek! http://branchbasics.com/blog/2015/03/hand-soap-and-hand-sanitizer/

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  15. Love this post, and I agree on all counts. Would love to know what brand your backpack is. I'm looking for a new one, I'm tiny and don't want a huge bag on my back.

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  16. hot wheels. :D
    www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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  17. i'd also love to know what brand of peppermint capsules you use! thanks!!!

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  18. Have just realised that the answer to not having to pick bits of emergency antihistamine out of the bottom of my bag is to put my 1st aid kit in a tin like yours.... doh!

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  19. Rummaging around the bottom of my purse, here is what I found (aside from the usual diapers and wallet): tissues, lots of tissues (used and new!), loose crayons (I steal them from restaurants knowing that they will come in handy during "emergencies"), a balled up plastic bag (because who knows when I might need one!), travel size sunscreen, wipes (amen sista!), Baby Lips lip balm in every color (a saving grace for a tired face), and a handful of pens (just need to add the post-its!). -from a mom to a 16-month old

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