Oh my goodness, I just love all this cuteness. But before you are fooled by how matchy-matchy and clean my purse is, here's a true story from long before this purse came to be. We're at church, and Paul is back at the soundboard doing his usual Saturday night thing, when he sees a few ants crawling along the soundboard desk. Funny, he thinks, ants at CHURCH? I mean, I would understand in our house, but in the pristine environment of our sanctuary? Seems a little odd. He and our music director had a little chuckle about it and didn't give it another thought. Fast forward a few hours. . .we're in the van on the way home from my parents' house with leftover pizza in tow. We pull out the pizza box at home and. . .lo and behold. . .more tiny ants, crawling on the pizza. If you know my husband Paul, you know that he is pretty even tempered- until invasive critters are involved. I sweetly suggested that the ants might have just hitchhiked from my parents house?? To which I got the exasperated sigh, the stern look and the "Jennifer". Not the "Jen" or the "Jenny". . .the "JenniFER" That's when you know it's serious. So, I obliged my husband and investigated the ant situation. Turns out at the bottom of my diaper bag there was a long ago unwrapped and melted lolliop, which had fused its melty little self to the lining. Peppering the melted lollipop's surface were the crumbs of forgotten graham crackers that had attached to the gooey layer, and prancing around on top of the whole mess was a little colony of ants.
That's how life keeps you humble, folks. On the one day of the week that I am wearing heels, perfume, makeup, and dry-clean only attire, I learn I have been trailing tiny ant buddies all around town from my purse. Nice. Upon further investigation, I discovered a parade of ants who had found their way into our home and up the back of the bench where I keep my bag. They were stumbling around confused as to where their queen's food supply had been for the past few hours. Didn't they know their ant buddies in my diaper bag needed to take their sticky lollipop and go get their worship on???
After this incident, I determined it was time for a major overhaul in my personal organization. Enter my friend Alyssa, who had recently become a Thirty-One gifts consultant. I decided it was time to separate the purse from the diaper bag and come up with some solutions that would help me become more organized and ant-free on the go. The first purchase I made was a Retro Metro Bag- which is cute enough to be a purse and big enough to be a diaper bag when needed- those pockets on the sides are just right for sippy cups! The second purchase I made was a new wallet- let's face it, the sweet Buxton Wizard wallet as seen in your Sunday paper coupon section had served me well for 10 years and now it was time to move on. I loved the wallet, but there was no room for receipts or bills laid flat, so instead I just stuffed things in. I got the Thirty-One coin purse wallet (with some laser etching, because why not, I had had the same $10 wallet for 10 years!!) and I am so sad that they discontinued the coin purse part of this style because I loooovve this wallet. I also purchased a wristlet key fob, so that way if I was hauling the kids into preschool for dropoff I could throw it around my wrist and not have to dig for my keys. That saved me about 10 minutes a day. Overall, the key fob makes my keys so much easier to find. . another problem of mine solved. After these three changes and the addition of a Large Utility Tote for hauling stuff around, I started to get a lot better about keeping my purse clean during the fall. I knew that I still wasn't quite there yet because my purse was still a receipt explosion at any given time. Paper clutter was a major problem, so my new year's resolution involved conquering it. Enter- the Fold and Go Organizer. I can keep lists, coupons, checks to deposit, etc. all in there and even have a notepad to write things down. Usually, I would be at the park and some mom would be like, here's my phone #/email address/etc. and I would write it down on the back of a receipt. Classy. Now I have a legit notepad. This little item is so handy and helps keep me from panicking that I am going to lose an important paper and looking like a goof as I dig through my purse for receipts to see which one I wrote something on. I also started a receipt basket, thanks to an idea I saw on one of my fave blogs, the Nest Effect. Paul and I try to stick our receipts right in the little basket when we come in the door and that keeps a lot of the paper clutter out of the bottom of my purse and the dresser in our bedroom!
After I became a Thirty-one consultant, I thought it would be fun to pick up a few new things with my discount, which is why for the first time in my life I am the proud owner of a sunglasses case. That's right, a case specifically designed FOR GLASSES, not the mitten I was carrying my glasses around in before. I will say that a mitten does make a mighty fine glasses holder, you just don't look very hip when you bust out your mitten at the park in July and shake your sunglasses out of it. I would also like to add that I got the mitten idea from Real Simple magazine, so that's how you know it's legit. I love the Thirty-One glasses case because you can attach a wristlet strap to it and carry it that way and it will also fit a cell phone in the zipper pocket, and ID and lipstick, too! All the essentials. When I go to the park, I like to attach the wristlet strap and take this as my "purse" because it holds everything I need!
Another nifty item that came in my kit is the Wristlet Wallet. When I first saw this item, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be using it. For one thing, the color is called "Painted Snakeskin" and pretty much nothing about me says "snakeskin". But, surprisingly, the pretend snakeskin print is really neutral and kind of cute! I carried this all around the amusement park on our vacation and it kept my phone handy and my essentials (cash, debit, ID, lipstick) organized. It coordinates well with any base color I am wearing- white, navy, gray, even black, and the background color looks great with the flutter, lotsa dots, minty chip, denim and the awesome blossom pattern so it can coordinate with any of my plethora of bags. Snakeskin, I should not have doubted you. You are cool.
I also picked up another icon coin purse which is great for holding your ID and clipping on your key ring if you are going somewhere where you don't need much at all. I like to stick my Aldi quarter in there so I am always set to go, or I hook it on my pool bag to keep a few things in. Plus, I am a sucker for butterflies. That's why I also had to get a Flutter Manicure Nail File. It's too cute to touch to my nails, but I like to look at it. The mini zipper pouch is perfect for makeup and I have another in my church bag for crayons. It can even make a fun little wristlet as well! Just attach strap and go!
I am feeling pretty good about the exciting changes that have happened in my purse life since the Ant-tastrophe of last summer! I mean, the ants were free and the butterfly stuff cost money, but I think the insect trade-off was worth it. I consider these items an investment in my marriage. Right, honey?
The snakeskin wallet. Not so bad after all.
One more nifty thing I figured out this spring- I fold one of Phil's old school papers in thirds and use the back as my grocery list- I can put my three stores on there and make the lists side by side, so if something is out of stock at one store, I can move it to the other list, or if I am at Target and decide to run to Meijer, I have that list as well and I am not stuck guessing. I just fold the paper to have whatever list I need for that store on top and it is even thick enough to cross off while I shop. Plus, it's recycling and Phil thinks it is really special. Sweet.