What’s In Nina Garcia's Mom Purse?

The 'Project Runway' judge shares her essentials

I remember a time, not too long ago, when my main daytime handbag was relatively small. It contained a phone, a wallet, my tube of Chanel lipstick and a pair of sunglasses. And I never, ever found an unwrapped lollipop at the bottom. Now, I am always quite shocked to see what finds its way into the depths of my bag: matchbox cars, rubber snakes, crushed paper airplanes ... the list goes on. But no matter how many extraneous items get thrown into my “mom purse,” there are eight essential items that always remain.

So, what’s in my mom purse?

Portable Phone Charger/ Battery Pack

The phone goes without saying. It is attached to me, though when I am with my kids it is primarily used as a camera and not for chatting, texting, tweeting and checking emails. I use the Mophie battery phone case, which extends the life of my battery for hours longer than the normal charge. But when even that isn’t enough, a portable phone charger can be a lifesaver when you are traveling or on the go all day. Many of the portable chargers also work on iPads and iPods, which is key when taking long trips.

Pen and Notebook

Yes, I know I can take notes on my phone; but I still love the old-school pen and paper. I am constantly thinking of what to write for the next mom.me blog and what to put in the next issue of Marie Claire, while keeping a running list of possible new projects. Whenever an idea hits me I immediately reach for my notebook and jot down any thoughts that might come my way. The beauty of life is you never know where inspiration will come from. I have learned from experience that if I don’t write those thoughts down right away, I will sometimes forget them. I also jot down the funny and wonderful quotes that come out of my sons’ mouths. When I open up this notebook it always makes me happy and inspired. I love this keepsake Tiffany pen and Poppin spiral notebook. For a splurge, this Hermes leather notebook is gorgeous (pictured).

Coin Purse

In addition to my regular wallet, my “mom purse” also holds a fun coin purse (pictured). I fill this coin purse with quarters for the gumball machine and shiny pennies for the wishing fountains we encounter—for one should never pass up a gumball machine or a wishing fountain.

Crisis Pouch

One thing I’ve learned as a mother is that anything can happen at any time. I’ve therefore created a crisis pouch, which contains answers to some of these situations that might arise.

I run to Pocket Pack Tissues for runny noses, sopping up spills, dabbing away mascara when my kids make me laugh and cry with each milestone. I buy these in bulk and stash them everywhere. I add a few fun Band-Aids to the crisis pouch, because who wants a plain Band-Aid when you can have a superhero, Dora, or Mickey Mouse?

Tide to Go Pen or Shout Wipes are heaven-sent! Be realistic: Stains and spills will happen. And they most often happen when you are wearing white and your child is wearing his favorite shirt. It’s much easier to act cool, calm and collected if you have these on hand at all times.

I also have Antibacterial Hand and Face Wipes. I’m not too fanatical about the antibacterial craze, but I do wipe my boys’ hands after a long day at the playground or when they have been interacting with a lot of other children. I also use these after meals out, to clean their hands and faces. Also, I'm obsessed with Kiehl's Lip Balm. I do not go anywhere without it. I have a tube of it in every bag I own. Obsessed. Soon you will be too. (If you’re not already.)

Snack

I pack a few healthy, organic snacks in my bag when I’m with my kids so I don’t have to resort to feeding them whatever junk is around in a moment of crisis. Not that I’m above that. Believe me, it has happened before and it will happen again.

Sunglasses

I keep a great, everyday pair of sunglasses in my mom purse. These especially come in handy early in the morning for school drop-off, when you’re wearing absolutely no makeup. The perfect pair will give your outfit a polished and finalized look. A few of my favorite brands are Warby Parker (pictured), Ray-Ban, and Converse.

Tell me, fellow moms, what’s in your “mom purse”?

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