12 Essential Products to Keep in Your Bag at All Times

iStock/unomat
iStock/unomat

Pretty much everyone has been out and about and faced something they weren't prepared for, whether it was a gait-busting blister or a cringe-inducing wardrobe malfunction. But disaster doesn't have to strike! With these items in your bag, you’ll never be unprepared again.

1. SMIRTI Canvas Bag; $13

A small canvas bag
Amazon

First things first: A bag to keep all of your essentials secure and in one place so they’re easy to find. We like this one because it’s big and because it’s made of canvas, so you can hand wash it if it gets dirty.

Find it: Amazon

2. Scotch Essentials Instant Buttons; $7 for Four

The packaging of Scotch Essentials Easy Button Fix showing a woman in a white shirt and black pants on a blue background.
Amazon

You never want to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of being down a button with no way to fix it. Scotch’s Instant Buttons do away with the needle and thread—all you have to do is place the fallen button on the sticky surface of the pin, then stick the pin through your shirt and secure it with the provided backing. Lost your button? No problem: The pack comes with four buttons.

This isn’t the only wardrobe malfunction-busting product Scotch has made: The company's wardrobe strips, white mark eraser, and adjustable hem tape are on-the-go essentials, too.

Find it: Amazon

3. Baggu Bag; $12

A purple gingham baggu bag folded up in is packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Keeping a bag in your bag might seem silly, but you never know when you might have to lug a bunch of things home from the office or the grocery store. Baggu offers nylon bags in a variety of bright prints for every personality.

Find it: Amazon

4. Brush On Block Powder Sunscreen; $32

Brush on Block Powder suncreen in its blue packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Applying sunscreen before you leave the house is great, but its protective effects will likely wear off by your lunch break. Experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours to protect your body’s largest organ from harmful UV rays. Keep this reef-friendly, vegan powder sunblock in your bag for those times when you need to reapply on the run (and don’t forget to dust your scalp and ears!).

Find it: Amazon

5. Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes; $7 for 80

The white-and-blue packaging of the Zeiss lens cleaning wipe on a white background.
Amazon

Sometimes, breathing on your glasses and wiping them with a cloth just doesn’t do the trick. These wipes from Zeiss will leave your lenses crystal clear.

Find it: Amazon

6. Band-Aid Family Pack; $13 for 280 Bandages

A family pack of Band-Aids
Amazon

No one wants to get caught with a cut and no way to cover it up. This 280-package of various sizes and fabrics will keep you covered no matter what, or where, the injury.

Find it: Amazon

7. Compeed Blister Cushions; $17 for 10

Compeed blister cushions
Amazon

Sometimes, a regular bandage isn’t enough to take on a blister. Instead of limping along, make sure you have these cushioned gel blister bandages in your bag. Each case holds two pads for heels, two for the side of the foot, and one patch for the toe; the waterproof patches fit like a second skin, keeping the blister protected from dirt and bacteria and providing comfort.

Find it: Amazon

8. Everyone Hand Sanitizer; $15 for Six 2-Ounce Bottles

Every Hand Sanitizer gel on a white background.
Amazon

Not all hand sanitizers need to smell like the doctor’s office and leave your hands feeling extra dry. Instead, combat germs with these cruelty-free gels, which are rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They’re made with plant-based glycerin, jojoba oil, and essential oils, so they smell delicious and leave your hands soft.

Find it: Amazon

8. Kleenex Packets; $9 for Six

Six Kleenex Slim Packs
Amazon

These packets—which are slim enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans—have “very attractive multi pattern packages [to] bring out your personality,” according to one Amazon listing. Patterned packaging or no, you’ll want these on hand in the event of a runny nose.

Find it: Amazon (also available in packs of 18)

9. Portable Phone Fan; $10 for Four

Smartphone fans
Amazon

Yes, it seems silly. But should you find yourself stuck on a sweltering subway platform, or just out and about in a place with no breeze, you’ll be thankful you have this little phone fan in your bag. Just plug it into your Lightning port and feel instantly cooler. (If you’d prefer to listen to music and pretend to be Beyoncé, might we suggest this necklace fan?)

Find it: Amazon

10. Oral B-Floss; $6 for Two

A two-pack of Oral-B Glide floss
Amazon

There’s nothing worse than having something stuck in your teeth and not being able to get it out. If you have floss in your bag, you’ll never have to worry.

Find it: Amazon

11. Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle; $26 to $32

Two green HYDAWAY Bottles—one expanded and one collapsed—on a white background.
Amazon

You might not necessarily need to drink eight glasses of water a day, but staying hydrated is still important. This water bottle will ensure you always have a vessel to prevent parchedness, and packs down small for when you’re not using it. (It’s great for travel, too!)

Find it: Amazon

12. Bamboo Cutlery and Straw Set; $13

A set of bamboo spoons, knives, and forks on a white background.
Amazon

Maybe your city has banned plastic straws and utensils, or maybe you want to do your part to help the environment. Either way, consider keeping a handy pair of reusable utensils in your bag. This set from Bambooster has two knives, two forks, two spoons, and two pairs of chopsticks, and two reusable straws with cleaners—all for just $13.

Find it: Amazon

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10 Terrifyingly Huge Birds You Should Know

AndreaWillmore/iStock via Getty Images
AndreaWillmore/iStock via Getty Images

They’re gigantic, they’re often defensive, and you wouldn’t want to run into them in a zoo after hours. Meet a few of the world’s biggest birds with attitude, from flightless giants to modern-day pterodactyls.

1. Ostrich

Everyone knows that the ostrich is the world’s biggest bird, weighing an average of 230 pounds and standing 7 feet tall (and some individuals can grow up to 9 feet). They can also chase you down: Ostriches are the fastest species on two legs, with a top speed of about 43 mph. They can maintain a swift 30 mph pace for 10 miles, making them the marathon champs of the avian world.

2. Southern Cassowary

Often called the most dangerous bird on Earth, in addition to being one of the planet’s biggest birds, the southern cassowary is roughly 150 pounds of mean. On each foot is a 5-inch claw that cassowaries use to defend themselves. At least two people have been kicked to death by cassowaries, the most recent being a Florida man who unwisely kept one of the birds as a pet.

3. Emu

Emu with eggs
JohnCarnemolla/iStock via Getty Images

Like a smaller, shaggier ostrich, the 5- to 6-foot emu is the second-largest bird on Earth (as well as a goofy spokesbird for insurance). During the breeding season, female emus fight enthusiastically over unattached males. But the results of this mating ritual are impressive: clutches of forest-green, oval eggs that resemble giant avocados.

4. Greater Rhea

This flightless bird is named for the Titan goddess Rhea, who gave birth to all of the Olympian gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. At up to 5 feet tall and 66 pounds, the greater rhea may not seem like as much of a terror as the ostrich. But it gathers in massive flocks of up to 100 birds during the non-breeding season, so watch out if you happen to be in its South American habitat.

5. Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian pelicans
musicinside/iStock via Getty Images

How scary can a pelican be, you ask? When it stands almost 6 feet tall, weighs 33 pounds, and has a wingspan of 9 feet—all traits of the Dalmatian pelican—it's pretty petrifying. These scruffy-feathered monsters, native to Europe and Asia, breed in colonies of up to 250 pairs and can gulp impressive mouthfuls of fish in one go.

6. Mute Swan

One of the heaviest flying birds, mute swans look harmless as they glide over ponds, lakes, and rivers. But mute swans are far from silent when defending their families and territory. Male swans warn interlopers that they’re getting too close with a hiss, then can launch a straight-up assault, bashing the intruder with their wings. They’ll even attack kayakers, canoeists, and people just minding their own business.

7. Andean Condor

Andean condor
Donyanedomam/iStock via Getty Images

This freakishly big vulture isn’t satisfied with just any carrion—it prefers large carcasses like cattle and deer for dinner. Maintaining its average weight of 25 pounds requires a lot of calories, after all. Its wingspan is slightly less than its northern cousin, the California condor, but it still reaches a dramatic 9 to 10 feet.

8. Cinereous Vulture

Another big bird with a 10-foot wingspan, this Old World vulture has excellent vision to spot carrion while it flies, and a featherless head that resists the accumulation of gore when it feeds. Though it’s intimidating to look at, the cinereous vulture plays an important role in its ecosystem by cleaning up roadkill and other dead animals.

9. Marabou Stork

Marabou stork
Sander Meertins/iStock via Getty Images

As if its red-tinged wattle, black back, and dagger-esque bill weren’t alarming enough, the marabou stork is sometimes called the “undertaker bird” thanks to its Dracula-like appearance. It also eats other birds. The largest verified wingspan on a marabou stork measured 10.5 feet, though unverified reports cited a specimen with 13.3-foot span.

10. Shoebill

Shoebill storks may not be the tallest, heaviest, or widest-winged birds, but just look at that death stare. On top of having a nutcracker for a face, the 5-foot-tall shoebill leads a fearsome lifestyle. It stands absolutely still for hours to hunt prey, watching for lungfish or baby crocodiles, then spreads its wings and collapses over it while trapping the target in its bill.

10 Dramatic Downton Abbey Fan Theories

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey (2019).
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey (2019).
Focus Features

Despite its exhaustively polished veneer, Downton Abbey was always a soap opera. Julian Fellowes's historical drama about a family of aristocrats and their many servants could never resist a good shocker, and it deployed plenty of them over the course of six seasons. The valet was suspected of murder (twice). One of the Crawley sisters got knocked up by her older married boyfriend, who promptly went missing. And another sister’s first sexual encounter ended in death. Considering all this, it should come as no surprise that fans have developed similarly wacky theories about the show. These fan theories include secret parentage, undercover spies, and, of course, poison.

Brush up on the best of them before the Downton Abbey movie hits theaters—just in case the whole miscarriage curse comes up.

1. Mr. Carson is Lady Mary’s father.

This theory all comes down to eyes. As you may recall from science class, certain genes are dominant and others are recessive. This is perhaps most easily understood through eye color, where brown eye color, a dominant gene, is expressed as BB and blue eye color, a recessive gene, is expressed as bb. A parent with brown eyes might carry the recessive blue eye gene (i.e. Bb), but if you plot out genetic probabilities on a basic Punnett square, two blue-eyed parents with double bbs have seemingly no shot at producing a Bb baby. Now, what does any of this have to do with Downton Abbey? Both Lord and Lady Grantham have blue eyes, but their eldest daughter, Mary, has brown eyes. This has led some fans to speculate that Lady Mary is actually the daughter of Carson, the family’s beloved butler who has always acted as as sort of second father to Mary. As debunkers have noted, two blue-eyed people can have a brown-eyed child, because recessive genes aren’t that simple. But isn’t it wild to think of Carson and Cora having an affair?

2. Thomas Barrow poisoned Kemal Pamuk.

One of the soapiest subplots of Downton Abbey's first season involved “poor Mr. Pamuk,” the dashing Turkish diplomat who makes a fateful visit to the Abbey. After enjoying a day of fox hunting and an evening of sparkling conversation, Kemal Pamuk drops dead ... right in Lady Mary’s bed. The cause, it is later revealed, was a heart attack, but many viewers suspected something more sinister. Earlier in the episode, the Crawleys’ closeted footman, Thomas Barrow, made a pass at Pamuk, which the diplomat rejected quite forcefully—so much so that he threatened to get Thomas fired. That placed the footman in a tricky situation, but it was nothing a little poison couldn't fix, and that’s exactly why some fans believe Thomas slipped something into Mr. Pamuk’s dinner.

3. Lady Grantham’s miscarriage started a curse.

In the Season 1 finale, tragedy strikes. The newly pregnant Lady Grantham slips on a bar of soap, falling onto the bathroom tiles and inducing a miscarriage. It’s a sad moment, but it’s also, Reddit claims, the source of the house’s future misfortune. According to this theory, the miscarriage kicks off a curse of deadly pregnancies: Lady Sybil dies in childbirth; Matthew Crawley dies in a car accident soon after the birth of his son; and when the maid Ethel Parks becomes pregnant with Major Bryant’s child, he dies, too.

4. Mr. Bates is actually a bad guy.

Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey (2019).
Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey (2019).
Focus Features

Downton Abbey invests a lot of time and effort in convincing us that John Bates, Lord Grantham's trusty, is a great guy—despite his checkered past and multiple murder allegations. But what if everyone’s assumptions about Bates are exactly right? Some Redditors believe Bates is just a remorseless serial killer, pointing to his intense hatred of his first wife and “creepy vibes” as evidence. Anna had better watch out.

5. Michael Gregson is a spy.

Lady Edith’s boss and lover Michael Gregson is the publisher of a London magazine, The Sketch. Thanks to his job, he knows tons of important people, travels all over the world, and speaks multiple languages. He eventually disappears inside Germany in season 4, and later dispatches to the Crawley family imply that he was a victim of Adolf Hitler’s “thugs.” (The show timeline places Gregson in Munich right around the time of the Beer Hall Putsch.) Or at least, that’s the official story. Another one suggests that Gregson was a British spy gathering intel on the insurgent Nazis—and he might not have died at all. His superiors simply needed to feed Edith a lie that would discourage her from poking around, so they made up a cover story that someone who follows the news would believe.

6. Lady Rosamund Painswick is Lady Edith’s mother.

When Lady Edith becomes pregnant with Michael Gregson’s child, she finds a strong support system in her aunt, Lady Rosamund Painswick. Upon learning Edith’s secret, Rosamund travels to Downton Abbey to help her niece through her pregnancy, and suggests adoption options as the due date draws near. Some fans have interpreted this empathy as a clue that Rosamund, not Lady Grantham, is Edith’s true mother. It could also explain why Edith looks (and behaves) so different from her sisters. Or it could just be a sign that Rosamund cares about her niece.

7. Lady Mary’s “operation” was IVF.

In season 3, Lady Mary claims to have undergone a “small operation” that will help her start a family with Matthew. It’s maddeningly unclear what this operation entails, but one wild guess is that she had an early version of IVF. The complete crackpot theory is that this was a cover for Matthew’s infertility, which the doctors wouldn’t disclose to him, presumably to preserve his 1920s masculinity.

8. Lady Mary’s son George becomes a Royal Air Force pilot in World War II.

Lady Mary’s son George is only five years old in the series finale of Downton Abbey. But that means he would theoretically be 18 in the fall of 1939, which is exactly when World War II broke out in Europe. He would almost certainly enlist, as show creator Julian Fellowes himself has suggested. But Decider has more specifically theorized that George would join the Royal Air Force (RAF), “with a desire to rebel against his emotionally distant mother and find purpose in a greater cause.” Sounds like George would be taking part in some dangerous missions, putting the entire family’s future at risk.

9. Public tours keep the estate alive.

The Crawleys spend much of Downton Abbey fretting about the future management of their estate—partially because Lord Grantham is kind of bad at it. But Lady Mary has taken over when the series ends, and Fellowes believes she’d find savvy ways to keep her family’s home in their hands. “She would probably have opened the house to the public in the 1960s, as so many of them did,” Fellowes told Deadline. “And she’d have retreated to a wing, and maybe only occupied the whole house during the winters. My own belief is that the Crawleys would still be there.”

10. The Dowager Countess keeps Denker and Spratt around for the drama.

Gladys Denker is a maid to the Dowager Countess. Septimus Spratt is her butler. These two do not like each other, and they’re quite public about it. Denker and Spratt’s unprofessional squabbles would’ve gotten plenty of other servants fired, but fans believe the Dowager Countess keeps them employed for her own amusement.

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