If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Emmy Award–winning broadcast journalist Amna Nawaz — who recently became a co-anchor on PBS NewsHour — about the charger she uses for all of her devices, the slippers that feel “like pillows” under her feet, and the instant milk tea she starts her day with.
My husband, who’s way more plugged-in to tech than me (no pun intended), introduced me to this. Especially when there’s breaking news, I have to throw things in a bag and run out the door. This solves a huge problem I have of not grabbing the right cable or remembering the right plug for my different devices. You can get it with different configurations, but mine has a charging pad for my phone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. It’s so easy and charges fast. I just unfold it, plug it in, and charge in the car, hotel room, or even on the plane. I’ve never had my devices run out of power on the road since having this with me.
I have an old habit of jotting down notes by hand. It’s the dinosaur in me. If I’m reading a book or an article and a line strikes me, or a fact strikes me, as something that could make a good story, I write it down. I have piles and piles of little notebooks that I’ve gathered over the years. No matter where I’m going, I always have a little notebook in my bag. These Moleskines look nice and hold up over time. One of my earliest quotes I wrote was from Benjamin Franklin. He began his day asking, “What good shall I do this day?” I remember the moment I read that and jotted it down. I also occasionally write down things I want to remember. My daughter’s 7 years old and scored her first soccer goal recently. I didn’t want to forget the joy I felt in that moment.
This is my guilty pleasure. Probably next to every notebook in every bag, you will find at least one, if not more, of these Welch’s Fruit Snacks. I don’t know when this started, but I think I just started eating my kids’ snacks, honestly. They are delicious, easy to eat, and travel well. If I’m in a rush before an interview or don’t have time to grab food just yet, I’ll eat a pack of Fruit Snacks before I head out. I probably eat them more than my kids do. It’s probably not the healthiest habit, but there are worse things I could eat.
I initially got this as a gift for my husband because he runs marathons and races and drinks a lot of smoothies, protein shakes, and recovery drinks. Before, we were using one of those big, oversize blenders that was inconvenient, so I researched and got him this. He loved the gift, and eventually I co-opted it. Now, I use this any time I know I need to take a little better care of myself. I just pack all the vegetables and fruit in, blend it, and run out the door. The single-serve size is great because it’s easy to clean. I love how quiet it is. It doesn’t resonate through the house like our old blender. And it just looks great. As someone who likes a nice, clean kitchen aesthetic, this is one item I don’t mind leaving out on the counters.
I grew up drinking tea and prefer a milky tea. That’s how we always drank it in my Pakistani household. I was so excited when I found out about this. I met the founder and CEO, Sajani Amarasiri, who started the company because she grew up in a similar household, where milk tea was a big thing. But traditional milk tea requires proper blending and steeping that can take a while. Amarasiri created something easier that was still sourced from South Asia. I’m always skeptical of powder in a packet, but this tastes amazing.
I have perpetually dry lips, and this is the only thing that works. Honestly, I forget who told me about this. I wish I could remember so I could thank them. It’s just supposed to be a sleeping mask you wear at night, but I have one at home and one I carry in my purse. I use it all the time.
When Deepika Padukone came out with her own line of skin care, I think I was among the legions of fans who said, “We have to try it.” I have to tell you: It’s totally lived up to the hype. It’s lightweight but still intensely moisturizing. It makes my skin glow, so I don’t have to wear any makeup on top of it. It smells divine — not overly perfumed and really clean. I know it doesn’t matter, but the packaging is beautiful. And I’m really happy to support other South Asian women as they launch their businesses. I’ve recommended it to everyone in my family, so everyone’s getting their skin care shipped over from India now.
[Editor’s note: The original price is listed in rupees and converted to dollars by us here.]
I find poetry very calming and centering. The clarity of the words help me get clarity in my day, whether I’m working through a problem or grounding myself in the chaos of the day. Nikita Gill is one of the most talented and potent writers I’ve ever come across. Her words always speak to me in a consistent way that I think few other poets have. I have all of her books of poetry. Again, I have scribbled down some lines of her poetry in my notebooks. She’s someone I turn to again and again. Her latest book, Where Hope Comes From, came out last year during the pandemic. The title alone is powerful in terms of what we all went through. It was just necessary words to turn to.
I am guilty of having bought way too many cheapo sunglasses because I think, Well, I’ll lose them anyway, so it won’t really matter. And then I was turned on to these by some friends who have pairs themselves. They’re very, very lightweight, and they fit my face, so they don’t slide down my nose all day. The design is classic but also trendy, and they’re easy to wear with everything. As someone who’s probably gone through at least two pairs of sunglasses every year for years prior, I can say these are durable. I throw them in my bag and they travel well. And, again, I love that this is from another Asian American business. The whole purpose behind the company was to make sunglasses that fit more diverse face shapes, and they nailed it.
As I said, my husband’s a runner, and he got turned on to these Recovery Slides. This is another thing I picked up from him. I don’t train nearly as hard as he does, but after a long run or at the end of a long day wearing heels, these shoes feel like pillows under my feet. They’re not the most attractive things — I wouldn’t necessarily wear them walking around outside the house — but you cannot beat the comfort.
This was gifted to me by my older sister. As much as I love bags and having the right one to go with different outfits day-to-day, I just need one that works. My Herschel bag may not be the most fashionable thing on the block, but it’s perfect. I bring this one on airplanes. I can throw everything into it, from my water bottle and laptop to an extra pair of shoes and toiletries. It’s made out of canvas, so it survives when you need it to and is easy to clean.
Dana is actually an old friend that my husband went to when he was getting ready to propose. My wedding band is really beautiful and unique; it’s made with some rough and smooth edges and interesting shapes. It was made just for me and my husband with a little inscription inside, and it’s just perfect. I wear my wedding band every day, even when I’m out covering a disaster zone or conflict zone of some kind. It’s a nice reminder of what’s important in life every time I look down at it.
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