Have I ever told you about my magic bag? I’ll bet you guys never pictured me as a magician. Well, that’s because you’re right; I’m not. While I couldn’t pull a rabbit out of this tote, my magic bag was an astounding little contrivance in its own right. Let me explain.
Almost 20 years ago, around the time I was preparing for my honeymoon, I had been shopping in Sephora and stumbled upon, you guessed it, the magic bag. What is this thing I’m referring to, you might be wondering? Well, it was it was the best darn toiletry travel bag a girl could have ever asked for.
This travel tote was large enough to fit every toiletry one could ever think to travel with, but not too large to complain about taking up space in a suitcase. It was waterproof and sturdily made. It had four separate compartments of varying sizes which could contain any accidental spillage, and three of those could be easily removed, as they were attached with velcro. Best of all, I kept it packed and at the ready, so if we ever needed to travel or decided on a spontaneous weekend trip, voila! The bag was sitting there for the taking. That was the magic of it. I never had to worry about toiletry packing as long as I had this bad boy ready to go.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m speaking in past tense and my little MB is no longer with me. I threw it out and admittedly, it was a regrettable choice. After about 16 years of use, it started to get dingy looking on the outside. Now mind you, inside was just as perfect as ever, barely a flaw to be had. However, it did appear old and shabby. It had served us for well over a decade so I thought it might be fun to purchase a new bag, one that would look nicer.
Big mistake. Huge.
I was never able to find a replacement that came even close to this organizing dream tote. Believe me, I scoured stores and the internet. I went back to Sephora but there was absolutely nothing in the store like it.
Folks, after years of searching, I am proud to say that I think I may have found the magic bag’s successor! Meet the Family Size Personal Organizer Toiletry Tote from LL Bean. Just a note here, LL Bean does not pay me to endorse their products.
This one is definitely bigger than the magic bag, but my family has grown larger since my honeymoon days and hence, the bag needed to grow as well. LL Bean also offers sizes, small, medium, and large. I found similar versions on Amazon and at BAGSMART, but I’m not quite sure about the quality of these other carry-alls because I haven’t seen them in person. Also, I was able to use a $10 off coupon, as they are usually easily found for LL, and I got free shipping.
The claim for the LL Bean family size is that it can contain enough toiletries for a family for 5+ days. My uber-organized friend Meredith, who has three little girls, comes to mind. From the looks of it, I’m thinking even she would rave about this beauty. Hopefully she reads this and weighs in.
This bag is sturdy, water resistant, has a hook for hanging, and another hook for a removable, hanging shower caddy. In the picture above, you can see the two zippered pouches inside to prevent spills. The main part of the tote is very roomy, with slots for three large items. It has pouches externally, as well, on the right and left sides and in the front. I really think I’m in love. Though not fully packed yet, it is on it’s way there and will be ready for the day we can bust out those suitcases and get excited about far away places once again. Ahh, a new magic bag AND something to look forward to. Life is good.
So is my post this time around only about LL Bean’s awesome, travel-toiletry-tote for trip organization? Of course not. You know I have a little life nugget in here, and it relates to something I had spoken of in November.
In my haste to have something that looked pretty, I completely overlooked the fact that the tote I had was perfectly functional and absolutely delightful. No, it was not the supple beauty it once was, but it was still awesome and it gave me joy. By obsessing over it having to look a certain way, I made a decision I regretted. Next time I will be sure to make my choice more carefully, taking all aspects into consideration, and not focusing solely on aesthetics. And if I ever decide to get rid of a functional item, I will be sure to have it’s replacement before I do so.
The good news is that I’m reminding myself to appreciate things and people for their own uniqueness, and making sure I call on my superpower, which is to see the beauty in all things and in all that surrounds me. Maybe that’s where the magic really lies.