never leave home without…

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over the years as my family has grown in size, i’ve tried to find ways to minimize the amount of things i have to haul everywhere despite often having a lot of kids of different ages with me. i’m out for several hours on end at times running errands or hopping playgrounds with the kids, so while i like to be prepared, if i can get away with only bringing with me the absolute necessities, the day feels a whole lot more manageable as i can focus more on my babies and kiddos and less on all the stuff i also need to keep track of. of course, there are essentials for little ones depending on their ages (you know, diapers and wipes and ALL THE HAND SANITIZER!), but mama and her essentials can’t be forgotten either! i have dived deep into what’s in my diaper bag several times in the past rounding up what i never leave home without for babies and toddlers depending on the season, but i thought i’d take you through the things i like to have on hand for ME when i’m out with the kids!

COMFORTABLE WALKING SHOES …while sometimes i think i can manage the day in platforms or a kitty heel (insert eye roll emoji here, it’s fine. i roll my eyes at myself on these days, too. especially at the end of the day when the feet ache is just not worth it.) not that it matters, but i do like seeing how more people are wearing sneakers right now even with fancier dresses! over the last few years, i have added 3 pairs of these Veja sneakers in different colors and styles to my wardrobe because i’ve found for my foot and body, they are really comfortable. i found some that are less than what i normally see them priced at in great color combos right HERE and also HERE.
SUNGLASSES! these heart shaped red sunnies are less than $10! makes me feel a little more relaxed if my kids grab them off my face or they drop to the ground or (knock on wood) i lose them while we are out.
— a wallet sounds obvious but CASH is something i have had to get into the habit of having on hand. so many places only accept cash in the city or have a card minimum and i also like knowing if there might be a weird emergency, i have something on hand if needed.
— i never leave home without AQUAPHOR. sounds slightly extreme, but i use it for my lips year round the way one might chapstick (even when i am wearing a lipstick, i rub a bit of this on top.) it’s the best thing i’ve found to fight against chapped lips and harsh weather changes, and it can also work in lieu of a lotion for cracked skin or my cuticles (i tend to pick at mine, been trying to be better). so since it has several purposes, i make sure i have one in every bag.
— my PHONE is also essential for me but having a back-up charger i’ve found to be crucial since sometimes we’re out from morning til night and my battery goes down quickly if i’m taking a lot of videos or photos on it throughout the day. this MOMMY STROLLER HOOK that has a built in power charger inside it is a game changer. any sort of phone charger is great, but since i already rely on a stroller hook for additional bags or items to be carried, it’s nice to have this two-in-one sort of situation happening right where i need it while pushing the stroller. the hook is also heavy duty which i appreciate.
HAND SANITIZER. i mean, this will already be in your baby or kid bag, but i like to make sure i have extra in the stroller pockets and in my bag and basically everywhere so we don’t ever run out.
— A SNACK! preferably something that is extra delicious (and chocolatey?!) and can be hidden from the kids view so you can enjoy it entirely on your own whenever that moment in the day may be where you aren’t being touched or talked to for 3 seconds so you can stuff your face with the goodness!
A CANTEEN filled with water! we haul this ginormous one with us everywhere because it is insulated which means it stays ice cold all day long (80 hours!). if i don’t have the kids, i have a smaller one i put in my backpack for the day out. my kids also use these ones for school each day.
— i know i’ve blogged about this before, but i still believe A BACKPACK is the best way to go for transporting all of your things when you’re out for a long day. the even distribution of weight is really nice and you can run around and bend down and move after little ones without having something sliding off your shoulder. whatever bag you bring, having something with a zipper to ensure everything stays inside an enclosed compartment is important, too.

here is an up close look at the MOMMY STROLLER HOOK i mentioned above. my friend jenna introduced me to it and i so appreciate it since i often already use a stroller hook but having a built in power charger inside it is a plus when my battery is running low and i’m not close to home.

and here is an upclose look at one of my favorite pairs of the Veja sneakers i own. everyone has a different shoe preference so i recommend once you find one that works well for you, to invest in a couple pairs to rotate. i have a pair in a metallic silver color and also a blush pink pair i ordered directly from the brand in france because i liked them so much  and couldn’t find them in the US and knew i’d wear them a lot with all the walking i do each day.

what are a few of the things you have found most helpful to always have on hand when you’re out?!

  1. Rena

    It makes totally sense to have only these view things with you! And I love your Veja sneakers, I own also some pair of these sneakers and love them all :)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  2. Sierra

    You look so cute!! I completely agree, comfortable walking shoes are much and backpacks have become my favorite for carrying around so many things. Sierra Beautifully Candid

  3. WIPES. I keep some in both cars and a travel pouch in my purse. You just never know what spill, accident, mess is going to happen.

  4. Adrianna

    For kids under 4 I always like to carry some sort of light swaddle blanket (the waffle material is my favorite). I use it to do a quick wipe of the face, cover someone who has had too much sun, give comfort when someone is tired and we don’t have a stuffed animal, lay it on the ground for a picnic or diaper change…so much!

  5. Joana

    I used to carry everything but the kitchen sink as I legitimately thought that carrying less with me on a daily basis would be chaotic & reckless in this city. But as it turns out that isn’t the case at all. I go to work and come home Monday – Friday so my weekdays are boring and long. Often I put what I need in either my Clare V backpack or Clare V midi sac. Those usually are: wallet, phone charger, phone cable, earbuds, keys lip balm, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, & super sour lemon drops because I have sjögren’s syndrome. To be fair I also carry some other sort of candy because I’m a child in a grown ass woman’s body. Ha! If I’m carrying my backpack I’ll also carry a book and depending on the weather a small umbrella or sunglasses. However I should remember to put a water bottle in but I always somehow manage to forget.

  6. Christine

    I love those Veja shoes! But I read so many reviews that said they’re uncomfortable (especially the leather tongue), but I’m glad to hear that hasn’t been your experience. So maybe now I’ll actually order them!

  7. Megan

    Where is your adorable hat from?

  8. I never leave home without water, my wallet and phone too, but honestly the most helpful think so far has been my charger. Ive had times when I’ve needed to use the phone which was dead and was able to charge it to make an important phone call.

    Stephanie Vainer | a learning story blog

  9. Marina

    Do you carry sunscreen? I live in LA, so the sun is different here, though I’m looking for recos on spf50. Thanks!

  10. Christine

    I always carry HAND SANITIZER in my bag and sunglasses are must. I must say you have a beautiful blog.