what’s in my bag


I’ve been carrying the very same workhorse of a handbag for over two years.

I give it a good clean out every week because there’s only so many tissues and toy cars and (heaven forbid!) mandarin skins one mother can carry. Granted, it houses a lot of paraphernalia that’s collected as we go, but I prefer to only carry the essentials.

I gave up the notion of a nappy bag many years ago and instead carry a simple nappy pouch with everything I need for on-the-go changes. If you’re new to motherhood and feel weighed down on your everyday outings I highly recommend this simple method. I use a pouch from Printebebe – it easily fits a packet of wipes, three nappies, a change mat, a change of clothes and there’s still enough room for my wallet, keys and phone if I want to travel particularly lightly.

Sunscreen is an absolute must for me and while I apply it every morning I will reapply if I’m out in the sun for longer than thirty minutes. A recent sun spot on my face turned really dark thanks to pregnancy hormones and I had to have it treated so I’m even more vigilant about covering up – in all seasons! I use Eco All Natural Sunscreen for the face + body – available here and here. It’s incredibly light and easy to apply and unlike many other brands it has never irritated my sensitive skin.

107A4177-1For all kinds of skin issues – dry lips, mozzie bites, grazes, nappy rash – I love Pure Papaya Care. A friend recommended this ointment years ago and I’ve been fan ever since. It walks all over the traditional paw paw ointment because it’s free of all petrochemicals and is infused with calendula, jojoba oil and shea butter. It’s basically the perfect, natural all-rounder hence it’s ideal for the handbag. You can get it at most chemists and online from Nourished Life.

Ere Perez Beetroot Cheek + Lip Tint is my favourite make-up item (along with the Almond Oil Mascara – amazing!). You only need the tiniest bit on the cheeks to create a healthy rouge and I’ll dab a bit on my lips after I’ve moisturised with papaya ointment. It makes me look “ready” for the day, even if I feel anything but.

For dry hands (particularly at this time of year) I love Salus’ Lavender & Mandarin Hand & Cuticle Cream – you only need the littlest bit and it works wonders (the perfect gift, too!).

I carry a string bag or two so I don’t have to succumb to plastic…and they’re the very best thing for carrying a decent load of fruit + veg. I found this one at the op shop many moons ago and surprisingly they’re really hard to come across (but if you’re good at crochet there are plenty of patterns online).

Finally, a pregnant woman cannot leave home without a good supply of water. I bought my Klean Kanteen drink bottle when I was pregnant with Percy and I’ve used it everyday since. I swear buy this bottle and it withstands lots of falls (it’s dinted patina is somewhat endearing).

And then of course there’s sunglasses, wallet, phone, diary and pen…sometimes a book and, of late, my knitting accompanies me to after-school activities.

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Showing 8 comments
  • Anna

    I love your list. We are bag twins and while a big bag like this Madewell tote is the perfect excuse to carry a lot I try to downsize as much as possible myself. I am not a Mother yet and probably won’t be for a few more years but I am a minimalist at heart and wonder why people need to lug around literally dozens of toys, utensils and bits and pieces. A few essentials really should do.

    I need to get a lot better about sunscreen (I’ll buy some today.) and have the Ere Perez Tint on my wishlist for when I use up my current blush. I love how it doubles as a lip tint.

    Finally, I recently found out about the new Klean Kanteen Café 2.0 lids which gives you a to go style lid that you can drink from but that is also 100% leakproof. You can get them separately, I almost always use mine now.

    • Jodi

      Oh, I’ll check out the KK cafe lids…thank you! x

  • Michelle

    Forgoing a nappy bag is probably much easier if you’re breastfeeding. If you need to bottle feed a newborn you need 2 bottle in a warmer bag, a formula caddy and usually a towel or something of the like. My last baby turns 1 on saturday and the bottle feeds have all but ceased and I am asking for a new handbag for Mothers Day so I can do just this and ditch the Nappy Bag forever!!

    • Jodi

      You’re very right…I’ve never bottle fed but I can imagine that there’s quite a bit of luggage associated with an outing. I hope you get your new handbag and that it’s very very lovely x

  • Helen

    I have a similar system Jodi, but I tend to use a printed fabric tote rather than a leather tote. A leather one would be lovely, though. But heavier. A fabric tote is so lovely and light with a toddler in tow.

    I have one question, a bit off topic, but what does Percy do during the after school activities? I find entertaining a small person in the holding bay with other people’s shoes and drink bottles to touch (as well as a counter full of treats and snacks) is difficult.

    • Jodi

      My mum has him when I’ve got the big two at swimming and on ballet day he plays with the other kids (ballet is at a primary school so there’s lots of kid-friendly areas to play). My mum has Che on drama days (and he stays at her house that night) so thankfully I get out of that one as it’s a late 6pm finish x

  • Kristy

    Hey Jodi…really wonderful to see that you carry cloth bags so you can avoid collecting those awful plastic bags.

    You seem to be aware of the global plastic problem and I was wondering whether you’ve considered cloth nappies? I’m surprised that more parents don’t choose cloth and wonder whether people think it’s too hard? It’s so much easier than folks think it is though – our washing machines do most of the work! (full credit to our great-grandmothers for all their hand washing!)

    For me personally, awareness of environmental issues took centre stage when I became a mum…I think about the kind of world my daughter is growing up in…and it’s a little scary.

    Hope you’ll look into cloth nappies. I have a blog if you’re interested in learning more about reducing waste 😊.

    • Jodi

      I’ve attempted cloth before and it’s just too much work. I’ve honestly got enough washing as it is…and I do value my sanity so I’ll just keep using disposables 🙂

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