What’s in My (Weekend) Bag?

More Than Just One Bag

In order for me to be able to answer the question, “What’s in my bag?”, I would have to answer it in more than one part, in support for the many others who change their bags during the course of the week. I am one of those who has a bag designated for weekdays, and have other bags outside of those days. In fact, I take personal joy in matching bags with my outfits. However, due to the timing of this post, I’ll be concentrating on one of the bags that I bring around when I let my hair down for the weekend.

The Weekend Bag

My 26th birthday was a couple Tuesdays ago, and decided to get myself a present. This little treat is a grey-blue leather bag from a band whose name fails me at the moment. I bought it for — upon quick conversion — around USD30.00.

What's in My (Weekend) Bag?

Design-wise, this is one of my more subdued handbags, if not, the most simply designed handbag I own. The grey-blue colour that attracted my attention, a rare gem among the other more common solid colours, like black, brown, tan, or bright pink. Since working, I have taken a liking to bags with solid shapes and understated designs. Not only are they good for matching a large array of outfits, they give the impression of appearing strongly built when the bag stands alone. I don’t know what says about me as a person, but I look forward to the possible interpretations. But this a criteria that is more applicable during weekdays, because I would not hesitate to break out a more whimsical bag in times of festivities.

The bag has undergone some minor modifications. Bags of this particular brand usually come with a hanging embellishment on one of the bag straps, a letter “M” fashioned in metal. I took the embellishment out and replaced it with a square scarf with a relatively matching motif, a quick purchase for roughly USD2.00. I’ve also bought several more scarves with various designs to mix and match. Tying a piece of cloth on straps of the bags is a trend that I’ve seen when browsing in the malls around the city, and I decided to add a soft custom touch to my own purchase. Besides, should I need an extra scarf for my outfit, I’d be prepared.

What's in My (Weekend) Bag? What's in My (Weekend) Bag?

Inside the Weekend Bag

What's in My (Weekend) Bag? What's in My (Weekend) Bag?

For someone who is a stickler for organising things, I use a bag organiser. I cannot throw my belongings into my bag in a haphazard manner. Within the bag organiser, I use smaller bags to categorise the smaller-sized objects so they don’t get lost in the bag’s Big Black Nowhere. The Big Black Nowhere is a very familiar limbo, the very blackness that would drive any person to tip their bag upside down out of frustration, just to retrieve the house keys that have made themselves conveniently out of reach. We’ve all been there.

However, if one were to empty out the contents of my bag in one fell swoop, reaching for any particular item would involve a search process as layered as a Matryoshka doll — or better yet, the storyline of “Inception”.

This weekend, based on the previous photo, I brought the following items — from left to right and top to bottom (as much as possible):

  1. Smaller bag number one: This small bag stows two gadgets I cannot leave home without, both being gadgets that I can thank for being perpetually connected to the internet. For further details on the gadgets, refer to the second and third points.
  2. 32GB iPod Touch: A recent acquisition, the iPod Touch is a long over-due upgrade from my previous iPod. So far, I have managed to upload all my music onto the device, as well as configure my primary Google email and this domain’s webmail. I have yet to avail myself to the goodies of the iTunes store, which I can only imagine could lead to much more amusement. So far, it has brought me much ease browsing the web while lying down, a far cry from the inconvenience caused when trying to use — but end up appearing as though I’m spooning — my MacBook Pro.
  3. BlackBerry Curve 8900: The very first thing I do upon waking up is check my email, replies to tweets or Twitter direct messages, Facebook notifications, and BlackBerry messages that have been sent overnight. Sorting through the messages and responding to the necessary ones take place later in the day.
  4. Long leather bag strap: This provides the option of wearing my handbag like a shoulder bag. So far, I haven’t considered the option yet.
  5. A paperback copy of Collum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin: Collum McCann’s novel Let the Great World Spin has been hailed by the late Frank McCourt, not just as a cursory statement an Irishman can do for another. After all, to be hailed by someone as renowned as McCourt is an achievement worth engraving into stone. So far, I have procrastinated on finishing the book, but it’s only because I need a solid block of time to plow through a something with a relatively heavy plot.
  6. House keys: One of the most elusive items in my bag, these keys are perpetually difficult to find, thanks to its affinity for the Big Black Nowhere. I had to resort to hooking it up to a rather noisy keychain in order to lessen the frequency of misplacements. The Swiss Bell keychain the keys are attached to is a present from several years ago, and I only started using it recently.
  7. Grey Hana clutch-style wallet: If there is anything messy in my handbag, it would probably be my wallet. I unwittingly collect receipts, coins, and paper bills in rolled up form, usually due to being in a hurry to leave the payment counter out of courtesy for the person behind me. It is when I cannot connect the clasps when I realise clean-up is in order.
  8. Smaller bag number two: This pouch from LeSportsac stows the few necessary toiletries I have, like the very few make-up I own, disposable toilet bowl covers, and a toilet bowl cleaner.
  9. Yellow Post-its: Those who know me well are aware of my need to bring around one or twelve Post-it notes of various hues. Due to the size of this weekend bag, I kept the Post-its to one block at a time, but I have been far less merciful to my weekday bag.
  10. Black ballpoint pen: Another quirk of mine is that I prefer black pens over blue pens. I also prefer the ballpoint pen over a rollerball pen, or gel pen, or fountain pen, to write with. However, when it comes to drawing or inking in architectural letters, I’m far less picky and will resort to convention.
  11. Brown hair tie: I seldom put my hair up, because whenever I do, the hair tie just slips out. But no harm in having one on my person in case it becomes necessary.
  12. Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Number 27: Number 27, or “Soft Bloom”, is the only lipstick I carry in either of my bags. If I am not mistaken, I bought this colour in the airport in Singapore some years ago, and it still has a long way to go before it needs to be replenished.
  13. Lip shine: I bought this little tube while on a trip to Guangzhou, China towards the end of 2008, and is an approximate shade of the lipstick I own, give or take a few shades towards pink. (Additional make-up not pictured: The Face Shop Eyebrow Pencil, The Face Shop Eye Liner, an additional tube of lip shine that is also an approximate shade of the same lipstick, but gradates towards a brownish shade.)
  14. Chromed metal business card holder: My business card holder stores my personal name cards, my work business cards, and the cards given to me by various contacts I meet during projects. Which reminds me: my personal cards are due in for a complete re-design.
  15. Citra Hand & Body Lotion: The combination of honey and Himalayan goji berry (wolfberry) flavouring on this particular brand of lotion is so heavenly that I own more than one bottle at a time.
  16. Smaller bag number three: This pouch is a colourful beaded beauty that I found when scanning the shelves of an airport souvenir shop. In terms of its purpose, the pouch stores… feminine essentials. Yes.
  17. Reading glasses: Despite being fun in appearance, I don’t wear these enough, though I know I should. The frames are tri-coloured: brown in the front, pale yellow at the back, and the handles are chartreuse. Its current casing, not the original, is a gem I picked up when scouring the items of a night sale.

Coming Soon: The Weekday Bag

The weekend bag is just a selection of what I carry during week days, just without all of the work-related paraphernalia. As a result, the bag that I use for weekdays is far larger and is built appropriately for ease in mobility. It is very likely to provide far more details for the next bag-related post.

What About You?

What’s in your bag? Do you use a one bag in the weekdays, and another on the weekends?


  1. Pingback: What’s In My (Vacation) Bag? | Maria Celina

  2. Jenny

    I love how you’ve embellished your bag with a cloth/scarf :) I love that look, but unfortunately, I don’t have a bag that would look good with that touch up :(
    I actually use the same bag weekdays and weekends, but this is probably because I’m still in school. I do have a school bag, but that’s a different story I guess.

  3. Gum

    Wow, totally organized there. I wish I could get as organized as you are. ^_^

    I don’t really have much stuff in my bad other than my digicam, my wallet, pens, small sheets of paper, my phone, and occasionally my mp3 player

  4. Maria Celina

    @Nikz: The Swiss bell keychain does indeed serve its purpose, Nikz, and I am grateful for the gift. It seems that having a fascination for knick-knacks from all over the world feeds more than just cultural curiosities. As I told you before, I also enjoyed your bag post. A glimpse into one’s bag can say a thing or ten about who a person is.

    @Kristine: I resorted to buying a bag organiser precisely for the pack rat tendency, Kristine. My weekday bag is far larger than the one scrutinised in this post, so having a bag organiser is far more imperative for that.

    @jannie: Actually, Jannie, the embellishment was part of the bag, but I decided to take it out because I wasn’t fond of its make. The scarf is what I used as a replacement. However, I could see it used as an embellishment for another item, since the “M” coincides with the first part of my first name, but I can’t think of any item at the moment.

    The yellow on my BlackBerry is actually a silicone protective casing that is ready available in any gadget shop where I live. My BlackBerry actually came in the default black. How dull, no? But these protective casings are quite trendy in Asia, and I believe that some rhinestone-studded casing designs are also available. I personally prefer to stay away from the latter; bling is not exactly my cup of tea.

    @Style, She Wrote: Glad to hear from someone — rather, two people — who have the same Post-it habit.

    @Chris: For some reason, Chris, the fact that your sisters call it the “Man Bag” reminds me of that one episode of “Friends”, where Joey borrowed a man’s bag from Rachel’s workplace. I’d like to hope that in spite of the episode’s inimitable hearty sense of humour, you didn’t put frills or glitter on your own bag. I’m female, and the addition of glitter is crossing the line for my personal sensibilities.

    @Ashley: Ashley, I believe our tastes are relatively similar. Your bags are stunning, especially the texture on your weekend bag.

    Also, although you didn’t mention this in your comment, but instead on your Tumblr, I didn’t know that you also had a BlackBerry. I’m still hesitant on getting the iPhone for various social and cultural reasons in the area where I live. It’s not a bad thing, though. Jakarta is a strong BlackBerry capital, where people exchange PINs isntead of phone numbers. The iPhone does not have that much of a stronghold. Investing in one could be a potential barrier to one’s social life in the urban Indonesian context. However, I am hopeful that with time, there’ll be a significant reception — pun intended — to the iPhone.

  5. Ashley

    I LOVE this bag! And all of your smaller bags! I also really love the scarf.

    I have a weekday and weekend bag as well. My weekday bag is the Lululemon Podium Bag in a gunmetal shade (http://www.mallvibes.com/attachments/want-buy/15681d1268408431-i-want-lululemon-podium-metalic-gray-gym-bag-lululemon-podium.jpg) of gray.

    I needed something large (it is enormous!) to carry all of my gym stuff, things I would normally have in my weekend bag as well as my lunch on the way to work. I needed to eliminate the carry-two-bags-to-work-each-day problem I had encountered.
    Contents: Gym clothes, lunch, pen, iphone, ipod, wallet, makeup bag with some essentials, whatever book I’m currently reading deoderant, sunglasses/case, spare headphones.

    My weekend bag is a Matt & Nat Sienna bag (http://littlewillow.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/bsozesm_bz_sienna.jpg) and usually houses a slight variation of the weekday bag contents.

    I can’t wait to see your weekday bag!

  6. Chris

    I’ve got myself a shoulder bag (or as my sisters graciously call it, Man Bag) that I use during the weekends (more so if I’m wearing my Timberland shorts, which, are, ahem, fitting to say the least, so much so that if I put my phones and wallet in the tightness would be epic). Inside the bag contains my wallet, phones (one personal and one office), keys, pen, hand sanitizer (eating food with fingers tend to have smells that linger for ages) and recyclable bags for my evergreen green-minded conscious. I look like a pansy at times, admittedly, but I love the bag.

  7. Marie

    I love all these “what’s in my bag” posts that have been popping up lately. Your bag actually reminds me of the bag I carry around when I go to school, except that I only have one small bag for make-up and mini hand-lotion. You’re also way more organized than I am – I usually can’t find anything!

  8. jannie

    wow. that bag of yours is pretty, sleek, and chic. i like how you tied a scarf around the strap with the letter M. :) the scarf is pretty too. :D

    i’m kinda like you when it comes to bag organization. i like to keep smaller bags within my bag. i usually carry a clear bag, btw, because work requires us to. hehe… as for smaller bags within the bag, i would not want the small things to get lost in the bag abyss too. hehe… things are a lot easier to find when they’re stored in smaller bags. especially cellphones. it’s not fun digging around for it.

    speaking of cellphones, your blackberry is CUTE. i love the color. i wish our provider carried a yellow one too. it’s an adorable, cheery phone. :D

  9. Kristine

    Oooh! That’s a pretty bag! I love how organized you are and I think it’s a good idea to use a bag organizer. That’s something that I should use myself since I’m a huge pack rat and my bags are so disorganized. It’s so hard to find my keys with all my junk in my bag.

    In my bag, I have Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, my Samsung cellphone, my iPod nano, my large wallet, my eyeglass case, keys (house and car), Magic Mouse, and my Macbook Pro.

    I don’t have a weekend bag or a weekday bag, per se. I just use whatever bag depending on what I need for the day or what my outfit is.

    Looking forward to your weekday bag post!

  10. Nikz

    Wooh! Man, you make bag posts sound sophisticated and smart :) Your bag looks so chic, I would mistake it for an actual weekday bag O_O I’m so glad the Swiss bell keychain came in handy, btw! XD

    At the moment, I switch between two bags: one being the “formal” brown bag with the teddy bear, and a smaller slouchy yellow bag. I tend to use the yellow bag at work sometimes, just because we’re not really expected to dress too formally at the office :)

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