What's in my Bag - Food Blogger's Mobile Office and EDC #Sponsored by KeySmart

Will every Pinterest addict out there please raise their hand (if only to reassure me that I'm not alone.) I spend an obscene amount of my spare time pinning really cool looking things that I'll never be able to afford (like my dream kitchen, swoon...) and organizational tips I'll likely never implement (even though I have the best of intentions) and recipes I keep meaning to try (but never seem to find enough time to.) Occasionally I stumble across a tip or gadget I absolutely need to try right now, which was the case when I stumbled across KeySmart. They've agreed to sponsor my post today, so I'll be giving you a look at their compact key organizer system as well as a peek into my newly organized mobile office and every day carry (EDC) items (those handful of items you'll never find me without, like my phone and keys.)  

Over 75% of my writing is accomplished away from home, so I've been browsing Pinterest and Every Day Carry for ways to streamline my system. I have a significant number of items that need to come with me when I leave the house—the weight of these tools is rather staggering. I've been working on slimming down my must-have items and only taking along what I absolutely need to work efficiently, but the process has taken a lot of trial and error to find what really works for me.

Today's post was sponsored by KeySmart who has provided me with one of their nifty key organizers for review purposes.

Today's post was sponsored by KeySmart who has provided me with one of their nifty key organizers for review purposes.

These days my every day carry (EDC) items consist of:

  1. iPhone 5s and Speck SmartFlex Wallet Case
  2. Mtech Assisted Opening Tactical Pocket Knife (it's pretty, yet functional)
  3. Purple Sunglasses from Target
  4. EVELTEK Keychain with KeySmart 2.0 and Leatherman Style CS Multi-tool

    April Special Promo: Get $10 off your purchase of $35 or more at KeySmart

The most recent addition to my EDC is the KeySmart, which I've been eyeing up on pinterest since last fall. It was a little challenging to put together; I ended up taking it apart several times before I was satisfied with the configuration, but it has slimmed down my bulky keychain and completely cured me of that obnoxious key jingle that has followed me everywhere since I turned 15. Now I can sneak around like the stealthy ninja that I am (no-joke, I've studied three different martial arts, including ninjutsu.) But seriously, the KeySmart has solved a problem that really annoyed me—my noisy keychain that never quite fit in my pocket (which is a huge issue because I hate to carry a purse.) Not only does the slimmed down version fit in my pocket, but it can also be hung from my belt loop without leaving me worried that I'm about to unintentionally destroy my favorite jeans (distressed is a style choice, holier than the bible is not.)

Writer's Mobile Office and EDC

The last item that I take with me is my laptop bag. I seriously love the design of this bag (which is why it ended up on one of my holiday gift lists.) The triangle shape and flip down front means I have easy access to everything. I'm really bummed that it's been discontinued, because the design is absolutely genius.

5. Evernote Triangle Commuter Bag from Abrasus (no longer available)

To keep all the little odds and ends in place I use an elastic grid organizer from Cocoon.  The 8 x 12" organizer holds a surprising amount of stuff, just check out the list below (I'm a bit of a pack-rat, but at least I'm organized about it.)

Mobile Office Organization Using Grid-It from Cocoon

6. Cocoon Grit-It Organizer

Panasonic RPHJE120K Earbuds
ColorWay Screen Cleaning Kit
Stalion Saver C3 3200mAh Power Bank
Harbor Freight Mini LED Flashlight
AmazonBasics Lightning to USB Cable - 4 Inches
Altoids The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints

Red Cross Pill Box with assorted medication and band-aids

Mini Sewing Kit in a Metal Tin:

Mini Thread Spools, Needles, Buttons, Elastic, Safety Pins, Foldable Sewing Scissors, and Mini Seam Ripper

Mini Makeup Kit - Altoids Heart Tin:

NOTE: These are sample sizes obtained from Sephora

bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation - Light
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Eyeliner - Dark Chocolate
Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
Stila Eyeshadow - Starlight (full-size)
BENEFIT COSMETICS They're Real! Mascara
Thierry Mugler Angel
Scunci No Slip Bobby Pins
Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby SPF60+ Sunscreen
Caudaile Paris Hand and Nail Cream

    7. MacBook Pro with 15 inch Retina Display and 85W Adapter
    8. Business Cards (my latest batch came from MOO.com )
    9. Panda Planner (check out our full review here)
    10. Post-it Flags (these make great page markers, especially in cookbooks)
    11. Pilot G2 Bold Point Gel Ink Pens (I'm partial to purple, black is boring)
    12. Totes Compact Umbrella
    13. Spornette Carry On Wooden Handle Hair Brush
    14. Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug

My mobile office still has room for improvement, but it's finally set up in a way that I can find all of my tools without having to dig for them. Now if only I could find a way to make myself get dressed in the morning and stop procrastinating when it's time to sit down to write I'd be golden. The problem is that my winter writer's wardrobe (flannel pants and a long sleeve t-shirt) is so comfy I can't bear to trade them in, even for my favorite jeans. 

Perhaps that should be a goal for 2017...

or not...

I'll just add them to my EDC list, they're just as necessary to my writing process as coffee.

15. Joe Boxer Flannel Pajama Pants from Kmart



April Special Promo: Get $10 off your purchase of $35 or more at KeySmart


In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that a sample was provided to me free of charge by KeySmart, for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

This post contains my Amazon, KeySmart, and AliExpress affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Top 10 Recipes of 2015

After the hustle and bustle of November and December I prefer to end the year on a quiet note with my friends and family, so the day after Christmas we packed up the car and headed to St. Louis for some much needed R&R. The sky was cloudy and gray when we left Wisconsin, but we ran into heavy rain along the way—it didn't stop for two days. Some portions of the city saw as much as twelve inches of rain fall during that time, which quickly brought the four rivers in St. Louis to flood stage and closed many of the local highways. Travel throughout certain portions of the city was impossible as the major highways shut down one-by-one.

Living along the river we're no stranger to flooding, it's something we live with year after year, but it's been over 20 years since we've had a flood of this calibre and we've never had one so late in the year. Over the past few days residents and non-residents alike have come together to help sandbag in hopes of saving homes, businesses, and historic landmarks throughout the area. The rain has finally stopped and we're spending the start of 2016 waiting for the river to crest (reach it's highest point) before the waters slowly start to recede. We're only one day in to the new year and we're already off to a rough start.

Despite the rain keeping spirits low, there have been some high points this past week. I've managed to catch up with friends I rarely see, found out the world really is a much smaller place than I ever imagined, and learned that our extended family will be increasing yet again in 2016. I'm excited to have another baby in the family to spoil rotten! By tomorrow I'll be heading home and it will be business as usual around here. My vacation is officially over, but before I start planning for the new year I thought I'd take a look back at what was most successful in 2015. So without further ado, here are my top 10 recipes from 2015. I hope you enjoy them!

Top 10 Recipes of 2015 | Not Starving Yet

The National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI #NationalMustardDay

If you've been following along my random musings for the past few months, then you know I've traveled quite a bit this summer and stopped at some pretty cool places. I love sharing them with you, but I've been rather remiss about sharing things in my own back yard. Middleton, WI (just a short drive away from Madison) is home to a museum with a sense of humor, and of all things, it's dedicated to Mustard. Since today is the 25th annual National Mustard Day I knew it would be the perfect time to share this gem with you.

National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI

When you walk in the door you're immediately greeted by row after row after row of mustard. It's easy to get overwhelmed. Take some time to peruse the shelves, then grab a jar or two (or ten) and head over to the Tasting Bar, located at the back of the museum. You can sample any of the mustards currently stocked, free of charge. 

The Ultimate Mustard Tasting Bar at the National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI

Our Favorite Mustards 

Colmans Original English Mustard - great for getting rid stuffy noses, but best used on a ham sandwich or to add a little zip to baked chicken. Tracklements Strong English Mustard is another good choice if you like strong mustard.

My latest purchase was the Garlic Honey Mustard from The Garlic Survival Company, but I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet. I'm thinking it would be great in a salad dressing.

Kelley's Gourmet Stone Ground Mustard - I make a killer cheddar jalapeño hot dog on a pretzel bun, drowned in this mustard, then topped off with garlic dill sauerkraut. Delicious!

Plochman's Yellow Squeeze Mustard - a good all-purpose mustard

Uncle Bunk's Medium Mustard Relish - my previous choice for brats, but it hasn't been in stock lately so I've switched allegiances to Hawkwind - Clem's Hot Pepper Mustard 

I was upset to find out during my last visit that my all time favorite mustard Cheddar Ale from Stonewall Kitchen has discontinued. The boys at the tasting counter broke my heart that day when they said they didn't know of anything similar.

If you're looking for a gift or souvenir for the mustard lover in your life, check out the Poupon U Campus Bookstore. I get a good chuckle out of this every single time I walk by— it never gets old.

Poupon U at the National Mustard Museum - Middleton, WI

After your done sampling the hundreds of types of mustard available, make sure to head downstairs to see the actual museum. They have mustards on display from around the world and across the US. Don't miss out on the Mustard Piece Theatre.

Mustard Piece Theater at the National Mustard Museum

No museum worth its salt would be complete with a little artwork. Check out these Works of Mustard scattered throughout the museum. 

Works of Mustard - National Mustard Museum

We love a museum that doesn't take itself too seriously, but I want to offer a word of advice, especially if you're a mayo lover. Watch out for this guy...

Barry Levenson - Mad Genius at large

Barry Levenson, mad genius behind the Mustard Museum is always popping up and getting into trouble. You have been warned!


The museum is free of charge, but does accept donations.

Address: 7477 Hubbard Avenue  | Middleton, WI 53562
Phone: 608-831-2222
Museum Hours: 7 days a week: 10am-5pm 

Visit the National Mustard Museum website for more information


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.