October 27, 2014

My On-the-Go Essentials:

MY ON-THE-GO ESSENTIALS // shutterbean

Casey and I went on a little trip this past weekend to Big Sur. It was magical and I’ll try to share more of that soon! Whenever I’m away from home I spend a good deal of time creating a little sense of home wherever we are staying. When I was transferring some of my stuff from one bag to another, I thought it might be fun to show you some of the things that I can’t travel without. I find it so fascinating to see what people’s essentials are.  Mine include:

1. Cold Chaser & Emergen-C  When I’m traveling I am like HYPER aware of people who are sick around me. If I’m on an airplane and see someone snotty and coughing, I quickly take a packet of  Dr. Dahl’s Cold Chaser.  It’s something I pick up at Whole Foods and it seems to help me from getting sick. I also carry Emergen-C Super Orange for extra vitamin C but also as a way to mask gnarly tap water. I also really like Emergen-C Tropical.  It’s delicious when you mix it with sparkling water. I’ve been known to mix some with vodka…

2. Energy Bars I must carry snacks around with me because I have a child and I also have a condition called HANGRY wherein I get angry when I’m hungry. I have a savory snack bar like this STRONG & KIND Honey Smoked BBQ  bar (it’s SO GOOD!)  and some type of Fruit bar (here’s the Trader Joe’s Apple & Mango Bar) that I’ll eat in a pinch or give to Cooper as a treat.

3. Pens- I think it’s funny that I only chose to take pictures of TWO pens when in actuality, I carry at least 5. I must have a Sharpie (came in handy at our pumpkin patch excursion last week!) and a writing pen (my favorite is the Pilot Precise V7 RT Retractable).  I’ve been known carry around a highlighter and a Mechanical Pencil I feel like doing Math. Just kidding, I write all numbers in pen because I’m a grownup.

4. Carmex: This stuff is my security blanket. For some reason I cannot sleep without a proper application on my lips. If I have to spend the night somewhere and it’s unplanned, I keep Carmex Lip Balm in my bag/car just in case.  If there’s none, then I won’t be able to fall asleep. Weird, right?  What’s weirder is that I only use it right before bed. One application a day. That’s it.

5. Lipstick- If you want to class things up, add some lipstick to the situation. People will think you put time into your looks. Also can be used as blush if you feel like you don’t want to give someone the I AM A VAMPIRE impression. My favorite lipstick is the Silky Finish lipstick by Benefit in Mocha Sorbet. It goes on smooth and doesn’t dry my lips out. Adds the perfect amount of color!

6. Mint Tea – If I need a moment to chill out because traveling was stressful, I carry some mint tea with me. It’s also a way for me to feel calmer when I’m on an airplane and I find it to be a nice palate cleanser. I enjoy the Melange (fun to say!) mint tea from Trader Joe’s. Makes a great iced tea too!

7. Rose & Lavender Spray- Attitude adjustments & room fresheners. If I want to chill out, relax, or focus- I spray Lavender. If I need an attitude adjustment or I’m feeling hot, I spray Rose spray. I have these really small blue glass spray bottles I carry around with me. Cooper & Casey are huge fans of the Rose spray. We were in major traffic and everyone in our car was annoyed so we sprayed some and we were all happy again. ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.  If you don’t want to make your own, I recommend this Rosewater spray and this Lavender spray. You can always transfer some into smaller glass spray bottles if you don’t feel like lugging around the full size containers. I labeled mine with washi tape so I could tell which one is which.

8. Nail Polish Remover Pads- Chipped nail polish on MY nails REALLY bothers me. I really don’t like walking around with my nails looking funky. Not only do I carry a bottle of nail polish (not pictured) I almost always have a Nail Polish Remover Pads or two. If I have time to kill in between appointments, I’ll sit in my car and give myself a mini manicure. You have to be creative with your primping time when you’re a mom! Most of the time I don’t wear nail polish…but I am always prepared for when I want to/don’t want to!

9. Smelly Lotion– I think of smelly lotion as a survival tool. I’m kind of a scent junky, which is probably why I am obsessed with aromatherapy & essential oils right now. Here’s the weird part— I’m not really a person who likes lotion. It takes too much time and I don’t like feeling sticky. But every now and then there’s something that compels me to put some on. If I need to freshen up a bit or fix my hair somehow, I rub some smell lotion through my hands and run it through the ends of my hair. Smelly lotion should smell good and I’m currently digging the Purple Seductia by Sonia Kashuk for Target.

10. Tweezers- I would have put tweezers AND nail file but I always seem to misplace my nail file.  Having tweezers in my bag make me feel safe. I also consider fabulous tools for killing time. If I have some moments in the car before picking up Cooper, I do a quick little makeover and pluck my brows (don’t worry! I’m parked!). They’re also good to have for that random hair you discovered while catching a glimpse of yourself in the rear view mirror.  I’ve found true love with  Revlon’s Expert Tweezers.  They’re such a good value too.

 11. NUTS-  Not only do I have a few granola/energy bars in my purse, I carry a baggie of nuts and/or homemade trail mix. If I’m stuck in traffic, it’s nice to have a snack. I’ve found that protein keeps me sane.

12. Sunscreen– I try to carry some with me at all times. It’s part of being a mom- SUN protection! I read some statistic that most of our skin damage is done in the early years of our life so I am kind of obsessed with slathering this stuff on Cooper. The barrier (pun intended) I have with sunscreen is the smell and the consistency. Sticky sunscreen gives me the same annoying feeling that a pair of tight underwear does; they both can ruin my day. After searching for a good sunscreen, I’ve really enjoyed the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen, Pure Lavender SPF 45,  The smell is light and pleasant and it rubs right in hence the very emollient label! The bottle is also small and squat which is much appreciated in my bag of tricks.

 There you have it! What are some of your essentials?

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I am a Carmex addict and have it in every purse, bag, room of my house, car, etc. I have been known to clean out Target of my exact kind (sort of hard to find) if my stash is low. And I love tweezers, overpluckers anonymous for sure 🙂 Never in my life have I had a savory powerbar and now I can see where this would be amazing and so much better than chips, crackers, etc!

    • Tracy

      I got a box from Casey a few years ago and he bought like FIFTY of them for me to stash. Hilariously thoughtful! You hafta try those bars. You’ll love them!


    I have the hangry condition too.. it’s the worst! Love the spray idea, and mint tea is my favourite relaxation tool!

  • Bri | Bites of Bri

    Love this Tracy! I have a serious lip balm addiction. Also, I suffer from hungry anger too.

  • Lauren K

    Love this post! You carry around such good stuff. Now I want all of this with me at all times.

  • Dani @ Painting Sunny

    Oh, I always love finding out what is in someone else’s handbag! If I’m traveling and buy magazines that is always the feature I’m hoping to find. I too get hangry… or in fact, I’ve said before that I’ve felt “vangry” which is “violently hangry”. I understand the Carmex thing too – my new obsession is with eos lip balms!

  • Alex

    I need to get my hands on some Cold Chaser! I work at a college library and boy oh boy are college students full of germs!

  • Dahlia

    Great essentials! Mine essentials definitely needs some updating. I get HANGRY sometime too!

  • Kate

    Ha! I am the same way with Carmex. I always need it to fall asleep, but that’s the only time I wear it! Also, after this post and one of the podcasts, I need to try rose water!

  • Elizabeth

    Love seeing what other people’s essentials are for trips. Making a mental note to get some of that Emergen-C and cold chaser packets! I can’t leave for a trip without my burt’s bees lip balm. My lips tend to chap whenever I go on on vacay and it drives me nuts.

  • vikki

    So I was too a UK Carmex addict but have to say that I have just recently discovered Elizabeth Arden 8 hour skin protectant – WOW! Carmex is a thing of the past!!
    With regards to being Hangry…………….I have suffered with this for many years but never been able to name the condition so now im happy cos i know I get hangry. although I too always keep a stash of nuts just incase !!
    What’s happened to the Joy the Baker podcasts – i’m not getting any updates since 22nd September and i miss them!!!

    • Tracy

      We haven’t been recording because Joy is on book tour. We’re trying to figure it out! Thanks for your patience and I am sorry!

  • Millie l Add A Little

    That kind bar sounds amazing as I’m more of a savoury girl myself! Also, I understand your carmex thing – i also do one application before bed!!

  • todd wagner

    I could use some of that lavender spray right about now. Can’t wait to hear about Big Sur!!

  • Carolina

    I am glad to know that I am not the only one who carries lots of pens in their purse. I typically have 3 – purple ink pen (signature color), black ink pen (for official things) and a mechanical pencil (just because). I also have Chapstick, Aleve and Benedryl with me at all times.

    • Tracy

      Do you get allergies & migraines? I had some advil in my desk at work today. Thank heavens for that.

  • Allison

    This makes me so happy and validated.
    I have Carmex and Blistex pots and ONLY apply them at night but it is ESSENTIAL that it happens and in a nice thick coat. I listened to the Joy the Baker podcast wherein you describe your annoyance at it being rubbed off in any measurement and I was like “YESSSSSS”. Thank you for understanding why it might be annoying to get a kiss from my husband before bed. Ahh.

    • Tracy

      Haha. Before we say goodnight Casey is like– did you Carmex already? And I’m like…no dude I’m waiting for you to kiss me!!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    A book! Now that I have a baby I’m usually occupied with him when I’m out-and-about, but you never know when he’s going to conk out and I have a few minutes (or if I’m alone and the doctor runs an hour over schedule).

  • Ella

    Oh my god, I am the exact same way. I thought I was the only who literally could not fall asleep without a lip treatment! I’m loyal to the Nivea lip butters, though. I totally hear you about the manis in the car. I had to do mine in the airport bathroom once!

  • Leslie Rossi

    I too have mint tea in my bag! Love it, just the smell calms me.

    Who doesn’t apply lip balm on before bed? I’d like to meet these people with smooth lips all year round and find out their secret.


  • Lori

    I like this post! Interesting 🙂

  • HeatherChristo

    I love this Tracy! I am a lip medex addict. I can’t go to sleep (or live really) without it.

  • Aimee

    I love checking out essentials. The savory KIND bars look great! I also carry vitamin C and I love your EO spray bottles and washi tape. I am def going to add a sharpie to my purse pen stash. Genius! Oh and one more thing, my fave pen is the very same pilot pen, but a v5. Good stuff!! Lots of cool ideas

  • christina

    I’d love to hear how you make your sprays! I want to get into it! Also if you have suggestions on your favorite brands of essential oils that you use or any other scents that you like, that would be awesome as well. I just listened to the “Comfort Ladies” podcast and want more deets on what you’ve been using. Thanks!! 🙂

  • erinlucy

    you are so so funny. I must carry a tub of paw paw ointment with me everywhere I go and I can’t sleep without it by my bedside. So I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in my weird bedtime lip balm ritual. I CAN’T STAND having chipped nail polish but I’d never thought of carrying those little swipey things in my bag. genius! I also need to get me some of that attitude adjusting room spray.

  • Jen @ Fresh from the...

    I’m totally the same way about carmex at night! I don’t know when I started doing it exactly, but it’s now part of my nightly ritual to always put some on right before I go to bed.

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    I love the sprays for attitude adjustment sprays. I could totally use some of those. I wonder if they would get mad if I started spraying on my flights.

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