What's In My Work Bag? | Mulberry Bayswater

Friday 6 January 2017

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I love to do ‘What’s in my bag?’ posts every so often. For some reason, I never seem to get tired of reading and watching other people’s – there’s something oddly comforting about it. Plus, I’m a big fan of handbags in general!

For quite some time after having Theo, I didn’t use a bag at all – I just chucked my stuff into his changing bag. Then when I first went back to work, I was cycling, so I had a rather unglamorous (but necessary) rucksack.

Since starting my new job a few months ago, I’m finally able to put on my adult pants and have a proper handbag again. Yay! And I’m celebrating with this post…

New job, new handbag, right? I got given this chocolate Mulberry Bayswater by my lovely husband last Christmas. It’s the ideal bag for work as its super-smart, goes with everything and is roomy enough to fit my work iPad or any A4 files.

I’ve wanted a Bayswater for years, so I was absolutely thrilled when I unwrapped it. I think it’s a timeless classic and a great investment piece.

He chose the chocolate colour, which I wasn't sure about at first, but its grown on me a lot. It goes well with both black and brown toned outfits because it’s a blend of both colours.  And where black can sometimes look a little heavy in the height of summer, this is a little lighter. Plus, a few years ago, I saved up for an Alexa in black myself, so its nice to have this in a different shade.

The bag has the signature Postman’s Lock fastening which I love, and the sides feature adjustable buckle straps that you can let out to give more space or cinch in for a neater look. The leather is really thick and smells so good -  the Bayswater definitely feels substantial and luxurious to use. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a ‘grown up’ bag that’s spacious, refined and feels built to last.

Inside the bag, there is one smaller zipped section and a couple of slip pockets, while the rest of the bag is free of compartments.

If you’re a fan of lots of pockets, you may want to add in a bag organiser and I use the ‘pouch system’ to stay organised. This just means that I subdivide my stuff into a series of smaller bags inside.

It gives me flexibility – when I want to use a smaller bag at the weekend, I just transfer over the pouches I need and leave the ones I don’t in my work bag. It’s also a great excuse to buy more bags!

Despite being a bag addict, I don’t really switch up my handbags a lot – I tend to have one I use for work and then a couple of others I flip between at the weekend.

What’s Inside 

‘Meaghan’ cardholder | Kate Spade 
Cobalt coin purse | Oliver Bonas 
Key holder  | Mulberry 
Rose gold metallic leather ID holder | Oliver Bonas 
Tassel key chain with USB iPhone charger | Nicole Miller 

In the zipped section at the back, I keep my keys so that I can reach for them quickly without having to go through my whole bag to find them.

I'm not a fan of large purses because I hardly ever use cash and I think they just get stuffed with old receipts and millions of loyalty scheme cards that you don't use! So I just carry this little card holder from Kate Spade – its bright pink, which makes it easy to spot inside the bag. I just carry my debit cards for my personal and joint accounts, a credit card, my driving licence, and the only loyalty cards I actually use – Boots, Nectar for points on my petrol, Caffe Nero and my nail salon. That's it!

Any other loyalty cards I keep in my bedside drawer and I only get them out if I know I'm going into town shopping.

If I do have to use cash and get change, which is rare, I keep it in this tiny cobalt blue change purse. I also carry this rose gold metallic holder which is for my ID card at work – it lets me onto campus and you use it for printing and stuff, so its good to keep it safe. Both of these are from Oliver Bonas. I love that shop so much for little items like this as they're so pretty and not too expensive.

My house and garage keys live in this little key holder from Mulberry. It makes them easy to find and stops them marking up the inside of the bag.

On my car keys I have this leather tassel clip that has a USB charger attached, hidden in the tassel. It means that I can quickly charge up my iPhone or iPad while I'm in the car on my way to a meeting which can be a lifesaver.

iPhone 6s patterened case– unCommon 
Baby Lips Mint Candy Edition – Maybelline 
Hand cream - Polaar 

In the slip pocket, I keep my iPhone. It makes it easy to grab if it's ringing and also protects it a bit from other things in the bag. I’m one of those sad people that can’t live without their phone – I use it to organise my entire life, from blog posts to task lists and banking to entertainment.

I love switching up my phone case every so often, and when I do I prefer things with an abstract pattern, like this colourful design from unCommon.

I always keep lip balm and hand cream where they're easy to grab also. This Baby Lips is a mint chocolate edition for winter that’s super cute and really moisturising. The Polaar hand cream is lovely – it came in a Birchbox and was a great discovery.

'Big Ideas' leather jotter - TK Maxx 
iPad Air stripe hard shell case - Kate Spade

Despite the fact that the Bayswater is super spacious, I try not to carry around stuff for the sake of it. I clean out my bag most nights so it doesn’t get full of rubbish, and I only take with me what I genuinely use in the day.

The first item is this leather-bound notebook holder that says ‘Big Ideas’. Although I keep my calendar and things electronically, I still like to have a notebook with me for work. I prefer to keep my to-do list written down and it's handy for thought-dumping, even if I then transfer my ideas into a digital format. Blog ideas, must-do’s and notes all live here.

I especially liked this because you can replace the notebook with any spiral-bound one when you run out of pages.

I have a work iPad Air that lives in my bag also. This is handy for taking meeting notes where I know I'll want to share them quickly and for showing graphics and artwork in development to clients. Its in this cute striped Kate Spade case at the moment, although I often switch to a keyboard case if I'm going to be in meetings.

I also use the OneNote app, which is like a tabbed notebook with sections for work, home, blog stuff, budgets and shopping list, and I can sync it across all my devices, including my work computer, which makes life easy.

Compact umbrella | Raindrops by Totes 
Foldable grey shopper with neon coral trim | Oliver Bonas 

The next few items are not very glamorous, but they’re handbag essentials! I always carry a compact umbrella – because let’s face it, I live in Britain and rain is a frequent state of affairs. Then I carry a foldable nylon tote bag. You never know when you might need to carry extra stuff or find yourself shopping!

'Aurora' folding shoes | Cocorose 

Also always in my bag are some folding flats. I literally take these everywhere! Having sore feet really puts me in a dreadful mood, so if I find myself having to walk any distance or dash somewhere quickly I like to have them to hand. If it’s a nice day I try to walk around the lake in the campus parklands at lunchtime, so these are always handy.

'Erika' sunglasses in matte tortoiseshell | Ray-Ban 

I’m also never without my sunglasses, even in winter. As I drive a lot, you don’t want to get that bright light in your eyes behind the wheel even on a winter’s day. I love the matte tortoiseshell finish on these, and the shape is quite flattering on.

Purple textured small pouch – H&M 
Leather headphone tidy - Etsy

Then I have a series of little pouches – one for my tech gear, one is my make-up and the other is for personal care items. The small purple zipped pouch is from H&M. They are a great place to look for inexpensive little bags like these. Inside I carry a charger lead for my iPhone, and my Fonson headphones. I stop tangles with this black leather headphone tidy which I got from Etsy -  nothing worse than tangled up headphones!

Small Opulent Bloom make-up bag | Ted Baker 

My make-up bag is this little floral print pouch from Ted Baker. For a make-up junkie, I don’t really carry a lot of cosmetics around with me (well – I don’t think its much, some may disagree). I just carry the essentials to put a basic face on in a hurry

At the moment, I’m carrying the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil, as I can’t go without filling in my sparse brows or I look very strange. I carry a Chanel Poudre Universelle pressed powder compact along with a retractable kabuki to take down any shine and set my base. Bourjois Blur the Lines concealer lets me touch up on my under-eye bags before meetings.

There’s also a couple of eyeliners – the Urban Decay Naked Essentials pencil, which is great as its double ended and features a shimmery champagne shade that’s awesome for highlighting and perking up tired eyes and a dark brown shade to smoke things up, and I also carry a liquid liner from Catrice in case I want to add a cat eye.

My mini HD Lash Curlers from Japonesque are always in there along with a little tube of lash glue, because I wear strip lashes most days. There’s a mini Smashbox mascara, a MakeUp Gallery Shadow in Cappuccino which I use for eyes and as a matte shade for contouring and my Travalo perfume atomiser to keep me smelling sweet – it has Escentric Molecules 01 in it at the moment.

There's also a mini Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder which is lovely for styling and refreshing hair.Finally, I keep a lipstick in a pinkish nude matte formula that I can also use as a blush – Soap and Glory Sexy Motherpucker in ‘5th Ave-nude’. If I want to wear another colour on my lips I’ll chuck it in on the day.

'In The Bag' zipped pouch – Katie Loxton 

Finally, I have what I call my ‘personal care’ pouch. n here are my Lacura travel eodorising wipes – these are so useful for freshening up, sorting out spills or wiping your hands. I also carry a small Nivea deodorant. A mini can of Batiste Blush dry shampoo to get rid of greasy roots if needed, and a this folding metallic hairbrush by The Detangler plus some hair ties.

I also carry medicines – hayfever tablets, a plaster and paracetamol – and Tampax.

Then I have this tiny packet of Grab & Go Stain Removing Wipes – they’re a great idea if you’re as accident-prone as me, and my Carmen Mini Cordless Hair Straighteners so I can sort my hair out on the go! I suppose its quite a lot but it all fits really nicely into this pouch. Sometimes I leave this pouch in my desk during the week.

And that’s a little peek into my work bag! What bag do you favour for work? Are you a fan of travelling light, or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink? What are your daily essentials? Let me know below!

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