Becky recently posed the question: what are the items you must have with you?
I liked this post so much that I decided that rather than answering her in a comment, I would use it as a sort of meme.
Looking my handbag you will find the following items (in no particular order):
1. Wallet. I am very particular about my wallet and tend to use the same one for years. I just got a beautiful new Kate Spade wallet for my birthday and I like seeing it looking so pretty inside my bag.
2. Blackberry. Yes, they call it a Crackberry for a reason and I love that little thing. It is especially good for keeping in touch with my husband who is, like me, never separated from his Blackberry.
3. 2 lipsticks. One from Clinique which is boringly named "pink," but is still a good lipstick and one from Laura Mercier called "Purple Haze." I love lipstick.
4. Lip balm. Yes, in addition to the lipsticks, I like to have lip balm too. In fact, I am hopelessly addicted to lip balm and I keep one everywhere -- by the bed, in the bathroom, in my car, at my desk and, of course, in my bag. Right now I have 2 different lip balms -- a Burt's Bees lip balm and a tinted lip balm by Tarte called "Thursday." Ordinarily I only carry my long enduring favorite Cherry ChapStick.
5. iPod. This is one of those things that whenever I decide to leave it at home, I immediately find myself in a situation where I desperately wish I had it. I love that most handbags come designed with the double inside pockets these days that neatly fit an iPod and a phone.
6. Bath & Body Works Pink Grapefruit Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Lotion. It does 2 things in one -- I love the efficiency -- especially after using a public restroom which is almost always equipped with industrial strength soap that can double as a furniture stripping agent.
7. Key ring with the minimum number of keys needed for my life -- 2. One for the car and one for the house. I hate carrying extra keys. I do have a cute peace symbol key fob too. I also have a separate key ring just for the fob that opens the doors to my office building.
8. Sunglasses. I love sunglasses and I always have a pair with me unless I am paring down for an evening bag. (No Corey Hart impressions for me.)
9. Nice'n Clean Antibacterial Moist Wipes. They have saved me from many sticky situations -- pun intended! These are a must for being anywhere with children under the age of 10, but out of diapers. When they're in diapers you always have the wipes with you and I am hopeful that by the age of 10, kids can clean themselves up.
10. Opti-free Rewetting Drops. A couple of months ago I got new contact lenses and when my eyes were adjusting to them, I found the drops helped. They can probably be taken off the must include list since I hardly use them anymore.
11. Cosmetics bag with face powder, concealer, eye shadow and tweezers. Sometimes my lipsticks are in here and sometimes they are in the zipper pocket where my keys live.
12. 2 pens -- one stolen from the hotel on my last business trip and one that came as part of the latest swag from my job.
13. Dental wax for the braces. This is a new addition, but very essential at the moment. It has replaced the chewing gum that used to be a permanent fixture pre-braces.
And that's it. I clean out extraneous stuff like receipts and other bits on a nightly basis because I like my bag to be neat and organized.