Each evening before I hit the hay, I find myself checking my purse, (or large bag I should say, this is no evening accessory but a serious sized sack, call me Mama Sherpa). My husband is curious as to my need to go through and organize my bag each night. I tell him that “preparation is key to winning the battle”. He frowns and heads to bed.
Each day, now that the weather is warming, I head out to face the urban jungle with one infant and one toddler in tow. Some of you may understand this epic undertaking (I mean this is my daily Everest), and some of you may not. When you head out into a world that will have you encounter chaotic playgrounds, herds of K-9s, public transit and a coffee date with girlfriends, you need to be prepared for all life can throw at you, and mostly be prepared for what your kids can get into. This is where my nightly prep helps me win my daily trek through the jungle, on top of the normal kid things (juice, snack, change of clothes) there are 7 key things that I always make sure I am well stocked in that keep me and my kids somewhat in order as we head out to discover new things (these 7 essentials are not just for the urban mom, but can work for any mom):
- Bella Balm – for a long lasting moist lip look (and a balm that actually nourishes your lips), carry this, an all organic (every ingredient used is certified organic) and all natural, cruelty free lip balm. Their ingredient list is like a farmer’s market list with no chemicals at all – you can even use it on your little ones’ lips if they are looking a bit chapped!
- Keep Leaf Snack & Sandwich Bags – to keep my kids’ snacks fresh, I have found these bags a treat. Inexpensive and with fun patterns, these soft sacks fold down in your purse when empty unlike Tupperware. I take them with me even empty in case we are out at coffee shop and there is a left over kid snack that we can take with us for the road. These can also be used in lunch boxes over any other type of wrap. Yes, they are dishwasher and washer machine friendly, so they can be reused many times over.
- Substance Nappy Cream – as I have mentioned in a previous article, this mixture of ointment from The Matter Company is just magical. I always have a travel size container on me. It is not just for diaper rash, but any cut or scrape that happens in the play ground. Just apply it right on any scrape and it will protect it and start the healing process ASAP, no band-aid needed.
- Mistral Hand Cream – while out all day, I can wash my hands up to 10 times, and the city’s hard water can start to take its toll. I make sure to have a travel size Mistral Hand Cream packed away. This Paraben free cream that also uses organic shea butter and essential oils, comes in a cute package and in 3 fresh scents: Lavender, Milk & Verbena.
- Clean Well Wipes – these wipes contain the only hand sanitizer that is all-natural and alcohol-free. The ingredients are safe for kids, non-toxic and come from rapidly renewable resources that grow abundantly world wide. They also kill 99,9% of germs that can make you and your kids sick. The ingredients also biodegrade in an eco way that does not upset the pH balance of soil. So after getting off the subway or bus, wipe down your kids with this, or clean up a messy post lunch face with a swipe of one of these.
- Kaia Bamboo Facial Cloths – this is for Mom – you are mid-way through the day and starting to “glow”, or let’s just call a spade a spade – you are sweating and need a little refresh. Grab one of these 100% biodegradable wipes that will gently cleanse and tone your face. It also acts as a make-up remover (if you had time to get that on in the morning), and leaves you with a fresh face for the next part of the journey. These cloths are so soft and are made from bamboo – just a little spa treat in your bag.
- Vermints – For your post-coffee time with the girls, these little mints are perfect. All-natural breath mints, made with organic and natural ingredients, provide a refreshing alternative to other “not so natural” mints. These little mints are tasty, uniquely shaped lozenges that come in six pure, full-bodied flavors (like CinnaMint, Chai, GingerMint and WinterMint), and colorful contemporary tins. No animal products (Vegans are good to go here), Gluten and nut-free. So Enjoy!
The bonus to this little green survival kit is that, if all contained in one smaller case, they don’t take up much room, I actually clip a smaller bag to my larger one, so that it is easy to access – happy exploring!