I live by the Latin saying "Semper Parata" which translates as "Always Prepared" (in the feminine, of course). I never want to be caught in a situation and not have what I need. So here is the toolkit that I carry with me all the time in my purse (Oh, no, I'm letting out the secret of the inner-workings of a woman's purse for all men to see...).
1. The case itself: All of these little goodies need a home in your purse so you can find them easily. This can be a pencil case, a make-up bag, or perhaps even a smaller purse within the larger one. You do NOT need an item made specifically made for this purpose, like the Kangaroo Keeper.
2. Mints/Gum: You never know when you'll need to freshen your breath. I like Tic-Tacs because they are so small (clearly I need to buy more soon), and I love this Mentos gum because it doesn't have a wrapper (less waste!) and doesn't get all gooey in the heat like some other brands.
3. Pen/Pencil: Pens for doing the sudoku on the metro or writing down someone's phone number, pencils for writing in my planner (NEVER in pen. You never know if something better is going to come along!).
4. Tide-to-go pen: I'll admit that I mostly carry this around for other people, not for myself. I can't tell you how many times I've been with friends, and they spill something on themselves. So I come to their rescue and save their favorite garments.
5. Hair tie: If you have long hair, you never know when the wind/rain/humidity/etc. will come in and ruin your good hair day. So throw it into a ponytail, and voila! Much better.
6. Hand sanitizer: This is especially a necessity if you live in the city. You're on the metro, you're riding escalators...you're touching a lot of things that other (sick) people are touching. Ew.
7. Chapstick/lipstick: Everyone looks better with a little color on her lips. Besides, nobody likes chapped lips!
8. Mirror: This goes along with #7. But a mirror is handy for all face issues: re-applying make-up, making sure you don't have food in your teeth, trying to get that eyelash that has crept its way onto your eye...You get the picture.
9. Athletic tape and scissors: These two go together. Freshman year of college was the first time in my life I walked everywhere. Growing up in a one-horse town, we drove to get to school, the store, etc., so I had never experienced walking several miles a day. Needless to say, my feet were cut up by the wear and tear of my shoes. I found that Band-Aids did not stay on long enough to protect my feet. Athletic tape, on the other hand, is pretty durable. The scissors are simply there to cut the tape at the right length.
10. Clippers/nail file: No girl wants to be caught with a hang-nail or a broken nail and then have to deal with the problem for the rest of the day. These are more items that other women ask to borrow from me frequently.
What goodies do you need with you at all times? Besides your ID and credit card, I mean!