This is the purse I carry.
It's from Title Nine and its called "Pocket-on-a String"! I am crazy about pockets. They serve me well.
This is an inside view. (Not really my purse, the contents there are private. Wait, I'm a mom, very little privacy anymore.)
You might not believe it by looking at it, but it really does carry all my essentials and everything a girl needs.
I get a lot of flack for carrying this little thing over my shoulder. Particularly from close friends who carry everything plus mini versions of kitchen sinks (aka hand sanitizer, wipes, towelettes, lotions, etc) with them in their giant shoulder bags.
I just like my purse lightweight, small, easy to carry, compact, simple.
Anyway, there are some things that do not fit in my purse or my budget for that matter.
I do not have a smart phone, i-phone, i-pad, blackberry, laptop, photographic memory, or other device with which I can easily access on-the-spot needed information.
When I am out and about with the kiddos, I often wish I knew the exact opening hours of a store, the directions to that museum, or how much the event we are attending will cost us. Yes, I do planning and research at home beforehand. But, life throws its curve balls and we often have to make adjustments on the spot. So, I sometimes find myself driving around wondering how to spend this next hour, where to go, is it even open yet, and how much will it cost me?
The nice thing about this state of affairs is that I am forced to be creative, trusting, and resourceful.
The not so nice thing is that I can often waste gas money, "fun time" spending funds, and usually add calories to my daily intake (which I try to keep in a certain range healthy for my body type).
To be better prepared this summer, I came up with a solution that I am currently working on and one that I think will serve us well.
It's archaic by today's standards.
But, I drive a van with rust, a huge hole in the front bumper, windshield wiper fluid that won't squirt, a driver's side lock that won't lock automatically, air conditioning that has two modes - full blast or off, and temperamental sliding doors.
This method will fit right in.
I started with a small 4 x 6 photo album housing pictures from my freshman year of college. I began to take out the photos so I could just use the book and oh, the memories. And the questions. Like, why I am so excited to be hugging that stuffed orangutan? Did that goldfish we named Lou really mean that much to me that I had to frown like that as we flushed him down the toilet? Who lent me that gorgeous black velvet halter dress for the dance with what's his name? How much did my roommate's boyfriend love her that he sent her the biggest bouquet of roses I have seen to date? Was that huge white fluffy bow on top of my head really necessary? Really?
Memory lane was fun and a little scary. I realized the little 4x6 book was in fact too little for my plan.
Instead I found an unused 3 ring binder and some clear plastic sleeves. Now I am researching all the fun places around town and making a document that I will print and place in my binder. This will be my companion in the car for our outings. It will be that inspiration for us all when we have a beautiful sunny day at our disposal to do with as we wish - one of the huge perks of being a homemaker.
The sleeves will also carry any membership cards I have since I often keep these at home in a separate place, but sometimes forget to grab and put into my pocket purse.
Coupons to certain locations, directions, monthly events and such will also be included.
My hope is that with this information in one location, it can be easily accessed when we need it and encourage us to explore more of the cities and surrounding areas.
We'll have more experiences like this: The sun has risen, rooms are in order, breakfast devoured, morning chores completed and we get into the car, pull out the binder and start flipping through the pages.
Is it open? Yes!
Do we know how to get there? Yes!
Does it cost us anything? No!