If you’ve been in the blog world for any amount of time, chances are you’ve heard of Lily Jade – the amazing leather diaper bag company. I’ve been drooling over them for a while but, honestly, felt like my “day” had passed; after all, my “baby” is over 2 now…
Then this spring, just as the school year was wrapping up, I realized that the straps on my old Target teacher bag were hanging on by a thread and decided it was time to upgrade to something a little nicer (I guess after ten years at this it’s fair to say I’m in it for the long haul). I started searching the internet and asking around about the best bags and kept landing at Lily Jade. (I know, I know, they make diaper bags… Stick with me here!)
Long story short, once I got over the fact that it is *called* a diaper bag, I realized that LJ bags totally fit all the criteria I’d made for my “perfect school bag” and then some. Even better, when I emailed them and shared my idea to use this as a school bag for lugging my computer + books + allthepapers to and from work every day, they offered to send me one to try out!!!! I chose the Rosie in Camel and Jade and, y’all, I’m in love. It is PERFECT.
(P.S. That’s my disclosure. I got this bag for free from Lily Jade. To say I was giddy would be an extreme understatement; but, I promise you, the below comments are my honest opinion/review – I didn’t get paid to write this and none of the links are affiliate or anything like that. Scout’s honor. #seewhatIdidthere? #scoutshonor )
So, what exactly makes a bag the PERFECT SCHOOL BAG FOR TEACHER-MOMS?
I was hoping you’d ask!!!
(1) Size — not too big (this teacher refuses to be the rolling suitcase/crate type. I’m sorry. I just can’t) and not too small (on any given day, I’m carrying at least my laptop, a binder, my planner, and a stack of papers that I probably won’t grade). When it comes to bags, size matters.
(2) Pockets — on the outside, there are two big zipper pockets (one on the front and one on the back) that work well for extra notebooks, books, or chargers; and, on the inside, there’s an open pocket that fits my phone and wallet perfectly (so I don’t have to carry a purse too) and a smaller zipper pocket that’s just right for pens, paper clips, highlighters, post-its, etc.
(3) Easy to carry — probably one of my favorite features of this bag (and all of Lily Jade’s bags as far as I can tell) is that it easily converts from shoulder bag to cross body/messenger bag to backpack. Most days, I stick with a simple over-the-shoulder carry, but I love having the hands free options – especially the backpack – for the days when I’m also carrying a kid, coffee, and 17 thousand student-journals (it’s hard work avoiding the rolling crate scenario mentioned above).
(4) Beautiful — this may not be essential to everyone, but I carry this thing to and from work five days a week and – often – to at least one coffee shop or library on the weekend… I want it to look good. My Lily Jade bag is GORGEOUS. I’m not even kidding, I literally gasped when I opened it. The leather is super high quality (so soft), the camel color is perfectly neutral (gotta match my outfits) and the interior jade color is perfect. There are even tons of little details – like the gold hardware and that adorable beaded tassel – that just finish off its elegantly simple look. I feel about 10x more sophisticated and professional with this thing on my shoulder. #truth
(5) Versatile — honestly, when I ordered this bag, I intended to just take the little diaper bag insert out and shove it in the back of my closet or something; BUT, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is to leave it packed up with all the things I need for a day out with my kids (read: diapers, wipes, snacks, sunscreen, toys, books) and then to simply take my school stuff out and put it in on the weekends or over the summer. The insert is fully removable, washable (key!!!), has twelve pockets (12!!), and comes with a matching changing pad. I like it so much, in fact, that lately I’ve kept it packed in my car on its own so I have all the essentials for my “mom life” on hand and can easily do a switch-a-roo with a moment’s notice when I need to. I LOVE that I can get more “bang for my buck*” out of this beautiful bag by using it in both of my important jobs – teaching and momming – and it makes that transition super streamlined (and stylish).
*A quick note about the $$… This bag isn’t cheap and, trust me, I know we teachers don’t exactly make the big bucks. I realize that a purchase like this isn’t for everyone, and I totally get that. THAT SAID, if – for whatever reason – you are willing/able to splurge, this bag is absolutely worth it!!! The quality is SO obvious – it’s durable but not heavy, feels amazing, and wears wonderfully (so far – I’ve been using mine daily since about April and it still looks brand new). I’m not sure I’ve ever really believed this before, but this bag is proof to me that “you get what you pay for.” (It would also make an AWESOME gift for a recent grad/ new teacher or just a well-loved teacher-mom in your life. She will feel SO spoiled!!!)
So there you go… The perfect bag for teachers, moms, and teacher-moms.
If you’re ready to treat yourself, you can pre-order the Rosie in Camel & Jade, like I have, at a discounted price now and it will be shipped some time in July — in plenty of time for a new school year!!! There are also lots of other great styles and colors – I like the Madeline myself, and the canvas Meggan is bigger AND cheaper than mine – available at www.lily-jade.com.
I’m, of course, happy to answer any questions about my bag if you have them AND, if you already own a Lily Jade bag, I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!
In addition, please tell me: what’s the criteria for a perfect school bag in your book?!?
Have a great week friends! New Teaching Tuesday post coming tomorrow!