What’s in My Bag?


What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

I’ve been through two bags since my last What’s in My Bag post and I didn’t even show you!   I used my Mom’s leather shoulder bag for a good while and then got paranoid that the smell of her would fade away if I continued to use it so I switched bags immediately. Her bag is hanging in my family room on the door and I think of her whenever I see it.  I am glad I asked my Mom if I could use it a few years ago. She got to see me use her bag, just as I got to see her use one of my bags from college in the last few years of her life.  Life a real trip, isn’t it??!

For the past six months, I’ve been really enjoying my TRIANGLE BOOKHOU BAG. I’ve had it for a few years and it’s aged well. It’s been the best companion for erranding as it can fit a lot!  Just you wait and see what I stuff in mine!  Over the years, I’ve learned that I am a crossbody bag wearer. I like to be able to have hands-free mobility. I haven’t tried a fanny pack, but I can really see how convenient they are.  So this is my favorite crossbody bag as of late.

This is my bag in use:

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Cleaning out my purse is one of my action items on Sundays when I’m getting ready for the week ahead. I actually really love this process because it forces me to be intentional about I carry along with me.  I ‘m glad I’ve done these posts because I love being able to reference old versions of myself. It differs a bit, year by year. Things come and go, and there are some of my favorite things.

Old bags/configurations if you want to take a gander:

THIS IS WHAT’S IN MY BAG!!!!  Right now as of 02/20/2019

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

My Essentials

Let’s talk about what I keep with me. If you’re new to here, I like to be prepared. I learned it from my Mom, who also carried a lot of stuff with her too.

  • ⋅Bullet Journal- My calendar/TO DO LIST toolkit.  If I’m on the go and will need my calendar, I’ll bring this with me. If you want to see some of my bullet journals, you can do that here! 
  • ⋅Food Journal -I usually have this on my kitchen counter when I’m at home and when I’m away from the house it comes with me. I designed the food journal with the idea in mind that it was something I couldn’t easily slip into my bag to be on the GO with.  If you would like a food journal, you can get one from my Etsy shop. If you’re international, here’s a link to buy one!   Follow more adventures on @thehandwritingclub
  • ⋅Notepad- I folded up a stack of paper /stapled it with a long stapler to turn it into a booklet.  Kinda like how I did with our gratitude journals. When we’re out and about and I need to jot down notes or occupy Cooper at a restaurant, I pull out this notebook. I love when we finish one because it’s mostly filled with hangman, random grocery lists, and countless games of tic-tac-toe.
  • Wallet– I have this shiny rose gold Kate Spade wallet I love!
  • Reusable shopping bagsBaggu makes the best!!! I have a variety of them and they carry SO MUCH at once. All the clerks are always commenting on how much they love my bag and it makes me happy because it sparks a good conversation!
  • Keys- because, DUH
  • Business cards- I got mine from Moo (get 25% off your first order here)
  • Beauty Bag – for touchups and help!
  • Pen Case – cannot go anyware without it.
  • Receipt Folder- to keep paper piles at bay.
  • Mint Case- fresh breath!

Let’s deep dive, shall we?!

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

Because fresh breath is important and also a good reset/coping tool.

I repurposed an altoids container but I put the sticker on the wrong way and every time I open it, it’s backwards and drives me nuts. Will fix soon.

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

Breath Fresheners:

  • Licorice Chips – My grandpa had these on his bedside when I was young. I remember having them and liking them. I went to an old Italian restaurant and they handed these out with the check and I immediately rushed home and ordered a ton of them on Amazon.  I like that they are kinda chewy, they soothe a scratchy throat, can act as a breath freshener, but mostly I like them because they give me a good RESET.  They help me curb a sugar craving too.
  • Toothpicks– Sometimes you need one! I really like these ones that are minty. I tried the cinnamon version but it totally irritated my skin so no more of those for me.
  • Floss– Gum health is important. Sometimes I’ll floss while driving. Hey! It’s better than being on the phone! These picks are great. They’re minty and they have a toothpick end.

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

In my Beauty Bag:

  • Essential oils–  Orange and Lavender are my go-to’s when I’m on the road!
  • My favorite perfume– I like to have a travel size of my favorite perfume with me.  Pomegranate Noir is my favorite thing to wear during the winter.
  • Carmex – This is something I cannot live without.
  • Tweezers– I always have one in my bag or in my car because I’m getting old and rogue hairs are no joke.
  • Nail Files-  If I have a snag in my nail, I won’t rest until it’s taken care of. That is why I must have a nail file with me.
  • Tinted Chapstick – When I’m feeling like I need some moisture and color I’ll use this.
  • Lipstick-  two of my favorites are this  Revlon Lip Stain and Nars Lip Pencil.
  • Pressed Powder Compact– It’s a mirror and powder. It makes my face less shiny. I use it when I need to.
  • Lens cloth  – I have to be good about keeping one with me because I wear glasses and also my phone and camera lens need cleaning at times.
  • Lens Wipes– for the tougher lens cleaning jobs.

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

Pen Bag

  • Twistables– I have to have a few colored crayons with me. They are great for highlighting and when we are out, it’s always important for me to have different colored pens for tic-tac-toe and coloring.
  • Zebra brush pen– one of my favorite pens to make lists with.
  • Pilot Dual-Tip Pen– versatile! I love using this one to write BOLD.
  • Pentel Tradio– favorite pen for when I have to write a lot and fast.
  • White Gel Pen– Always fun to have in my bag of tricks. Also can sub as makeshift whiteout.
  • Uni-Ball Jet Stream Ballpoint pen– the only ballpoint pen I like using.
  • Pentel Sign Pen– I love this one for doodling and embellishing.
  • Paper Mate Pencil– These are great because the lead is really thick and I like that in a pencil. The only drawback is that I lose erasers.
  • Velocity Mechanical Pencil– Also a good pencil. I think my sister-in-law turned me onto these! I love them!
  • Pen Case– I’m not sure they make this one anymore, but the bag has held up for like 4 years of heavy use and that’s saying something!

I would carry a Tombow Brush pen with me but my pen case isn’t long enough to hold it.

If you love pens too, you’ll probably dig my post on My Current Favorite Pens.

That’s it!  That’s what I like to carry with me most times. I was thinking about doing a post about my food styling tool kit and my working out of office bag to go. Is that something you’d be interested in? Let me know!

  • Maureen

    I love, love, love these posts…what is in your bag. Thank you for sharing. I am very impressed you clean out your purse every week…I clean mine out every three months or so. Your blog is awesome and I always look forward to your entries…it is like a little gift that makes me happy. Thank you for that!

  • Jo

    I love these posts especially that you provide updated versions (I am very nosy!)

  • Christine

    I’ve been meaning to order a food journal and finally did so after reading this post. Can’t wait to get it 🙂

  • Nancy

    Yes…I love these posts – and I’ve gotten some great ideas (especially for pens) from you! So please do the posts on food styling and out of office bag-to-go…there can never be too many ideas to share!

  • Toni

    I love these posts. Thanks for sharing a look inside your bag 🙂 I also recently ordered this bag (different print) and I LOVE it. The size is great and it’s really well made. I haven’t started using it yet, but am looking forward to it.

  • Emily of The Three Bite Rule

    I recently discovered the twistables in a bucket of hand-me-down coloring supplies for my 4 year old! They’d be so ideal for packing in a purse! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lynne

    I love this post. And your “Fresh Breath Arsenal” – genius! You gave me several great ideas.

  • Sara Schalliol-Hodge

    I LOVE good “whats in my bag” post, and of course, yours doesn’t disappoint! I’m seriously thinking I need to load up my bag with more stuff after reading (when do you ever hear someone saying that?!) I guess I’ve been carrying a “diaper bag” for so long that all of my goodies have been pushed out of my bag. Well, not for long! :O

  • Erin

    I’m going to go find those licorice chips because I, too, am an old Italian man.

  • Priya

    I love these posts so much- thank you!
    Am currently in the changing bag stage as I have a 1 year old but going to try and incorporate some of your ideas! Need to up my pen game and also love the fresh breath tin!
    Thanks for your ace blog I love it – you and smitten kitchen have been consistently fab and you are the only ones I still read with absolute regularity after 10 years!

  • Linda

    So much stuff, you must have wicked back pain!! I”m trying to downsize my bag, so i’m in awe of all you put in yours. I do love the bag in a bag look tho…, It’s a struggle to keep everything neat and still have room for my keys and phone. Does yours have any pockets or no? I like to have a compartment or two…

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  • Torie

    I’d love to see an updated “What’s in my bag”! Do you still carry this bag? I love your organization

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