What’s In My Kid Free Bag


On the rare occasion that I go out-and-about without the two boys in tow, I get almost giddy at the chance to put together a purse not filled with diapers, action figures and smashed gold fish crackers. I carefully select only the essentials so I can be sure to use a purse NOT the size of a weekend getaway bag. The other day Ben sent me out to recharge with an hour of alone time. I’m working hard to no longer associate “alone time” with “shopping time”, so I decided I would head out to Barnes & Noble to read a book on my tablet. Cold drink. Good book. Small purse. Silence. It was heaven. And here’s what I brought with me:

01-DSC_0073The essentials.


My favorite sunglasses I’ve yet to own. And I just love that they are part of the TOMS one-for-one campaign. For every pair purchased, TOMS will provide a child with a necessary procedure to correct their vision.  Sunglasses by TOMS. Ruffle sunnies case from one of my favs, The Pleated Poppy.


I’m not a fancy wallet kind of gal. Well I guess I could be, I’ve just never tried. Instead I tend to gravitate towards the wallets under $15 at Target.  Mossimo Wallet from Target.


 For whatever reason, gone are the days when I could walk out the door with nothing but lip smacker on. Because for some reason my face has gone into full teenage acne mode since delivering Sawyer a year ago. I can’t escape it. Any tips? And because of said acne, I leave the house with my this compact. Color FX Mineral Foundation from Sephora.


I got this lip gloss for free from Spehora by cashing in my member points. Ummm, holy cow, I’m in love. It’s positively my favorite lip gloss, and I’m sort of a lip gloss junky. Buxom Lip Polish from Sephora.


I was sure to bring my tablet with me for my alone time. I’m still learning how to read books without actual pages.
E-Reader case from The Pleated Poppy.


Of course, my phone AND my favorite “clueless” gum. I’ve been calling the Extra Spearmint gum “Clueless” gum since the 7th grade when Clueless was my favorite movie, and Megan, Heather, Amanda, Kristen and I would walk around campus chomping our neon green gum just like Cher from the movie. We thought we were the coolest–oh boy! I still chew this gum today, only with a lot less swagger.


And that’s it. Like I said, I try really hard to bring the bare minimum when I get some me time.  What are your essentials? And, any suggestions on this hormonal “bad skin” phase?


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  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I LOVE the pleated poppy. My purse is filled with her pouches. I like to separate everything into their coordinating pouch. Love your Toms sunnies!

  • Reply
    Jackie Campbell
    August 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I was diagnosed with mild gastritis. I had to cut high fat food, minimal sugar, no spicy foods. Only water too. And you know what my skin is absolutely flawless and I live onthe south where the humidity and heats causes my face to break out in the summer. Not this summer 🙂 keep an eye on your diet. No fun but I see what causes my skin to break out.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    LOVED this post! Well my suggestion regarding the skin problem is to go out and get yourslef a Claisonic. Its basically a vibrating/spinning toothbrush looking thing for your face! It is expensive–about 100$, but I kid you not the thing is amazing! I bought myself one for Christmas this past year and I wont part with it! Basically you use it once a night and its on a minuet timer. You use your regular face cleaner, then toner, (I like Nuetregena’s oil fre toner from Target) then Eye cream if needed, and finally end with lotion! Its great! Gets all my makeup off and it makes my skin baby soft–no lie. But I must warn you, your skin will go through a “purging” phase, where you might break out a little more than normal for about 2-3weeks, but if you keep using it, practically overnight your skin will be clear. LOVE IT!! Good Luck!

  • Reply
    Meesh :)
    August 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    my dermatologist has my using oxy mild facewash. works better than proactiv 🙂 good luck!!

  • Reply
    Caitlin Walker
    August 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I feel your pain on the skin thing. I’ve never had amazing skin, but having munchkins has definitely not helped. If you’d like to try something natural, a baking soda and water paste facial a few times a week has helped neutralize some of my breakouts. You apply it in circles all over your face for 3-5 mins, then rinse really well. It helped me a lot, even though my problems are hormonal/genetic and therefore almost impossible to treat with the usual methods. Plus, it’s cheap! Other than that, lots of water (which if I remember correctly you already do), clean eating, cutting down on stress (is that even possible with little ones running around!?!), exercise and sunshine! And remembering you’re beautiful no matter what 😉

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    My skin was amazingly clear during my first pregnancy…and horrible right now with my second pregnancy. I think I am going to try some of the Color FX Mineral Foundation…maybe it’ll help.
    I also hear what you are saying about me time becoming shopping…how does grocery shopping become my alone time? LOL

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I love that wallet!! I get most of my wallets from Target too lol 😉
    My skin has been crazy after having baby #2 also but for me it really only happens right before “that time of the month” but it can get pretty bad. When I have a breakout I use the Lemongrass Pore Refining Facial Mask made by Pink Papaya and it really helps a TON! I use it 2 or 3 times a week as a preventative too. They make a lemongrass scrub too. They’re both designed for acne prone skin and made with natural ingredients. This seems like a shameless product plug because I’m a product consultant but it has really helped me a lot and I’ve heard a lot of stories where people have tried everything and this does the trick! Having a baby does CRAZY things to your body, huh?? I was just telling my husband the other day that I don’t think my skin will ever be the same again. They’re worth it though 🙂
    If you want to check it out you can get it at or you can email me at [email protected] and I’d love to help you out more!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I have the same problem after I have a baby. I love Exuvience foundation also sold at Ulta, and probably Sephora. It has great coverage and doesn’t break me out more. As for tips on getting rid of it, I don’t have much. I know if I use toner and a bunch of extra cleaning products it gets worse.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I rarely get away from my kids for alone time but when I do I go read too!! I’m still a paper page turner though… Can’t make the switch to a tablet for reading yet! After having my second baby my face started breaking out again too… So annoying, but I don’t have time to get away, let alone spend a lot of time cleaning my face so I got the Norwex body pack wash cloths. They are antibacterial and you only use water and my face has been clear since. I love them.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 4:20 am

    I also have problems with acne. My treatment for my acne sounds absolutely disgusting but it does actually work! I separate an egg yolk from the white and put the yolk part of the egg on my face like a facial mask. I let it dry (I usually wait until it starts to crack on my face- pun intended!) then wash it off with warm water. An old roommate years ago told me about it. I was pretty grossed out when she first told me about it but it does actually work!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Great post! Love your blog! After my second daughter was born 5 years ago my skin changed in a big way! It became very oily and I’d get lots of break-outs and tons of clogged pores….yuck! I tried all kinds of products with no results. I finally bought a Clarisonic about 3 months ago and my skin has never looked better. It’s a pricey purchase, but worth it.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I love all of your cute accessories! As far as the breakouts go – the only thing that seems to work for me is Mary Kay – they have several different lines of face cleansers, so there should be one to fit your needs. I also had issues with breakouts after having my son. I have been using Mary Kay face wash & makeup for a little over 3 years now and I very rarely have issues with pimples. *I promise I am not trying to sell you Mary Kay – just letting you know that it is a great product & it would be easy to find a consultant in your area*

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    After my second, I swore off all conventional skin care products (basically, anything with sodium lauryl sulfate will irritate the skin MORE, causing it to break out more!) and started using Better Botanicals Chamomile Face Cream. Works better than anything I’ve ever tried in my life, and every time I go back to something else, I break out again. It bothers me that acne products contain an ingredient known to make acne worse…seems like a marketing ploy to keep people buying stuff!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    I have been a reader of your blog for years but I just realized I don’t think I have ever commented 🙂 I really wanted to chime in on the acne problem though because I suffered from the same exact thing. It was not fun at all!! I am not a fan of caking on the makeup but I felt too uncomfortable leaving the house with my overwhelming amount of acne! So here is what worked for me, suggested by my ‘natural’ doctor. Take a pro-biotic, fish oil. and something that really helps indole3carbinol ( It is a cell repair supplement) I order the Nordic Naturals Omega 3 fish oil from Amazon as well as the NOW brand of indole3carbinol. I did use rentinol creme occasionally to treat painful acne but only for a couple weeks. Currently I maintain with just the fish oil and indole3carbinol. I didn’t really want to treat my skin, it was obviously hormonal acne so it really made sense to me to treat it from within. It really does take a long time for the hormones to balance out after having babies! 🙂 I really hope this helps!!!!

    Clueless was totally a favorite of mine growing up. My cousin and I watched it all the time! Green gum.. You Bet!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    the skin challenge– the few precious contributors that mentioned the natural way ie probiotics and lots of water worked best for me and some friends. Dermo dr rec. try the probiotic and water for at least a month along with clean eating. Not to exceed the recommended probiotic dosage or other challenges will occur. then if there seems to be some more help needed proceed to the baking soda cleansing. Trying too many things at one time can have a cancelling affect and nothing will work.

  • Reply
    Melanie Schuler
    August 17, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Ashley, I have struggled with acne most of my life, and worse during and after pregnancy. I’ve used all sorts of things over the years, but the best (for the past 5 or 6 years) has been a combination of Neutrogena’s Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 and Clinique’s Acne Solution line. They are all very gentle but still effective. Good luck!

  • Reply
    sarah moske
    August 17, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Your “clueless gum”…LOVE it!!

  • Reply
    Amanda Johnson
    August 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Ashley! I have had a lot of friends with your situation. A lot of the time after baby your skin ends up totally different. They discovered a new skin care line called Apriori and loved it! I tried it too and loved it as we’ll. Apriori is all natural and is amazing. Some information on it is:
    Zero SLS or SLES
    Zero parabens
    Zero synthetic fragrances or dyes
    Zero harsh or toxic chemicals
    Zero animal ingredients or testing*
    – See more at:
    Let me know if you want a sample and I can send it to you. Take care!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Hi! I’ve had acne off and on and always thought when I was a mom it would go away because duh I’m an adult… I’ve found that Mary Kay Timeless products work amazingly! My husband says my skin is south clearer sometime it looks like I have makeup on and I don’t! It’s pricey so I use the wash, moisturizer, acne cream. I highly recommend!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 4:40 am

    oh my goodness…. snap ! my skin seemed to explode with acne the minute I got pregnant and even now with a two year old there are some weeks I don’t feel like leaving the house without a paper bag on my head …
    but I have finally discovered “Benzac” cream, which you can get from the chemists here in Australia … it comes in 2.5% 5% and 10% so you can use it depending on the severity of your acne … I have tried all of the pills, cream, gels … so far this has worked best for me and has the least ” side effects” ..b.y side effects I mean the acne drugs that have birth defects as a risk … not cool !
    also its only $19.00 a tube, which lasts ages

    I guess you have just got to keep trying different things until you find out what works for you … in the mean time … bb cream, a stay matt powder .. and atleast 1 make up free day a week 🙂

    good luck

  • Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hi….I have been wanting to try that buxom gloss….what shade is that?

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I love how CUTE all your stuff is!! and love that ben gives you that much needed alone time!!
    I am a Mary Kay consultant and we just launched a new acne set! It is INCREDIBLE and changing faces like crazy!!
    Let me know if you are at all interested!
    I hope you can get something figured out!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Hi Ashley,

    I have had difficult skin since I was a teen, in the last few years it was mostly around my jaw and chin area. What finally worked for me is: drinking green juice every couple of days, cutting way back on dairy and using a Clarisonic. The deep pore cleaning brush head is my favorite. I rarely break out now. I recently started using Michael Todd True Organics skin care and it’s amazing, all natural and smells fantastic. I also would recommend using an antibacterial wipe on your cell phone on a regular basis.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Love this post! I’m going to have to check out The Pleated Poppy! Such cute stuff!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I struggled with acne for all of my teens and severely with my two pregnancies. Chemical peels are a life saver!! I get 1-2 per year, they do not feel good (acid burning your facial skin), but they have been SO effective for me. I also switched to nicer (more expensive) products (a combination of dermologica and vivant). My sisters both use a Clarisonic brush and their skin glows. so that also gets my recommendation (I have a long list of big ticket items, and the Clarisonic brush is about #5, but I will eventually get one). If I were you I would try the Clarisonic brush first (my peels, which are first micro-dermabrasion and then a peel, run me almost $200 with tip), and if you are still desperate google “top facials” in your area to find the best esthetician. The first peel I got my entire face scabbed over, (my husband asked if I was pleased with the results…and I informed him that the scabs were NOT the final result!), when I started healing (5-7 days) the softest, most beautiful skin was revealed. I never knew my skin could look so perfect!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I am an independent consultant for Perfectly Posh – a great line of all natural based skin care products that work and smell amazing! My daughter swears by the Zit Zapper! Check out our online Posh Paper at !

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Love this post. I’m just getting used to having to carry around baby stuff. I can only imagine how my purse will soon be filled with diapers, bows and more! LOVE that wallet too!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 5:21 am

    1. I too need to figure out ways to get out of the house without going shopping. It’s a problem.
    2. I LOVE buxom lip gloss. My first one was free and I just love the tingly feeling it has.
    3. Chewing gum with clueless style swagger. I LOLed. Love it! Haha.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2013 at 12:44 am

    where oh where are you

  • Reply
    cassaundra hull
    September 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    i need to think, not shopping time also. how about just wow it’s quiet time? i like that.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t have kids, but I swear by dr hauschka. I use the oil, which is designed for oily skin. Everyone always says “my face is oily! I could never use an oil!”, but trust me, those German dermatologist know what they are doing. My skin has gone from the Gulf of Mexico oily to completely normal, borderline dry in the winter. It’s free of nasty chemicals too. Parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, if you are using any of those on your skin, you are not only irritating it, but they are potential carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Bad stuff. Check out for more info.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post. I have bad acne and the simplest, but most effective way for me to deal with it was by washing my face with African Black Soap. Its amazing and all natural. The brand I use is called DUDU-OSUN. It is very cheap and the best product I have ever used. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t know if you have every tried doTerra essential oils but they are amazing! They have one blend called ClearSkin that I love. It works great to knock out pesky acne super fast and it doesn’t have any yucky chemicals in it =] If you don’t know someone who does deTerra send me an email and we can talk!
    p.s.- I’m dying to read the next part of your love story. =]

  • Reply
    October 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I know you’ve been getting tons of advice about your hormonal breakouts, but here’s one more tip, it will definitely help you with hair re-growth too for your trich. I started using a vitamin with Biotin and Selenium for hair re-growth as my hair started to just FALL OUT. I didn’t pull it, I was under heavy, major stress and my hair just began to fall out in clumps. Not only did this vitamin help my hair grow back super-quick (and stopped it from falling) but my skin really cleared up as well. It’s Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin and Nails vitamin. It contains a whopping 1,667% DV for Biotin and double and triple on other B’s and C. Maybe it was the biotin that made a difference over regular multi vits? Not sure but hope it helps!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I love the Pleated Poppy e-reader case you showed in this post so much I ordered the same fabric clutch for myself. I don’t get to use it much because I usually have to have a big purse. So sometimes I have been known to put a few diapers and a wipe case in it and put it in my purse. So cute!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Your blog and this post gave me the inspiration to not only visit and purchase a Pleated Poppy bag it inspired me to write a blog about the things I love! Thanks for writing it!!!!

  • Reply
    Andrea Webster
    December 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I have the solution to your acne. 🙂

    Awake facial cleanser and brilliant moisturizer.

    Both are natural products that help clear up acne in a few short days.

    I have MANY testimonials with photos on my Facebook page I’d you are interested in seeking them 🙂

  • Reply
    January 18, 2014 at 1:44 am

    I struggled with skin problems for years because not only did I break out in a lot of areas, I also had really dry spots. I tried drugstore brands and expensive skin care lines that all the estheticians recommend and they would work long enough for the samples to run out at which point I would then buy the whole line. Then a week later I’d have zits all over! Same with my foundation. I’ve tried drugstore brands and expensive brands. I finally found the perfect combination of face wash, moisturizer and foundation… For face wash and moisturizer I use the Simple skin care line that you can find at Target or CVS. The face wash is about $8.99 and the moisturizer is about $12.99. The foundation I use is a loose mineral foundation called La Bella Donna. It’s so much better than Bare Minerals, which I used to use but it made me break out a lot and itch too. La Bella Donna is finer and it doesn’t use one of the ingredients that Bare Minerals uses that clogs pores. I think it’s Mica? La Bella Donna is meant for sensitive skin so plastic surgeons and dermatologists put it on their patients after treatments so they don’t leave their office without anything on. You’ll have to go to their website to find a place that sells it to be color matched. I don’t know where in SoCal you live but I’m in Ventura County and if you’re familiar with it there’s a day spa in Westlake, there’s Ojai Valley Inn, and then a number of places in LA. After that you can find it on eBay for cheaper sometimes since it’s about $55.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2020 at 12:20 pm

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