Today we’re talking purse essentials, brought to you by my buddies at Bob’s Red Mill! You of course know Bob’s Red Mill for their minimally processed whole grain products, including gluten-free flours, blends, and baking mixes, but Bob’s is rolling out an AWESOME new product called Better Bars that I am absolutely loving, and am sure you will too!

When I first had to go gluten-free almost 5 years ago exactly, I majorly OD’d on bars – and we’re not talking of the wine variety. Many of you know that back then I went a little sugar crazy after having to give up all of my gluten-filled favorites, over-compensating for the foods I had to give up and miss out on. Bars were a major source of that sugar and to this day I still feel gaggy when passing by the ones I used to eat regularly at the grocery store. A lot of this is mental – I associate some of those bars with a REALLY rough time in my life, ie being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but it’s also because some of those bars are literally sickeningly sweet.

All that to say, there’s no denying the convenience of a bar you can toss into your purse and so I’m thrilled to have found Bob’s Red Mill Better Bars which aren’t too sweet, have a short, simple ingredient list, and up to 7 grams of protein per bar making them an ideal on-the-go breakfast or snack.

All that said, Bob’s has invited me to tell you where my Better Bars take me and the answer is, EVERYWHERE – HA! With three small kids I am on the go what feels like all day, every day. Between dentist visits and doctor appointments, trips to the library, school drop off and pick up, play dates, karate, swimming lessons, and everything in between, we are out and about a ton and I don’t always have time to sit down to eat at traditional meal times. Actually who am I kidding, I never sit down at traditional meal times, except for dinner, so these bars are great to pack in my purse and eat when I’m hungry and not at home.

Better Bars come in 5 different flavors (Peanut Butter & Banana is my favorite,) are soft and chewy, made with Bob’s Red Mill whole grains and certified gluten-free oats, plus they have 11 grams or less of sugar per bar. For comparison, the bars I have in mind that make me extra gaggy have 20 grams of sugar per bar!!!

When Lincoln started going to preschool I’d have a “special snack” for him to eat in the car every time I picked him up – a tradition we’ve continued for four years now. These bars have become a favorite of his to spot in the car when he hops in and I love that it’s a “clean” snack that will also fill him up. This smily boy is our little skinny mini!

Better Bars are rolling out in grocery stores at the moment, plus you can order them online. Sign up for their newsletter to get 20% off your first order.

Ok – let’s talk purse essentials!!

Since Bob’s Red Mill Better Bars have become a staple in my purse over the last few weeks, I thought I’d show you what else I keep inside my bag! 99% of the time I carry a crossbody from Banana Republic that I got several years ago which I SO wish they still sold because people stop and ask me where I got it from constantly. (Ben just had a coworker who saw me at the mall ask him where it’s from, hahaha.) There are a few similar ones herehere, here, and here. My diaper bag is from Thirty One Gifts – I can’t find the exact one but this bag is adorable – and if I want a diaper bag-sized purse that doesn’t look like a diaper bag, I bust out my Hobo (an investment for sure, but that thing is indestructible!)

Now, of course I always have diapers and wipes on hand, but here are the other 10 essential items I always keep in my purse!


Duh! For all the reasons we talked about above, plus I’ve got little guys who are always hungry. Seriously, do your kids eat as much and as often as mine do? What in the whole wide world?! That said my purse is always jam packed with snacks. Bars, applesauce pouches, and individual sized bags of popcorn or crispy lentil chips are our favorites.


Collect Roller Ball

I’ve shared this Aromatherapy Roller Ball from Little Barn Apothecary several times on the blog before and love it so much that I bought a second one for my purse. The combination of violet leaf, lavender and petitgrain oils provides me great relief from stressful everyday moments, plus I find it relieves headaches naturally. It is SUCH a gem and small in size – comparable to a tube of lipstick.


Swiss Army Pocket Knife

I keep this bad boy on my key chain and use it constantly – what the heck did I do before I had a Swiss Army Pocket Knife? I most often use the scissors for snipping long straws for the boys when we’re out to eat, and the nail file because I always seem to need one when I’m not at home (right?), additionally though, it feels good to be prepared in case I ever find myself in a Macgyver-esque situation. Pro tip: take your Swiss Army Pocket Knife OFF your keychain before flying, or it will 100% be confiscated. Ask me how I know.


Personal Alarm

Speaking of shifty situations, I also keep a small personal alarm on my keychain in my purse at all times (this is the same one I carry in-hand while running outdoors.) Can never be too safe, ladies.


Lip Balm

I’ve always been loyal to EOS products since they’re gluten-free, but a friend gifted me a Live Beautifully Lip Balm last summer and I am *obsessed*. Not only does the Juicy Peach & Pear flavor smell like fruit plucked right from a tree, but the balm has a hint of shine which is nice if I’m out and want a little something extra special that’s not lipstick or stain (which I hate.) This company has the most delicious flavors of lip balm and the ingredients are top notch.


Metal Comb

It’s a fact that I have the most staticky hair on the planet. I literally cannot even touch it if it’s down in the wintertime because hairs will immediately start flying if I do. That said, I carry a metal comb in my purse for on-the-go touchups as it doesn’t cause as much static as a regular comb or brush. I have no idea how it works, but it does! I like this particular comb because it’s very flat and has a carrying case, so it’s great for even small purses.


Mini Deodorant

This is more of a summertime necessity, but I keep a travel-size deodorant in my bag for freshening up when necessary. I use Primally Pure and the company offers a small, 1.7oz option that’s great for tossing into a purse or bag. I like the Tea Tree (on a huge tea tree kick atm,) and Lavender scents, especially.


Grab and Go Play Packs

What is life with small children without Grab and Go Play Packs?! You will ALWAYS find one or two of these play packs – which contain stickers, a little coloring book, and crayons – in my purse at all times. They are life savers when we’re out to eat or in a waiting room. I buy them in the Target $1 aisle though Amazon sells them too. Magic Ink books are another activity I like to keep on hand for Cam, especially.


Compact Pocket Mirror

Sure the forward facing camera on a cellphone is nice, but nothing compares to a compact mirror with 10x (!!) magnification when I really need to see what’s going on! Bonus points for this thing also entertaining my 2 year old when times get rough.

Tell me a purse essential of yours that isn’t on this list!