Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Beyond the diaper bag: 4 great options for spring

Today is the first day of Spring.  This is usually cause for great celebration here in the Northeast but, since we had a winter so warm it was worrisome and the daffodils all bloomed last week, the change of season feels a bit anti-climactic compared to years past.  Even so, it's time to change over the closets, do some spring cleaning and lighten up a bit -- in spirit, in fashion and yes, even in diaper bags or however you define your tote of choice.

I've never really been a diaper bag kind of a gal myself.  Don't get me wrong, I've spent the past seven years of my life with an overstuffed satchel of sorts hanging off my shoulder and various kiddie items hanging out of that bag.  I tried the traditional diaper bags but none of them ever really worked for me -- especially with triplets!  As I'm faced with a milestone that no one seems to mention (that being the end of the diaper bag!), I'm faced with a dilemma about what to take along to tote our necessities when we're out and about.  I no longer need to pack up formula, bottles, diapers and onesies but when we're headed out for a long day, I still need to lug along water bottles, juice boxes, a few Pull Ups and wipes -- which thankfully are now used most often for sticky hands and faces rather than stinky bottoms!  The point is, I need a bag.  And I'm sure many of you do too so, for today's "Tuesday Tip", I thought I'd share a few that work for me... and, I'd love to hear any that work for you.  After all, spring is here and Mama needs a new bag!

The Lucky Girl Personal Shopper, by Bella Bags

This Bella Bag by Toss comes in eight pretty patterns and several sensible styles so whether you need a refrigerated compartment for milk and yogurt or a basic carry-all, there's an option for you.  My sister got me this bag a few years ago and it's one of my favorites.  It can be personalized with your initial and the bright colors and fun patterns are great at hiding the dirt and grime that are inevitable after a few trips to the park.

The "Lock It Pocket Rocket", by Scout
This is not the first time I've extolled the virtues of the Pocket Rocket .  This bag has seen me through thick and thin and many a bottle -- ranging from baby bottles to wine bottles, depending on the occasion!  As spring turns to summer and you migrate from the sandbox to a sandy beach, this will be a great bag to have in tow.  With six outside pockets, one inside pocket and an interior roomy enough for snacks and sunblock, this is one of my all-time faves.  As an added bonus, it's water-resistant so it can easily be wiped clean and won't damaged by splashes and spills.  Last but not least, the newest version (pictured above) has a lock-it feature so it can be easily strapped to your stroller for a handy hands-free option.

L.L. Bean Boat & Tote Bag

The LL Bean boat bag is a classic and has been a staple in our family for years.  We must have almost a dozen of them by now.  Each kid has one with their name on it which is their "go bag" for all our adventures; whether it's a weekend visit to my parents or our annual week at the beach, each kid gets one bag and one bag only.  If it doesn't fit in the "Bean Bag", it gets left behind.  In addition to proving their worth for little road warriors, these bags are perfect for the pool or beach.  I have a large one that fits seven beach towels and enough sunblock to keep us covered until Labor Day.  If you're not yet convinced that the Bean Bag is a must-have, consider this -- they also make for great storage... one for blocks, one for trains and so on.  It's an ideal way to tote playthings from room to room or up and down stairs.  My husband will occasionally wish we had those nifty new zip top tote bags so if he happens to take a turn too fast the beach towels don't go flying but, for lugging loads to and fro, if you ask me, this is a bag that's hard to beat.

Last but not least, there's the basic backpack.  It served you well in school and will still do the trick now that you're a busy mom -- quite possibly with more kids than hands, making the hands-free nature of this one all the more appealing!  As you may know, we took the kids into the city for the St. Patrick's Day parade last weekend and my trusty old backpack got us through the day.  It easily contained nine juice-boxes, fruit snacks, granola bars, clementines, wipes, tissues, and one complete change of clothes (and Pull Ups) in case a tired three-year old triplet piddled in his pants. Lest I should forget, there were a few items for me too: my phone, a few dollars, a credit card and lip gloss. On the downside, of the roughly twenty pounds strapped to my back that day, less than two were actually for me but, on the upside, I was able to meet every whining request for a snack and, best of all, never needed to pull out those Pull Ups!

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