Thursday 13 August 2015

What are the essentials in your bag this Summer?

I was asked if I'd like to write a blog post listing the top 10 essentials in my bag. This is a fairly easy job for me right now because I'm still travelling light after my hernia operation and keeping my handbag contents to a minimum - yep, you heard right. My handbag currently weighs less than a small bison. It's a miracle....

1. Phone. It has to be. It's my camera, my contact with all of our kids, my social media, my email, my torch, my news and my GPS - plus I'm sure around 400 other things. Just occasionally I make a call on it too...

2. Purse. Teenagers can smell from 40 metres whether a purse is empty or not. Try to change all of your notes into small coins as quickly as possible because they've actually been known to refuse shrapnel on the grounds that it's 'too heavy' or 'I'm not taking a wallet'. This does leave you with a massively full purse, but you always have change for parking and shopkeepers love you when you pay for your shopping in 20p's......maybe.

3. Keys. Don't leave home without them...

Good attempt, yet he missed the dirt on his nose.
4. Tissues. Will wipe anything - rarely used for noses. When the kids were younger this would have been wet wipes, but they're heavy to carry and any 6 year old will have the ability to remove a chocolate moustache with a bit of their own spit. It's an essential life skill.

Sharpie actually takes approx. 8 days to remove itself naturally from a human face.
5. Pens. Many pens. If you don't have at least 14 pens featuring local businesses in your bag how on Earth will you ever find one that works in the 3 seconds you get to write down something vitally important? Bonus points for any pen that can amuse a 5 year old while you're queueing somewhere boring. Minus points for cat pens you don't even recognise.

To be fair I don't usually carry that many - it was a long drive home
and I needed something to fling in the back at the kids when they got rowdy.
6. Pitch. Better known as Chocolate Brioche in our house. My 6 year old uses all his sugar reserves when he sleeps and needs some calories straightaway when he wakes up - handy at home, not so handy in the car. Kids also have that skill of suddenly deciding they're hungry and need to eat within 14 seconds or else they'll be inconsolable and lose the ability to walk or talk in sentences.  I've carried the individually wrapped Brioche Pasquier Pitch in my bag and in the glovebox of my van for the last 4 years for those boys - and it's been worth every second. Anyone who spent more than 5 minutes with me at Britmums Live knows I was having issues with my medicines and with being able to eat. Brioche Pasquier was already in my bag, and the obvious choice because it's light enough to eat when you are feeling a bit iffy, but has enough energy to make a real difference and keep you going. It doesn't melt or go stale and you can eat it at any temperature. I ate more of them than anything else all weekend. Now they have a handy little 4-pack which is perfect for me and my lot, and can just sit there quietly until it's needed.

When camping with teenagers always ensure an adequate supply of self-service snacks.
7. My Personal Planner/Diary. I love my Personal Planner and use it all the time. It usually lives in my handbag and I like to have it with me - mainly because as soon as I put it down someone asks me what I'm doing 3 weeks on Wednesday and I haven't a clue.

Buxton - finally famous.
8. A bottle of water. So much better than having to pay 2 quid for a can of fizzy something that you didn't really want, but would have dessicated without. I've also used bottled water for a number of emergency tasks while I've been out - including windscreen washing and grazed knee cleaning! Again I've had to get used to not having my water with me while I can't carry a heavy bag, and I have really missed it.

Filthy and cracked, but as useful and sharp as it was 18 years ago.
9. My Swiss Army keyring. For the last 18 years I've had my keys on my Victorinox Swiss Army Keyring -  it's very well used, but still awesome. I lost the tweezers last month (best tweezers in the world ever) and I'm pretty gutted. It holds the only scissors my kids can't hide/lose/kick under the sofa, and I genuinely could count in hundreds (or possibly thousands) the times it's been useful. A new one is on my wish list for next Christmas...

10. The LEGO Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. I haven't had so much fun in my handbag ever! I will do a post with all of our #mysterymachineontour photo's, but if you haven't seen any you can check some of them out on my Instagram feed. I'm totally carrying it with me forever because it makes smiles wherever it goes...

 I was paid for my time to write this post.


  1. My one item that I have used on every trip we have been on is my anti bac hand gel. Especially when we're out in the forest and Miss A decides she needs a wee!

    1. Hahaha - yes! My boys very regularly do that too! :)


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