Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The working mom tote bag - Part 2

After introducing you to my latest, and perhaps favorite accessory where style meets function, I’m back with more detail. Only I could turn a tote bag into a two part series. Today I’m going to share what’s in my bag…because I think that also says a lot about a person. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way because Delta Sky magazine (my favorite airline’s in-flight publication) has a monthly feature I love that shows what a celebrity has in his or her carry-on bag when traveling. Ok, so it might lose some luster given that I’m not a celebrity, but it’s my blog, so I’m sharing it anyway. “What’s in my bag?” Here’s a peek:

  • Must have item: iPhone
  • Biggest waste of space: A stack of outdated business cards. I can’t remember the last time I handed out a business card, but my Girl Scout roots have me living by the “Be Prepared” motto.
  • Most random items: Some old Post-it notes and a dirty spoon in a Ziploc bag. This apparently accompanied a snack (yogurt as indentified by the dried remains on the spoon) from a recent work day. While I try to keep things organized, there are occasional items that get lost for weeks in my bag. Don’t judge me...change doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Snacks/Treats: Yes! (Sorry if that wasn’t a yes or no question…I just get excited about this category.) I usually slip a few dark chocolate Dove Promises in my bag for those moments during the day when I need a chocolate fix. Other munchies are also standard. You might think the goldfish crackers, raisins, etc. are there in case my son needs them for our ride home from daycare, but no, they are most definitely for me.
  • Bag of choice: A convertible tote from Urban Junket (a Minnesota-based small business)
  • What I love about it: Besides being stylish and big, it’s also both functional and responsible. It has different straps so you can wear it different ways…even as a backpack. Plus, it’s eco-chic, as the lining is made from recycled plastic bottles (next I might need to start composting my own garbage…or not)
  • Other essentials: wallet, keys, Chapstick/lip gloss, laptop, work ID badge

So that’s what’s in my bag! Well, my work bag anyway. I won’t bore you with the diaper bag, the lunch bag, etc. But I am curious, what’s the most interesting or surprising item in your bag?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The working mom tote bag - Part 1

Today’s post is about a purse—my new tote bag to be exact. And bizarre as it may seem, I’m even making it a two part series this week. Hopefully even my male readers will find this an intriguing look into the life and mind of the opposite sex. Why? Because a bag can say a lot about a woman. Even my 21 month old will tell you that ladies (especially mommies) need their bag. He looks for it whenever I leave the house. And on the rare occasion when I just have my keys with me, he reminds me that I need “mommy bag.”

So here is what I think my old and new bags say about me, but you can judge for yourself:

Old tote: I’m cheap (this is still mostly true) and don’t want to replace my 8-year old Target purchase even though I can’t fit anything inside and it’s falling apart. Instead, I’ll just carry several mismatched purses/bags in a disheveled manner. To my fellow elevator riders, please disregard the silly song playing on the pocket Fischer Price toy in my purse that I accidentally hit while schlepping my things into the crowded elevator (this has happened to me more than once).

New tote: I’m stylish, professional and organized…even though I still have lots of stuff. While I didn’t break the bank on a Louis Vuitton, I am willing to forgo Target for something with boutique style because I know I will use it every day. I’ve also abandoned my tendency toward “safe” black or brown and feel a bit like Elle Woods a la Legally Blonde with this pop of color in a sea of drab business black.

Obviously, I love my new tote bag. It’s partly because I rarely splurge on purchases for me. However, there is some irony in this purchase that I can’t ignore. Growing up my sister and I would make fun of the “mom purse” – specifically, our mom’s purse because it was huge and she could use its contents to open her own pharmacy, and tailor, and concession stand. Now here I am, loving the fact that this is the largest work bag I’ve ever owned. And truthfully, anything smaller would have been a failed purchase. Look ma…I can open up my own sundries store now too!

So tomorrow is part two…“What’s in my bag?” Is this an awesome cliffhanger or what!?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carried away

The Olympics are over and I offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to the Spice Girls for providing my closing ceremony highlight and splendid flashbacks to high school.

As much as I enjoyed all the Olympic heroes and medalists, I came across another hero today who has me simply in awe.

If you haven't heard about the father who completed a triathlon while carrying, pushing and pulling his 13-year old daughter with cerebral palsy, read the story. The physical strength he showed is inspiring, but it’s the purpose behind his feat that brought me a smile (and some teary eyes). Talk about LOVE!

I'm lucky to be a daughter who's loved a lot, too. And it's precious to hear Jen talk about her love for my nephew (and as his auntie, I'd carry him just about anywhere, too…until his sweet chunkiness makes my arms go numb!)  

This whole story gives new meaning to the commonly quoted Footprints in the Sand poem. In fact, from now on, I'll no longer think of the Lord just carrying me through the sandI'll picture him doing a triathlon with me in his arms! How cool that he'd do that for each one of us (again and again)!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A summer potluck

Like a Lutheran potluck, this post has a little of everything. It’s a late summer recap of random musings that hopefully includes a dish or two you’ll enjoy, whether it be it vacation, baseball, charity, or perhaps a summer dish of your own. So, let’s dig in!

I recently got back from vacation where we visited family in New York. Sadly, I took almost no photos. But here is my favorite shot from the week…cousins and buddies enjoying their week together.
 I also attended a wedding while out of town. It was a Catholic wedding in a beautiful church, and the entire ceremony I kept staring at the holy family statues up front thinking that Joseph needed a Baby Bjorn to carry baby Jesus around. This is just how my random mind works these days. See baby Jesus (circa 1 AD)…and my own baby Connor and husband making use of the popular baby wearing contraption (circa 2011 AD). 

Recently you may have noticed the “Water of Life” banner in the sidebar of this blog. Compassion International is an awesome charitable organization doing great things for needy children around the world, and I wanted to do what little I could to promote some of their efforts…and give you and other blog readers an opportunity to get involved if you are interested. Through Compassion, I’ve sponsored and corresponded with a girl named Diana in Peru for the last 10 years and look forward to sponsoring another child in a few years who my son can correspond with as they both grow. But even if sponsoring a specific child isn’t your thing, there are a lot of other cool things Compassion is doing and ways you can help. Click on the Water of Life banner on the right to find out about one of their life changing efforts. I may mention others here from time to time as well!

I had my first opportunity this year to see my MN Twins in action at Target Field this weekend. My son looks confused in the photos, but he had a blast. TC Bear (the Twins mascot) has a new fan.

My husband is currently out of town for a couple of days in a state with much warmer weather than Minnesota. There are some potentially exiting things going on in our family. Lots to pray about too. Hopefully I can share more soon.

Well, I think you’re pretty much caught up with my life for the moment. Stay tuned for a less random, more thoughtful blog post next time. Meanwhile, where have your summer plans taken you in recent weeks?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We've got spirit

If you're tired of the Olympics, I apologize, because I'm still addicted and I can’t not talk about it! The comebacks. The records broken. The teamwork. The people who made it despite incredible odds. Summer or Winter Olympics—doesn't matter; I'm so inspired. And I'm moved to tears every time I hear our national anthem during a medal ceremony.

I'd like to bottle up these feelings of pride to use once the Olympics are over. When political mudslinging and annoying campaign ads take over the airwaves, I'm going to need a reminder of the friendly and sportsmanlike competition of these summer games.

I do wish we had this Olympic pride and unity for other things. Of course, we had "spirit" in high school. I have fond memories of cheering alongside the pep band, waiting hours in line for state tournament hockey tickets and Spirit Weeks. We've even had a couple of Spirit Weeks in my office, complete with a Hawaiian day, 80s day, crazy t-shirt day and, of course, pajama day (don't worry, I changed clothes to attend meetings outside my department).

Maybe we need to bring back Spirit Week. True, a national pajama day won't give me the same satisfying feeling as watching our gymnasts stick a landing or our swimmers being first to touch that wall. But there's not a lot of room for controversy when we share a common goal to have fun and be a little silly. I'm not trying to minimize the very serious issues of our country, but when we're all supporting the same team, it sure is refreshing.

What's been your favorite Olympic moment so far? As proud as I am of all the U.S. athletes, I've especially loved seeing smaller countries cheering for their small contingent of athletes—like when the runner from Grenada won his country's first Olympic medal ever (a gold!) in the men’s 400m. I also admired this very classy show of respect from Jamaican runner Usain Bolt.