Carry Your “Kitchen Sink” in Style. Day 25 of My Favorite Things: Kipling’s Lightweight Cross Body Tote

The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling lightweight cross body tote Joslyn

The Best Lightweight Cross Body Tote

The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling lightweight cross body tote Joslyn

Moms need a lightweight cross body tote. No question. They need to be hands free and ready at any moment.

For anyting.

The Bag Addiction Is Real

For those of you who knew me prior to having children you will know that handbags used to be a big part of my life. For those of you who didn’t, you will think my only handbag since we met was my beloved Skip Hop Duo bag. Which is – in theory – also a lightweight cross body tote.

It’s funny for moms who live in Manhattan – your stroller is your car and your diaper bag your handbag. But what happens once your kid ages out of her stroller and is potty trained?

What Is The Best Bag After A Diaper Bag?

I asked this very same question last summer. I was pregnant and tasked with entertaining a child who walked everywhere. My main carrying needs were snacks, hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, and a few odds and ends I thought were vital. My summer was going to consist of walking the shortest distance to the nearest playground, bus or subway stop, with only this bag and my daughter. It was hot. I was big and uncomfortable. I needed something lightweight that was pushing-a-swing friendly.

A Lightweight Cross Body Tote Is Your Answer!

I went to the inner sanctum of my closet where high end luxury bags hid in their dust cloths since my move three years prior. Sadly, lambskin would not fit my needs. This meant it was time to shop.

The investigation began (this included interviewing friends, strangers, and lots of googling). Finally, I found the exact lightweight cross-body tote I was looking for – with a familiar gorilla accouterment. Kipling! I saw the display and went ape (haha). EVERY bag was what I was looking for – now I just had to hone in. I settled on the Kipling Joslyn Tote. What I thought would be a “transition” bag has become one of the best bags I’ve ever bought.

The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling lightweight cross body tote Joslyn
It’s the size of a book but it’s capacity is endless!

It’s The Light Weight Tote Of My Dreams!

This bag is amazing. It is lightweight, has shoulder straps and a cross body strap, a huge front pouch (where I keep a supermarket), and two other pouches in front – one a double-zippered pouch where I keep my sanitation station, and the other a flap pouch with Velcro closure where I keep my phone. The back has a huge pouch the size of the bag with a Velcro closure – where I keep my reusable tote (yes I have one on me at all times). Folks, that’s just the outside!

The inside has a sizable main compartment where I keep my “kitchen sink”. On either side, you have a zippered pouch (I keep my gift cards, wallet, sunglasses, and eyeglasses in here) and a pen holder. A pen holder! Never thought about that but I can find my pen in a second! I’ve even become that person who signs credit card slips with my pen. Pretty high class, no? All of this is lightweight and relatively small – given its capacity. It even fits my NKThreads pouch with all my son’s diaper supplies!

The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling lightweight cross body tote Joslyn
The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling lightweight cross body tote Joslyn
The Mint Chip Mama - Kipling Joslyn
The Mint Chip Mama - What's In My Bag
What’s in my bag? All of this!

This Lightweight Tote Is The Perfect Transition Bag

I feel like all of us moms look for a cute transition bag that brings a tad of style back into our lives. This is it! Plus – who can resist a bag that comes with a little gorilla keychain? When you go to the store to check out back to school backpacks, get this for yourself. You will be taking them to school, so I give you permission to get a new bag too.

Thank you Kipling for introducing me to a stylish product that lets me carry everything I need. You have become one of my favorite things!

Since I carry around a supermarket for two children and an undernourished yours truly (read granola bar-o-rama) today’s giveaway is right in time for back to school meal planning – a new “Lunchable” type idea from Revolution Foods – perfect for lunch boxes or even dinner! All you need in a little box. Organic, healthy and ready in five minutes? Done and done.


Revolution Foods (Facebook, @RevolutionFoods) has generously offered to give away four (one of each flavor!) of their new Meal Kits to four lucky readers!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What is your favorite handbag story? Romance me. We all have one.

Mine was my first Prada bag – I used all of my camp tips in 1997 to buy it. I still LOVE it and use it all the time.

Winner will be chosen Thursday, September 4th.

The Mint Chip Mama - Revolution Food


Kipling Brand Heritage:

Our tale is a fun one that dates back to 1987, when three designer pals in Antwerp, Belgium stumbled upon a happy accident on a loom and discovered crinkled nylon fabric … and voila! A world of bright and colorful bags and accessories were born. Playfully dubbed Kipling, after the clever little spirit of the monkeys in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, our story came to life and has been an inspiration around the world ever since.

While it is true we all have places to go and things to see — we prefer a skip, hop, or a cartwheel to get there. We keep tallies of smiles in our daily diaries and make wallpaper out of our favorite Polaroids. Additionally, we believe in seeing everything through a child’s gaze in a grown-up world. We pretty much make it our mission to find fun in anything. Simply put, you could say we have a lot in common with you! We live a joyful life and cherish little moments. But, most of all, we love making bags that lighten and brighten your day.

So, come along. We invite you to join us in our lifelong pursuit of spreading happy around the world – no matter where you go. From the schoolyard or campus to a casual stroll through the city or park, our promise is to inject a dash of fun, a wink and a burst of cheer into every moment along the way.

Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter. Love me forever. #MintChipMama31DaystilBTS

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 9, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022 & 2023, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

5 thoughts on “Carry Your “Kitchen Sink” in Style. Day 25 of My Favorite Things: Kipling’s Lightweight Cross Body Tote

  1. The only bag and my first important bag was the Chanel bag my husband gave me for the birth of our daughter. He knew I had dreamt of it forever, and at Christmas under the tree wrapper in an RL box was my gift…. Yes you read it right a RL gift box. And I thought, oh dear another sweater, I opened the box and within the box was a Chanel box, and I just choked and all I could say was oh no you did not, you did not, and I opened it and looked at it as the most precious object ever. To this day, it is my special bag, and I will gift it to my daughter when she is much older.

  2. My first handbag obsession was Kate Spade. I still have the black nylon messenger bag I bought before a trip with my grandmother in 1998. The first (and only) Prada I bought was a few years later, after I’d moved to Manhattan, from — a small messenger style — and I still have it, too! And then there was the Marc Jacobs Stella I saved up for and bought right before quitting my job to go back to business school in 2005. I loved carrying that bag into interviews, I felt like I could conquer the world! In 2007, right after I got married, I use rebates from our Macy’s registey to buy an LV Neverfull, which I carried every day to work until i had my first son in 2010. My current obsession is MZ Wallace — fashionable, don’t show dirt, lightweight, so many pockets and great deals during ther countdown to Xmas every December! Hopefully I didn’t just start a new obsession for you 🙂

  3. I’m not a bag person — but my favorite was a crummy suede rectangle that got me through a summer in Israel — went across the body and was indestructible, albeit ugly. Sometimes function is the most important. And this one even fit my passport 🙂

  4. My first bag obsession was also Kate Spade in the mid-late nineties. Every time I did something good I’d negotiate with my parents to split the cost with me. I used my babysitting and sweet sixteen money to buy the messenger bag, the large tote, and the backpack (wait, maybe that one was Prada) Id run upstairs to check but my oldest is currently rummaging through my diaper bag (also a Kate Spade!) I guess some things you never tire of!

%d bloggers like this: