Welcome (or welcome back) to my blog!

Around here, we talk about:

life (events, memories, travel),

style (fashion, beauty)

and lifestyle (music, food, books).

Keep reading below to learn a little more about me, or click around to jump in (and don’t forget to leave a comment)!


01.To be absolutely in love with my life.

02.To read 50 books by the end of 2018.

03.To step foot on every continent.

04.To be the pivotal person that brings One Direction back together (a girl’s gotta dream, right?)

05.To eat a quesadilla (or grilled cheese) from as many different restaurants as possible.

Top 5 Books

01. We Were Liars – go read it. now.

02. The Bell Jar

03. The Great Gatsby

04. The Opposite of Loneliness

05. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Feel free to check out my Goodreads account too.

want to start reading? keep scrollin’


Q & Allison | About Me

August 18, 2018

I’ve been wanting to do an “About Me” tag for a while, so I used the Questions function on Instagram (and my coworkers) to crowdsource some good questions.

Here we go –

What is your favorite red lipstick?

That’s like asking me to choose between children (that I don’t have)

If you had to choose between quesadillas or grilled cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I’d probably have to say quesadillas, but please (please) don’t make me choose.

Which Harry Potter Book is your favorite?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4)

Black or blue ink?

Black if I’m just taking notes, blue if I’m annotating or signing something official.

Puppy-sized elephant or elephant-sized puppy.

Duh, a puppy-sized elephant.

What are your top 5 book recommendations?

Check out my Goodreads! I waver so much between books that I don’t have a “favorite,” but anything marked with a 4 or 5 star could be classified here.

If you could only shop at 3 clothing stores, what would they be?

Nordstrom (which is a loophole because #1 I love loopholes and #2 they carry both Madewell and Topshop)



Best recipes for a single girl?

Hummus pasta is my new obsession – check it out here from Madeleine Olivia!

What is your go-to drink (cocktail) for a girls night out?

I once heard that Taylor Swift orders a Diet Coke and Vodka so I started to do it too. But most likely, I’m drinking a cider (Bishop Cider Crackberry is my current favorite).

Favorite red wine?  White?

I love a good Cab Sav, and I don’t really like white wine.

Favorite coffee? or tea?

Black coffee
My teas of choice:

Top 3 bands to listen to on a road trip?

State Champs

One Direction

5 Seconds of Summer

I need a bit of nostalgia, songs to belt out every word, and a large catalog of songs.

Now that you have moved into your own new place, what changes/updates will occur for you in all aspects of life (job, love life, passions, etc. Life/career goals?)

LOL if only I knew – you’d be the first to know. 

If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be?

Growing up, the name I got the most often (if it wasn’t some variation of my name like Al, Allie, etc.) was Melissa. I’m not sure why, but I guess I’d go for that because it seems believable.

Bucket-List Travels?

Check out my travel map here for a full list. 😉

Cat Name?

As we just lost our cat Paprika that we had for 19 years, I’m not wanting to jump in any time soon. However, here’s a list of names I’ve pulled together over the years:

  • Draco
  • Moriarty
  • Luna

Did I miss anything you wanted to know? Leave a comment below!

q & allison



Jury Duty: Weirdest Social Experiment I’ve Ever Done

August 3, 2018

Jury Duty is the weirdest social experiment I’ve ever taken part in.

This past Tuesday, I went up to the George Allen Civil Court building and sat in a room with no air conditioning. I sat and read for an hour, waiting for the assembly to begin, fit with an outdated video about the general process of being on a jury. Then we had a break. (Get used to that).

After the break, the judge swore us all in and one of the employees read off the groupings of people needed upstairs for the various courts. There were six groups needed, and I happened to be the last number called. Lucky me!

Once upstairs, there was (obviously) more waiting. After about twenty minutes, the man we would later learn to be the judge comes out and says that there has been a “shuffle.” One side had requested that the names/numbers we were assigned be adjusted, so we were forced to wait a little bit longer. Upon the bailiff’s instructions, we were lined up 1-40, with me being 11 (keep in mind we already knew that this would be a twelve-person jury. Thank you, “shuffle”).

Next comes the voir dire:

voir dire // ˌvwär ˈdir // noun // LAW

a preliminary examination of a witness or a juror by a judge or counsel.

Basically, the lawyers ask you a bunch of semi-related questions to see if you would be super detrimental (or biased) to be on the jury. Do you recognize either of the parties in question? Have you ever been in a car accident? Or my personal favorite: do you think of yourself as a leader in your own life?

I wasn’t surprised when I was selected to be on the jury. As I hadn’t raised any red flags, I expected my newest title of, “Juror #6.

Thus began the trial.

knew that this would be nothing like what I see on TV, but I didn’t expect it to be that different. I also didn’t expect me to consistently fight the desire to raise my hand and ask questions. The most frustrating part for me was having these huge missing chunks of information due to redactions or merely their lack of discussions. Did you talk to X person? Did you check the traffic cameras? There were really no witnesses? These were the kind of questions that were never actually resolved. From my perspective, there were hundreds of directions I could have taken the case to make everything a lot better, but then again, I’m not a lawyer.

Once the two days were over (and we’d been sent back to the jury room seven times so that the judge and lawyers could “discuss things”), we were locked in the jury room. I will note that it isn’t as scary as it sounds – there are a bathroom and coffee and a refrigerator (the essentials). As we began deliberation, it was interesting how easily we began to fall into rhythms. We had to work through the charge of the court (the questions that the jury has to answer regarding negligence and money awarded) and fairly easily came to a consensus. 

I know that this ease isn’t always the case (and that ours may have been the odd one out), but it was so interesting sitting in a room with strangers debating details of a case that we had barely skimmed the surface on. Who are we to decide this?, I kept asking myself.

Ultimately, we did it! I’m honestly proud of us for making out of everything alive. By the end, we all had inside jokes and had spoken about unusually deep topics. In a horribly cliche way, it felt like at the end of The Breakfast Club where we all walked out together toward our (very) separate lives. Is that idealistic of me? 

While I hope that I don’t get called for jury duty for another long while, it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be.

General Jury Duty Tips:

  • bring a book
  • bring a portable phone charger
  • don’t lose your parking slip – you’ll likely need it to get validated


Resurrecting | Elevation Worship

August 1, 2018

One of the things I’ve been trying to get more into recently is listening to Worship Music. When I went earlier this month to Daytona Beach Florida with Student Life Camp for our youth group’s conference, there were two awesome bands: Vertical Worship and Elevation Worship.

Before our trip (and even after), we’ve been trying to incorporate the songs we’d be singing into our youth service so that we can form some muscle memory.

My favorite is Resurrecting by Elevation Worship (give it a listen below if you’d like!). This one song stuck with me because of all of the dichotomies involved.

I broke it all down for you here — 

Most of the verses can be broken down into two sides (from this to this) in a description of change. This really articulated the concepts of grace and sacrifice because it’s all about our death to life because of Jesus’.

Did this help you like it did me? I love being able to go beyond the face value of lyrics (for songs that aren’t even Christian songs) to learn more about the heart behind the song.

**all lyrics owned by Elevation Worship (I have just arranged them in a way that is conducive to me and I hope that it enhances your worship even more so).

Do you listen to a fair bit of this kind of music? Let me know which bands I need to check out in the comments below!


Author Spotlight | Megan Miranda

July 30, 2018

In addition to all of my #recentlyread posts (which I need to catch up on, oops), I wanted to start posting about some of my favorite authors in what I’m calling Author Spotlight, with this first post featuring Megan Miranda!

When I’m trying to find a new book to read, I often jump to the newest piece from an author I respect. With Megan Miranda, I don’t even look at the synopsis anymore before picking up her newest book (which is typically a young-adult fiction mystery/thriller). One of my favorite parts about Miranda’s writing is her ability to pull off a twist – I rarely know where she’s going, but love the ride. Even though most of her characters are experiencing larger than life circumstances, I can always relate to them and feel heavily involved.

Below, I’ve listed her books in chronological order with quick little notes from my experience reading! All synopsis details are from Goodreads, shortened by me for length.

Fracture (#1)


Synopsis: By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, her heart had stopped beating. But somehow Delaney survived – despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature – or something else much more frightening…

This book was my first glimpse into Miranda’s work. I did really enjoy it, but I rarely choose books with paranormal or supernatural elements. 

Eleven Minutes (Fracture #0.5)


This one is a bit of an anomaly because it’s a very small prequel.

Synopsis: Fracture is told from Delaney’s perspective, and if you’ve read the first two chapters, you know that she falls through the ice in chapter one, and she wakes up 6 days later. And what happens in between—well, that’s Decker’s story. This is the story of those eleven minutes, and the six days that follow, from his perspective. Because while it must be terrifying to be trapped under the ice, it’s a different kind of terror seeing your best friend trapped… Especially if it’s your fault.

I honestly do not believe that I’ve read it because my library doesn’t carry it. I’ve read Fracture, and don’t really need the prequel (and it’s incredibly short, so I’ve heard).



Synopsis: Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can’t remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn’t charged. But Mallory still feels Brian’s presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her or anything about her past. But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

I was really pulled in by the plot of this book and didn’t leave disappointed. The way that it is written, you know no more than Mallory does and you’re able to learn alongside her as she tries to discover what happened to her that night (and what is happening now).

Vengeance (Fracture #2)


Synopsis: Falcon Lake wants vengeance. And so, it seems, does someone else… 

When Decker drags his best friend Delaney’s lifeless body out of the frozen lake, he makes a deal: Anyone but her. Everyone but her. The lake releases her. It takes another…

All their friends blame Delaney for Carson’s death. But Decker knows the truth: Delaney is drawn to those who are dying, and she would have tried to help Carson. Or so Decker believes until a body lies in front of him in a pool of water on his kitchen floor. Until he sees in Delaney’s eyes that she knew this would happen too – and she said nothing. Until he realizes it isn’t the lake that is looking for revenge – Delaney is part of someone else’s plan.

If you know me, it takes a lot for me to read a sequel. I did enjoy Fracture, but I felt like the book ended and I didn’t need more. By the synopsis, Vengeance takes things just too far.



Synopsis: With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past. 

I haven’t read this sci-fi book of Miranda’s, but that is mostly due to the fact that I didn’t know it existed! It seems like something that I would find interesting, though.

The Safest Lies


Synopsis: Can fear be inherited? Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of fear, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey. Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile for their own protection, but that plan is shattered when she drives off a cliff and is rescued by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker.

A few days later, she arrives home to face her greatest fear: her mother is missing. She and her mother have drilled for all contingencies—except this one. Luckily, Ryan is as skilled at emergency rescues as Kelsey is at escape and evasion.  To have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face all her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.

This is my most recent Megan Miranda read. At one point, I had to put down the book for the night because I was getting freaked out (which never happens ((okay, the house in the book was getting broken into and I was home alone, but still)).

I love how Miranda’s books always have multiple twists and turns! However, I found one twist I wanted but didn’t see – that was a bummer. 

All the Missing Girls


Synopsis: It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

This is the big one for me. It’s the one I recommend to people when they say they’re looking for a book that is a mystery because I think it’s that good. Even though the story is technically told backward, it isn’t as confusing as I thought it would be (it’s just as confusing as it should be). In the opposite fashion of Hysteria, Nic holds all the cards and you find them one by one. The hard part is that you rarely know the cards when you see them. One day I will read the book backward and see if I can catch even more!

The Perfect Stranger


Synopsis: Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

This book was trippy in a very Black Mirror kind of way. As you’re starting to put together the pieces of this story, I couldn’t (and still can’t) imagine what it would feel like to have everything pulled out from under you like that.

Fragments of the Lost


Synopsis: Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere: in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safekeeping on that day. His mother asked her to pack up his things, even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.

But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all. Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?

really didn’t expect this twist.

I’d say that 6 out of 9 is pretty darn good! How many have you read? Let me know in the comments below!

*note – I didn’t include Dark Places (written with Susan Vaught, C.J. Omololu, and Jeannine Garsee) because it wasn’t written as a solo book.


Apartment Inspiration | Two Weeks Out

July 27, 2018

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m moving! We’re at the two-week mark, so I’m now at the point where I’m suddenly realizing that I’ve done nothing to prepare and need some apartment inspiration.

Below I’ve pulled items that inspire me and serve as a sort of “mood board” for what I want to do. I do have furniture and some decor items, but I know that over time I want to make things a little more me. Many of these things are way out of my price range, but I’m all for using expensive things as inspiration to find reasonably priced things.

  • I’m going for fairly neutral with some good pops of color. Like that Urban Outfitters peach shower curtain? I’m eyeing that and the one with lemons on it! (Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments)!
  • I’m excited to have some dark wood floors because I keep seeing warm wood colors pop up in my favorite images.
  • One of the first things I’m going to have to buy is a bookshelf! I don’t really want to bring the one from home, but I’m going to need a home for the giant stack I’m taking with me. I might just have to brave IKEA for that one…


Do you have a favorite place to find inspiration for your home? Let me know in the comments below!

And don’t worry, I’ll be blogging more of the process as we actually begin moving!


Sweet Tooth Hotel

July 21, 2018

Happy Saturday, friends! My friend/coworker Alex and I went to the Sweet Tooth Hotel yesterday in Dallas to explore and take pictures. What is the Sweet Tooth Hotel?, you might ask? A candy and sweets themed pop-up exhibition in Downtown Dallas.

We saw it on the internet, bought tickets, and then had to wait a month for our specific date because of the demand. There are still a few days left with tickets (mostly during the week), so check out their ticketing page here to pick some up if you’re interested.

Here are a few key things to know before you go:

  • You get one hour. Show up early because they do a quick tour (ours took like 13 minutes) and then you have until the end of the hour to explore. Alex and I didn’t take the whole hour, but the employees are good about saying “15 minutes left” and helping with pictures if needed.
  • I’d recommend checking out the #sweettoothhotel on Instagram to get a bit of inspiration if you’re aiming to get pictures to step up your Instagram game.
  • There are about 15 tickets per timeslot, so we all got to spread out. 
  • There are five rooms plus the hallways.
  • Your ticket also gets you a discount to a few of the local coffee shops!

I don’t want to spoil the entire experience so I’ve only pulled my favorite pictures to show below, separated generally by room. To see everything, book yourself a ticket (or check out the Instagram hashtag).


my “I don’t like cereal” face


my “can we pretend we don’t have to back to work” face


hello MTV, welcome to Alex’s fridge


tbh that button I’m “pressing” was broken (but also neither of us realized the extra button at the bottom of the heart either #regrets)


this sign says “sweet dreams” in Korean


the clouds are “sound sensitive,” meaning that if you’re loud they glow brighter


the big ole mural

Outfit details

Thanks to Alex for all of the great pictures (and for putting up with my coughing & sneezing this week).

Check out my other Dallas escapades here!

A few of the pictures have made their way to my Instagram. Have you checked them out? Leave a 🍬 emoji in the comments if you came from here!


Define: Geo-Paradise

July 19, 2018

What is your favorite word in the English language?

I posed this question to the two French graduate students that I worked with while living in Australia. We talked about differences in languages frequently, my friend Delaney even made them tell us the “meanest thing they could say ” in French to prove the language’s superiority. It was no contest – I wasn’t the wiser as to what they were saying and they sounded great cursing what I assume to be everything I loved and cherished.

Both boys had very different answers.

That’s easy, Allison. F*ck. That’s my favorite word. This didn’t surprise me at all. This brash attitude fits his personality well.

The next answer left me and the other Frenchman with our mouths agape and heads tilted. 

Geo-paradise. That’s my favorite word. It just rolls off the tongue.

Brash boy and I broke out in laughter, dropping bits of the sandwich we had picked up from down the street.

Paradise boy picks his words, and handbags (I promise, Allison, they’re a normal thing for men to wear in Paris) carefully. I waited for him to continue, unable to figure out which word he’s speaking of. 

His brow furrows as he tries to explain a word he doesn’t fully grasp. Like when someone is about to be hurt. Or something is risky.

And then it clicks.


French wins.

Events Fashion

Conch Piercing | My Experience

July 15, 2018

A few weeks ago, two of my best friends and I (Heather, you were missed) went to dinner at Ida Claire (and of course got two tattoos and a conch piercing, but that comes later. Stick with me here).

It’s a cute restaurant in the Addison area that specializes in “southern cuisine with a twist.” I got the Chicken Biscuit, Kayla got a Po-Boy, and Cassie got a fancy turkey sandwich.



aren’t my friends cute?

After the meal, we (of course) had to take advantage of the brick wall and get a few Instagram pictures in


behind the scenes

Should any of these be sold out, here are a few similar:

After dinner, we decided on which tattoo parlor to go to (highly rated, confirmed that they take walk-ins) and were on our merry way.

Once we got there, their piercer wasn’t in (which was what I was getting done, spoiler alert) so I snuck out to call the other place we were interested in and see if they had availability. While I was on the phone, apparently my friends got bad vibes from the artist they spoke to. Being the smart girls they are, we all walked out… and to the other tattoo parlor.

We ended up at the Iron Dagger Tattoo, which is in an old Victorian building right off one of the major streets in Addison.


The place was incredibly eclectic and very “apothecary meets punk rock.”

My two friends got their tattoos from guys names Worm & Craig (would recommend – good price, nice guys, great result), while Craig also did my ear piercing. I had read up a bit on conch piercings before I got one (which I will link at the end) and heard two common themes from personal stories: crunch and blood. Neither sounded that great.

Here’s a little diagram that may be helpful:


I got the “Inner Conch” pierced.

The artist gave me the whole “safety” talk, marked three potential spots on my ear for me to pick from, and then did the thing. It was nice and quick but also didn’t hurt as much as I was anticipating. One of my friends even remarked, “you didn’t even squeeze my hand!”

Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Like with a tattoo, listen to the advice your artist gives you. I was told, “no twisting, no alcohols, just a q-tip and unscented soap.” Yours may say the exact opposite! Feel free to ask questions, but (assuming you’re at a reputable place) these guys and gals are professionals.
  2. I didn’t bleed. I’ve had my piercing for over a month now and not one drop of blood has come out, like he said was possible. Mine has been more “crusty” which is as gross to type as it is to clean. It’s nothing that a q-tip with unscented soap can’t fix, and it has gotten to be less and less over time, but for a while, I was a bit nervous that it hadn’t bled.
  3. Make sure you get the contact information for the artist in case you have any questions or issues. Thankfully I’ve had neither, but I know how to get ahold of him if that becomes the case. Both artists we met with that night handed us their cards.
  4. Similar to point three, read the waiver and aftercare carefully. This way you can make sure you ask all the questions you want to before it’s all said and done. Craig was good about walking me through literally everything (what to expect, the process, aftercare, pain expected, etc) before I even saw the needle.
  5. The pain wasn’t (& isn’t) bad. Yeah, I had a little bit of pain as he shoved a needle through my ear, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. When I got home, and in the following days, I couldn’t sleep well on my right side without my hand over my ear. About a month in, however, I can sleep on that side with no problem. 
  6. It can take approximately 6 months to completely heal, despite how it may feel. I go through times where it feels completely healed, and then others when the pain comes back. 

Some other posts I read about conch piercings beforehand:

Have you had your conch, or any other part of your ear, pierced? I’d love to hear about your experience or helpful tips in the comments below!


Monthly Playlist: July 2018 | Warped Tour

July 3, 2018

If you’ve been here awhile, you know that I’m a huge fan of Warped Tour.

I’ve been twice, written about it once, and cannot wait to see my favorite bands take the stage again… one last time for the last nation-wide Tour. I honestly didn’t have this year’s Tour on my calendar because I’ll be out the whole next week of work (and this years’ show in my city is on a Friday), but I kept having this nagging feeling that I just needed to be there. One more time.

I’m going with my friend Kayla and we’ve been going back and forth with which bands are at the top of our lists (as we won’t know the actual schedule until we arrive), but this playlist pulls a little bit from each of the bands we’re dying to see.

Do you want to see a Warped Tour roundup after Friday? Have you ever been to Warped Tour? Leave me a comment below!

Fashion Lifestyle Organization

What’s In My Bag?

June 27, 2018

“What’s in my Bag” posts are some of my favorite blog posts and YouTube videos. I guess there is something about me (and probably you if you’ve clicked on this blog post) that’s a bit nosy? Aint nothing wrong with that.

Let’s just jump right in with the purse I’m using right now!

It’s a Kate Spade bag that I actually won at a fundraising event for a local nonprofit! It’s quite the statement bag, but I find that I can wear it with virtually anything.

The purse isn’t sold anymore, but here are a few bags from Kate Spade that are almost the same.

Cameron Street Botanical Maise Satchel

Watson Lane Lucie Crossbody

Watson Lane Daisy Garden Lucie

I try to always be prepared for any kind of situation but also not have any extra junk that I’m lugging around. If I bring one of my larger totes around with me, I tend to fill it all the way up.

I’ll go through this list left to right!

Hand Lotion | I have this hand lotion in my bag right now, but I’m not faithful to it. There is something about hand lotion (or gum or hand sanitizer) that makes everyone suddenly want some. 

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Blotting Wipes | these have been a tried and true for years! I love having them in my bag just in case, especially for summer days. They don’t move my makeup around, either.

Tampon | yep.

Chapstick | I’m not too picky with my chapstick, but right now I’ve been using the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment (that’s quite the mouth-full) and enjoying it. This one from Palmer’s is another recent favorite of mine.

Tide To Go | I’m never not spilling something on myself. Whether it’s coffee or peanut butter or lipstick (or anything in between), my trusty Tide To Go is with me. Check out this post here to see the secret trick a sales associate taught me about getting stains out, too.

Travalo (with Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay) | a few years ago I heard about this product and haven’t looked back. Essentially, you take the cap off your perfume and pump it into the Travalo so that you create your own travel-sized perfume bottle. As you get more bang for your buck with a larger perfume bottle, I can just keep refilling the Travalo when it’s running low (the only downside is that you can’t really switch perfumes with the same Travalo).

Dove Travel Deodorant | this deodorant hasn’t been my favorite, but I always try to have some kind of deodorant in my purse. Have I told you I live in Texas? (This is my favorite deodorant)

Concealer | I’ve been keeping this Maybelline Makeup Instant Age Rewind Concealer Dark Circle Eraser Concealer (I take back what I said about the chapstick) in my purse because it’s a great color match to me and it takes minimal effort. I’m the color Fair and it is perfect for touch-ups during the day.

Ray-Ban Sunglasses | The Ray-Ban Round Fleck are my favorite pair of sunglasses! I usually also keep a cheap pair in my car just in case I forget these at home or a friend doesn’t bring any.

Cloth Napkin | I like to keep this in my bag so that I can avoid paper napkins/towels if possible.

Pepper Spray | thankfully, I’ve never had to use it!

Swiss Army Knife | if I’m being truly honest, I asked for this for Christmas a few years ago because I love MacGyver. I didn’t really think about how often I would actually use this, but I whip it out (in a controlled, safe manner) almost every day.

Keys | on a carabiner with another Swiss Army Knife, flashlight (mine is from a client at work, but I’ve had one just like this one before), and a library card.

Highlighter | you may be surprised how often I’ve needed to use a highlighter! I seem to own every color under the sun, so I tend to switch it up quite frequently.

Two Black Pens | pens are always a good idea to have in your bag! I’m always randomly having to fill out a form or need to jot something in my journal.

Apple iPhone Charger | my phone is consistently too low on battery.

Tea Bag | I’m not too picky when it comes to teas, but I always like to have one in my bag just in case. Right now, I have a Tazo Tea bag in the flavor Wild Sweet Orange.

Wallet | this wallet is SO OLD from Vera Bradley (similar one here). It holds all the cards I need and a little bit of cash but doesn’t take up much room in my purse.

Travel Utensils and Straw | I’ve got this set of travel utensils made of bamboo as well as this straw made of silicone and stainless steel.

Water Bottle | as a person who is trying to be more and more environmentally friendly (and someone who knows that if I don’t have a bottle right next to me I don’t drink), I’m trying to bring a water bottle with me as often as possible. This bottle is from the brand Corksicle that I got for Christmas this year. I love that it is stainless steel, it fits in my cupholder, and that it can lay flat on its side without rolling. I’m also partial to my Nalgene, as well, it just doesn’t fit in this bag.

Book | I’ve always got some sort of book in my bag for my lunch break or just an awkward time between things during the day instead of pulling out my phone. Right now, I’ve got Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst in my bag.

Journal | this journal was from a client at work, but I’m usually partial to my soft-back Moleskine (it just wasn’t what I had in my purse at the time). I use a journal to write my to-do lists!

Notepad | this notepad I actually stole from my mother (thanks mom). I typically use this notepad to jot down ideas or lists (think: expanding on my to-do lists). I like that it’s a square! My only hesitancy is that it isn’t sticky (like this one: my other favorite).

I keep both my journal and notepad on my desk at work so that I can instantly write things down before I forget.

*this post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Find this post interesting? MCar Essentials From Everyday to Survival Modeake sure you check out my post on essentials I keep in my car!

Did I miss anything you keep in your bag at all times? Let me know in the comments below!