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What's in my bag? — Nicole Harkin


What's in my NOW?

September 18 · Issue #16 · View online

One interesting person shares the tangible and invisible things that are influencing the NOW — 3 physical, 2 digital, and 1 invisible.

Nicole Harkin is an award winning writer, photographer, and podcaster in Washington, DC. Nicole’s first book was Tilting, A Memoir about growing up in Montana with parents in the airline industry. “A complex jumble of quirky characters and memorable moments.” She produces a podcast called Project Ungoverned about the state of online education internationally. She recently co-produced a podcast series with the DC non-profit, REACH Incorporated. REACH empowers low-income DC kids as mentors while improving their literacy.

I’m a writer, photographer, and a mom. What’s in my bag revolves around the third thing: Mom. I loved the idea of having watercolors and paint brushes in a waterproof bag, so I started carrying them everywhere. Using watercolors isn’t always an option, so I have a set of quality markers too. The pictured pack of markers is no longer produced but the concept is great: lots of colors to draw with. Don’t forget quality paper. It makes a difference. I use a Travelogue Watercolor Book for our paper because of the shape. And really any paint brushes will do. The watercolors come with one small brush, but carry more than one because people like to paint.
I have dedicated myself to only getting coffee to go if I have a reusable cup. I just bought this silicone fold up cup and love it.
Tempo Tissues ($18/30pk)
Tissue packs from Germany are better quality than US tissues, so my German friends send them to us when we run out. I also carry earplugs everywhere I go along with lipstick and chapstick in the little gray bag that is pictured. My brother got the felt bag from JetBlue and gave it to me because I loved it. It’s the perfect size to carry a few small items. I also always carry Vaseline. The container pictured here is from Denmark in a nice round tub. There are many uses for this stuff when you are out and about!
My kids need to work on their math skills and this little wipe board has been a ton of fun. We use it to pass the time waiting for things to happen, rather than looking at screens.  
Also pictured is a mini USB to Apple Lightening cable. This little guy works great in a pinch and was designed to go on your key chain. I just put it in the little gray bag. The little white speaker is another fun way to make friends or pass the time with kids. We listen to a lot of podcasts in this house.
About the bag
My bag is a Sandqvist bag, and it was made in Sweden. I loved the color and it turns out it is machine washable, so that has been a bonus.
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