Spain – packing

For our resent trip to Spain, I was under some major pressure about packing.  Mostly brought on by myself and the fact I was only going to be bring a carry-on backpack!  I have yet to pack such a small bag for a weekend let a lone a 10 day trip.  Needless to say I was scared… but only a little.

I’m a planner by trade and that comes into my regular life all the time.  Just ask Dan or my family, I have lists for lists.  I started with some reading but was only finding information about going to Europe in the summer.  We were going in December so that wasn’t really helpful.  However, the one good thing that I got out of the research reading was get packing-squares or cubes.  They are used to help with organization and boy did they ever!

Dan was leaving before me (he should probably do a guest appearance and tell that story because it’s a good one!) so I gave him all the toiletries.  I still brought some hair stuff and make-up but he had almost everything else: shampoo, conditioner, soap and face wash.  Being that I’m a little old school, I packed his bag and knew everything that was in it.  He basically had on him a mini medicine cabinet which included: pain medication, allergy medication (Dan has a nut allergy, if you haven’t picked up on that yet), stuff for if someone was going to come down with a cold, laundry detergent for washing small items in sinks, etc.  Dan was going to be away for a total of 3 weeks so you never know what could happen.  I made sure he and his friends were covered!

When it came time for my packing, I took a look at my closet.  I had a pretty good idea in my head already of what I wanted to bring but just had to get it together.  With me being pregers, my clothing is much more limited than normal and therefore packing was in my favour.


Get a carry-on backpack to spec for the airline(s) you’ll be using
Get packing-squares or cubes
Plan for mixing and matching your clothing.  My plan was mostly black, white, grey with a few things of colour
Limit toiletries wherever possible because that stuff is heavy
Roll, roll, roll your clothes
Bring enough for half the trip, wear everything twice not including pants.  Plan to wash socks and underwear
Bring one sweater – my recommendation is a NorthFace fleece because they are thin and compact but can also be worn on flights
The biggest tip I have with travelling in Europe and taking those cheap Euro flights – make sure your purse can fit into your carry on.  On some of those cheaper flights you are really only allowed one bag and a purse counts!  We only ran into this once but nevertheless still ran into it and I was happy to be prepared.

What I packed:

Travel outfit: jeans, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, light coat (mine is a rain coat with a hood) and orthopedic socks (midwife recommended and Uptown Wife approved!)
NorthFace Fleece
Second pair of pants
Second cardigan
Second scarf
Five shirts – two short sleeves, two 3/4 sleeves and one long sleeve (this was actually a cotton/wool blend so it was nice to have on the cooler nights)
Two white tank tops (I wear these every day so only three was really cutting it back for me)
Something to sleep in
Five pairs of socks – I could have gotten away with three because I ended up wearing the orthopedic socks on big walking days and washed them
Five pairs of underwear
An extra bra

Everything nice and folded… soon to be rolled!

Second pair of shoes (I had space and thought it would be nice to have something else to walk in other than my runners)
Mittens and a hat (didn’t think I would need them but was so happy I brought them)
Hair gel, makeup, face cream, bobby pins, headband, travel (blow up) pillow and a eye mask (this I didn’t end up using)
One book, my iPhone and charger (I only took pictures with my phone… crazy I know)
Passport, boarding passes and any hotel or other flight information print outs
Granola bars and water bottle (This didn’t get back into the backpack but the airlines were ok with that)

It started to get a little messy

All packed up!

Everything fits!  Including my purse!
At the last second I didn’t pack my leggings and I regretted it.  I wasn’t thinking about nights when we would stay in and having them would have been nice.
So that’s the list!  I really hope that this helps with any travelling you may be doing in the near future.  I really put a lot of thought into each thing that I brought and was very happy with everything that I packed!
I’ll be doing a day by day posting over the next few days!  Here is a little sneak peek!

Crockpot Mash Potatoes

This weekend was my family Christmas party!  My mom had asked for me to bring mash potatoes. We have about 40 people at our family Christmas so needless to say I was a little scared about how to do mash potatoes for that many.

I started out by looking online for how to keep the potatoes from drying out in the crockpot. Then I ended up stumbled on to recipes about how to do mash potatoes in the crockpot from start to finish. Here is what I came up with!


10lbs potatoes

1 cup butter, cut into cubes (I used salted)

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups chicken broth

3 teaspoons salt (we are fancy and use Himalayan sea salt)

2 teaspoon black pepper

8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes

2/3 cup sour cream


Cut up the potatoes and fill the crockpot. I got all but 4 potatoes into

Then just right on top of the potatoes put the cubed butter, garlic and pour the broth all over the top. 
Cook on low for 12 hours (over night). Stir whenever you think about it. The ones on top will go a little brown over
night but that goes away.

Once they are soft enough – it will look like a lot of broth is left but that will get mashed into them – start mashing. 

Once they are pretty smooth add everything else (s&p, cream cheese and sour cream). Then mash away!

They turned out fantastic!  I was only doing the potatoes but it was so nice to have a clean kitchen. Also, if I had to do more things it would leave my stove open.