What’s in the bag – the summer edition

Earlier this week I felt my purse was a bit “too warm” for the time of the year.

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So I swapped one Winnie the Pooh bag for another, this one not bought at Disneyland but at one of those private sales sites like Vente Exclusive and Snapstore.

Inside I’m carrying the following with me:

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– SPF50+ kiddie sunscreen (extreme sensitive skin is extremely sensitive
– Deo
– A book (for when I get stranded again)
– Make up and medicines essentials bag
– A foldable shopping bag (this one was a gift upon purchase from Yves Rocher)
My pretty foxy wallet
– Paper towels
– My key collection (which has an extra key since last time)
– My chopsticks
– Card holder thingies
– Some paperwork and my colour chart

All in all good for slightly under 2kg, so still a good student!

Oh and as an added bonus the proof I could be taken on my word about the lilac version of these summery shoes.

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Do you change bags to better match the weather, your outfit or maybe your mood?

Heavy lifting

I guess I’ve always known, somewhere in the back of my mind, that the bags I usually run around with are too heavy and that this isn’t really a healthy habit, even though I never gave it any conscious thought or really tried to change anything about it.
In order to confront myself into a wake-up call I put my current one on the scales and learned it weighs 1,3 kilo (which all in all is still kinda acceptable). While at it I also checked the contents to see if I could get rid of anything.

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Left to right, back to front:

– a small bag with basic cosmetics and some basic medicines (allergy, headache, stomach trouble,..)
– a foldable shopping bag disguised as a fluffy kiwi (zespri sponsored a Belgian Girl Geek goodie bag earlier this year)
– my deodorant
– some envelopes that will go into the mail later today when I pass by the postal office
– paper towels
– some random paperwork and my colour chart (which you can have a better look at here)
– customer loyalty card holder thingy and business card holder
– a collection of house-, car- and other keys
– a handbag holder (from the Ladies at the movies “Fame” BGGD goodiebag, which I threw out since I don’t ever use it)
my wallet
– my own proper chopsticks, which often get me complimented when I dig them out in an Asian restaurant where they only have the disposable kind (the ones where you risk getting a splinter in your tongue)
– my sunglasses

In order to motivate myself to keep a lean purse and think of my back, shoulders and neck, I went in search of some guidelines and tips on the subject, which I’ll gladly share:

Ideal weight
The ideal weight for a purse stays under a kilo, but anything up to 1,5 kilo is still acceptable (see, I’m not being such a bad student), anything over 2 kilo is definitely to heavy.

Type of bag
If you feel that everything in your over 2 kilo bag should be dragged along, then maybe you should consider switching to a backpack model, which will distribute the weight more evenly.

Straps
When choosing a bag, make sure to look at the type of the straps: thin straps and metal straps will more easily cut into your shoulder muscles whereas a broader strap or straps will once again distribute the weight more evenly.

Posture
Make sure not to cut into your trapezium muscles, but carry your bag more towards the bony part of your shoulder.
Don’t carry a shopper on your elbow, but hold it in your hand to avoid injury.
If you choose to carry a backpack, don’t sling it over just one shoulder but use both straps and make sure it sits high enough on your back (ending at the bottom of your ribcage and not the small of your back).

Content management
The best way to avoid a purse that is too heavy, is by managing what you carry around.
You can do this by having a regular clear out or by regularly switching purses, which usually results in a clear out.
Another way to do it is by choosing a smaller bag, which will prevent you from taking too much along, but for me this only leads to an overstuffed smaller bag and lots of frustration.

Now that I’ve jotted down all of these tips I will try to live by them and maybe even post an update (if I don’t forget).

So, how heavy is your handbag and what do you carry around in it? Have you got any other tips to add to these and do they work for you?

#5BEGG : Become an e-entrepreneur

Belgian Girl Geeks organizes free events for women interested in techie stuff, innovation and the digital world.
On the 23th of February they organized their fifth. event around e-entrepreneurship at The Hotel, Brussels, the hotel where Obamma stayed when he visited Belgium last year.

First of the sponsor bol.com provided us with insights on Customer Centricity and then gave us a scoop about the launch of their web shop dedicated to bags: www.bol.com/tassen for which they work together with amongst others Sobaggy and Torfs.
Furthermore they talked about their selling platform for smaller e-entrepreneurs: www.bol.com/verkopen.

Next up were 3 passionate female e-entrepreneurs who thought us about their site and products and shared some useful insights with us:

– Claudia from Flying Frenzy, a cat toy shop, gave us tips on the choice of product, good stock management and the importance of personal contact

– Dorien from Luxedy, an online jewelry shop, thought us about the importance of differentiating yourself when you’re selling a product that numerous other web shops sell. It’s important to keep on innovating and experimenting with new ideas and as such she recently launched Luxedy@home

– Sarah from Hello My Dear, a platform where you can create beautiful “life” stories which you can then print in a gorgeous book. Her main advice was to never ask feedback from family and friends, since they’ll support you no matter what! Ask a stranger if you want genuine insights to improve your product or service

The evening ended with some more drinks and chats, a nicely filled goody bag (sponsored by Bol.com, Flying Frenzy, The Hotel. Brussels, Luxedy, Snoepzoet and So Baggy), the possibility to take a tour of the hotel and a contest to win one of 3 TOV bags worth €150.

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I helped my friend who really wanted one of the bags with a picture for the contest, which we unfortunately didn’t win.
But competing was already more than half the fun.