13 Chicagoland moms reveal what’s in their bag

In honor of Mother’s Day last year, we asked Chicagoland mamas to open their purses and show us what they’d have if they had to open their purse on a moments notice. We decided to continue this feature again this year with some more moms! From hand sanitizers to hair extensions, these mamas reveal all in the round-up below.


We also want to see your bag too! Share your purse filled with motherhood essentials on Instagram and tag us at @chicagoparent and @michelle.elfvin for a chance to be reposted to our stories.


Amanda from @queenofthelandoftwigsnberries

Amanda says:


“I’m not going to lie, the depths of my purse are known throughout my neighborhood. It even has a nickname — “Hermione’s Bag.” Even if you aren’t a “Harry Potter” fan, you can see that my bag has just about EVERYTHING you might need as a mom. Yes, it does give me a sore neck and shoulder, but I avoid meltdowns and parental panic attacks on the daily because of its wide assortment of stuff. So what’s my tote bag (that also doubles as my excuse for things I simply don’t want to do)?


    • Notepad and pen so I don’t fall behind on my editorial deadlines.


    • Massive sunglasses to hide my under-eye circles.


    • Baseball cap so I can look put together even if my hair is a mess.


    • Water bottle because chasing after my kids is exhausting.



    • Lollipops and popcorn because bribery is a strong suit of mine.


    • Earbuds for when I need a moment of Zen … or to take a conference call while out and about.


    • Hand sanitizer and Band-Aids because boys are both rough and gross.


    • Wallet that isn’t filled with much because … well … kids.


    • Car keys


    • Business cards because you never know when you will have a situation to network.


    • Monster trucks because anything can be turned into a ramp when necessary. ANYTHING.


    • Fun earrings and a bright red lipstick for when I need to pull myself together at a moment’s notice.”



Andrea from @andreadoesntgiveaduck

Andrea says:


“I travel with just the essentials. Hahahahahahaha. Ha. Ha. So many callouts, where to begin? Well, first of all, we moved yesterday. And. We’re. Still. Alive. That explains the bra and underwear (or does it?), random toys and lone toddler shoe. My Clonazepam … because motherhood. A checkbook, because my therapist thinks it’s 1994. My hair extensions … well, we ALL carry those around, right? Right?!? Anyone … ?”


Kasey from @kckrull

Kasey says:


“I’m the mom to two little boys. Between T-ball and Jujitsu I need to keep snacks on hand, and wet wipes within close reach! Not pictured is my grande vanilla latte- 2 pumps vanilla. Here are my daily essentials:


    • Antibacterial Wet Ones: I love these especially for travel. I travel quite a bit for work and getting sick is always a bit of a worry. I wipe down my entire seat, tray table, window, etc. I really think these help keep me healthy on germ infested planes!



    • Rx Bar: These are great for when I’m running errands and don’t have time to stop or don’t want to get fast food. The perfect quick and healthy snack.


    • Goldfish: For when my kids get hangry … which is often!


    • Ray Ban Folding Wayfarers: I am notorious for breaking sunglasses and scratching the lenses. Which is why these are amazing! They look exactly like the regular Ray Ban Wayfarers but they fold up into this small case which fits in almost every purse I own.


    • Supergoop Setting Mist SPF 50: I’m all about protecting my skin from sun damage and these next two items are perfect for that. I never leave the house without sunblock on my face, but it doesn’t last all day.



    • NYX Butter Gloss (Tiramisu and Angel Food Cake): These are one of my favorite drugstore items. Both are great pinky neutrals, easy to apply without a mirror and best of all, inexpensive! Throw them in a few different bags and if you happen to lose one, it’s not a big deal.


    • Rosebud Salve: I’ve been modeling for 15 years and every makeup artist I know has this in their kit. It’s great for dry lips and cuticles, and it smells like roses.


    • Shu Umera Eyelash Curler: This thing is a game changer. If you weren’t blessed with long, curly lashes then you need this in your life. I use it every day, without fail and bring it with me for a touch up later in the day/evening.


    • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer: The best concealer hands down. It’s expensive, but it lasts forever, gives amazing coverage and is worth every penny.



    • Lodis Wallet: This wallet is small but keeps me organized, which is not an easy task. I love that I can see all of my cards, there’s a place for my ID and cash goes in the zipper pouch.


    • Nail Tek, Nail Strengthener: I was not blessed with strong nails, but, with a few swipes of this stuff it looks like I was. I break this out whenever I get a free minute. Usually when I’m waiting for my kids to get out of school or waiting at the airport.”



Jennifer from @jenniferlane

Jennifer says:


“Here are my must-have handbag essentials…


    • My phone: My daughter Madeline and I both have a phone addiction! Eeek! Madeline is obsessed with watching “Baby Shark” and “Johnny Johnny” on YouTube! Would you believe she even knows the YouTube icon and pushes it herself?! She also loves to FaceTime with Grandma, and even take selfies on the camera  – boy am I in trouble! As an influencer, I am constantly on my phone! Whether I am posting content to my social channels @jenniferlane; responding to comments on my feed and DMs; or corresponding with brands when I’m on the go, my phone is an essential for sure!


    • Madeline’s must-haves: My little princess cannot be without snacks! She is currently obsessed with puffs that she eats out of her pink container and always has her sippy cup filled with water! She loves this Munchkin cup in particular because when she opens the lid the straw pops up — she giggles every time! (Can you tell Madeline loves the color pink as much as her mommy?!)


    • Sunglasses: I’m slightly obsessed with my oversized Chanel sunnies!


    • Makeup: Red lips are my jam and my go-to lipstick is Tom Ford. Having a bright lip just makes me feel good! I also always have a powder compact to freshen up when I’m out and about.”



Johanna from @jogrange

Johanna says:


“The contents of my bag have changed greatly since having infants. I don’t feel nostalgic about it though. Diapers and bottles were a lot of work. Here’s what my bag looks like now with two elementary daughters. So glad to be done with diaper bags, too!


    • Hand sanitizer: Does this need an explanation?


    • Fruit strips: Between soccer and theater, this fruit strip version from Trader Joe’s versions is a quick, healthy snack during the commute


    • No Cow Protein Bar: That’s for mom. Gluten free and low in calories. Perfect for days on the run or in between meetings.


    • Hair ties: Because someone always needs a new ponytail or bun!


    • iPhone: I co-own a social media agency hence not having a phone is equivalent to losing an appendage.


    • Roger and Gallet hand creme: My girls and I bought this on our Spring Break in Paris and it’s both nostalgic and super emollient plus we love the smell. We wash our hands a lot!


    • Tony Moly Cat Compact: Okay, this is for me and it’s the best oil blotting compact although admittedly my girls like to play makeup with it.


    • Velamints: Because I sustain on coffee, La Croix, followed by wine, and all in that order. I know when I need a freshen up.


    • Artistry Studio Crayon in Big Apple Red: Mom wears it and it’s also the perfect red for ballet recitals. Just sayin…


    • Cleau De Peau Lip Limunizer: Goes on like butter and has a really great sheer quality. Just a nice little popsicle stain.


    • Pens: Because someone always needs to draw at a restaurant and they steal them!



    • Grande Cosmetics Clear Stay Put Lip Liner: Goes with every color and you’ll never need another one … and because I am always applying lipliner on the highway so you can imagine why I need a clear version!”



Christine from @thechicagogoodlife

Christine says:


    • “Wipes: Even before kids, I couldn’t live without baby wipes. Since I take public transportation often, I constantly clean my hands. I guess it prepared me for motherhood!


    • Sunglasses: Winter, spring, summer, fall. All the time.


    • Journal: I might be one of the few still left that loves notetaking. All my lists are written out whether for the grocery store or ideas I have for the blog. There’s just something about writing out your notes that I still love to do.


    • Lipstick: Even without any makeup, I throw lipstick and feel ready to conquer the day.


    • Hairtie/Wetbrush: I have two hairstyles (up or down). Usually up, especially with the kids. But this Wetbrush is great for my hair type and couldn’t live without it. I wish I had it when I was younger, oh the memories of my mom trying to brush my hair…


    • Portable phone charger: This has recently become a norm for me. When I am out at an event getting coverage or out all day with the kids and taking 1,000 photos of them, it’s a huge help.


    • Phone: Couldn’t leave the house without it!”



Dr. Kiarra from @drkiarraking

Kiarra says:


“Gotta have my business cards, cause I’m always working! It’s great to be able to exchange a business card with a new connection! Kids are germy so hey, I gotta have wipes AND gel sanitizer. I can’t go without my lipstick! I don’t wear makeup to work except on my lips! This is a fun pop of color that goes with any look! These items are easy to carry and essential to my day-to-day!”


Ceta from @clarkandstone

Ceta says:


“Hi! I’m Ceta Walters, fashion and lifestyle blogger Clark and Stone which happens to be named after my two sons. Between mom life and being a mompreneur, I keep snacks on me at all times. RX bars and nut butters hold me over between workouts with my trainer Zach Glasgow at HiFi Fitness and dinner time. I always keep a Chanel lipstick in my bag for last minute meetings when I have to look like a grown up!”


Kristen from @kristenleigh._

Kristen says:


“After years of carrying around an oversized tote of a diaper bag, I switched over to my Rag and Bone backpack. Being handsfree as a mama is key. The side zipper lets me get my keys and phone without ever taking off my bag and digging in it like the bottomless pit it is.


I am a self-proclaimed beauty junkie so I always have my favorites close by! I can’t leave home without a Bio-Tint by W3ll People under my eye and a roll of my Chloe perfume gives me life. Monat Volume Spray keeps my locks full and frizz-free for the entire day.


Being in events and shaking peoples hands across the city encourages me to keep my nails + skin fresh with French Girl Nail & Cuticle Oil and Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Green Tea Spritz. iPhone headphone is a no-brainer for a working mama. And last but not least, the mini iPad and Magna Tiles are a family dinner must have! Not pictured…. the 592 crumbs that my kid’s veggie straws leave behind.”


Carla Jian from @CarlaJian

Carla says:


“My everyday purse style is my Kate Spade fanny pack. It’s my favorite print, LEOPARD, and convertible enough to wear as a cross body or waist belt. I’m always on-the-go in yoga gear between Mason drop off and pick up, and then off to teach a studio yoga class or at client’s home so I want something athleisure chic. Here are my essentials:


    • Louis Vuitton wallet




    • Lint roller because I’m usually in black leggings and hate when they look messy



    • Crayons for Mason to keep him busy and creative



    • Bare Minerals mascara and lip color





Jen from @redsolesandredwine

Jen says:


“I’m attached to my Chanel Deauville bag as I carry it as my laptop bag as well. Typically I carry a purse too for my essentials such as my wallet, money, keys and my phone. Having two boys there are always snacks (to curb their hunger), candy (to bribe them for what’s needed), and they are obsessed with these Beyblades (the latest boy toy craze).


I always have a pair of sunglasses and a massive extra phone charger as I would not know what to do with myself if my phone died. Since I work for myself, I jump out to meetings often or I’m gone all day at appointments, a notebook is needed (to document everything that I don’t remember 5 minutes after I’m told something) and a fantastic Gorgio Armani foundation powder (for all those oily moments) and two lipsticks (my favorite red lipstick and neutral lipstick).


To be honest, my bag is usually a hot mess with everything thrown in with a few chip crumbs on the bottom. Don’t be surprised if I have an extra dress stuffed in for a special occasion. I’m always ready for a dress moment! You can never be too prepared.”


Monika from @monikadixon

Monika says:


“My day-to-day bag is really big. I carry items that help me get through my work day and ones that serve as mini emergency tool kits for my two kids. I recently started a plant-based lifestyle and like to have healthy snacks on me because I never know when I will get hungry.


Nadia and Enzo love Ritz crackers, they are always thirsty and for some reason, their hands seem to be dry most of the time so hand lotion is a necessity.


In addition, I like to have an extra set of pencils for Nadia so she can draw on the spot. [This seems to be helpful when we eat out. For my personal reflection, I carry around Tiffany Louis ‘This Year I Will’ journal.”


Janis from @momumentalthing

Janis says:


“I always carry bags within my bag in hopes to keep organized, but that’s not always the end result. I have with me my Mackage crossbody that turns into a belt bag. As a mom of two toddlers, I need something handsfree. So this little treasure chest comes in handy when running errands, leaving the big shoulder tote in the car.


Baby wipes are everything. Not only do I use them for the obvious, but miraculously helps with spills, getting stains off clothes and everything in between. I also carry my laptop and phone with me. As a full-time working mom and freelance writer, it’s my livelihood and my creative outlet. That means carrying a portable charger and AirPods to help keep handsfree.


Nothing like a face mist to help rejuvenate and hydrate my face during the day! I love carrying the Glossier Soothing Face Mist to help refresh and re-energize during meetings and playdates. Other beauty essentials include Keihl’s Lip Balm, all-natural lipgloss, hair ties for me and the girls and Tiffany & Co.’s perfume.


I also carry around a card case in my to-go bag that houses my ID, cards and business cards. But I also carry my wallet in my main bag just in case I need cash or checks! Because who knew as a parent you’ll actually need paper money!”


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