What’s in Your Bag?: Kayla Johnson, mom and registered dietitian

One can tell a lot about a person and their life by the items they carry with them: the stage of life they’re in, what they value, the belongings they consider necessities. 

We wanted to get to know local women better through the contents of their bag. So, we invited them into our photography studio and asked them to take all of their things out of their purse.

Here, Kayla Johnson opens her bag to us and generously shares what she finds.

The contents:

Gum wrappers: “There may be gum stuck in that.”

Ride tickets from the Semo District Fair


Bible verse card from mother

Candy: “To occupy a child when we have the misfortune of a doctor’s appointment.”

Chapstick: “I’ve had it for several years, because it’s the monster size.”

Gum: “I always have a pack of gum.”

A baggie of membership cards for places in Cape Girardeau, including Marcus Theatres Movie Rewards, Barnes and Noble, Discovery Playhouse, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, dietetics license, WIC number, foster parent card

Lip gloss

Pens, pencil and highlighters: “Because when you go places and they give you a garbage pen to use, you have to have a real, good one.”

Flash drive with the title for house: “We just moved.”

Sticky note pads: “To entertain my children. I figure they can stick them wherever we’re waiting, and [then] I can put them away.”

Hair tie

Notebook + good-quality pen: “For notes for church.”

Medicine bottles


Stamps: “I feel like people don’t send real mail. So, I buy a package of stamps solely so that I will have to use them, and then I find ways to use them.”

Carrying pouch

Receipts from purchases at Walmart and Target

Body spray

Hand lotion

Slap bracelet: “They’re fun; my kids love them. And they can’t really hurt each other with it, so it’s great.”

Baggie of gift cards: “My kids were adopted this summer. We did their adoption, and so I got a bunch of gift cards, which is fantastic. I recently was trying to organize my purse, and thought snack bags were a way to organize all of the random cards that I had. I had this inordinate amount of gift cards, so this is my bag of gift cards, so that I’ll stop spending my money and will use them. Can’t say how effective it’s been.”

Checkbook: “I don’t think a lot of people carry these guys, but I do.”

Southeast Pediatrics magnet

A package of fruit snacks from daughter’s birthday party


A baggie of membership cards from hometown, where parents live

What are four things you have to have with you at all times?

  1. Gum
  2. A pen
  3. Chapstick: It’s cocoa butter that’s really good. I’ve never seen any monster chapstick besides this brand. The only thing is, if you open it and drop it, it’s like, ‘Did I waste a whole thing of chapstick?’ No, you just get a tissue and wipe it off. I use it for years.
  4. Lotion: It’s winter. My hands get so dry, and then I feel like I can’t touch anything.

Is there anything that isn’t in your bag that you expected to be there?

I don’t have my planner in here. I don’t know why it’s not in here.

Looking at your belongings, what is something they say about you?

Honestly, aside from the candy, you almost wouldn’t even know I have children. … I just think that’s kind of comical, because there’s no evidence of the fact that my entire life is soaked up into two tiny humans. … I need to replenish my emergency diaper, because we also used the car one this weekend. I keep one in both spots, the car and in the purse, and we’ve used them both. We need to rectify that.