Packing, Suitcases & Winners

I’ve been a busy girl packing and getting ready for our trip.  Does the inside of anyone else’s suitcase look like the biggest mishmash of stuff, ever?

Everything from:

books I plan to read

to Trader Joe’s chocolate chips for baking I want to do

to raisins and snack bars and stevia


to toiletries.

Never leave home without cuter shorts and bikinis for your child than for yourself.

But fold away those cute shorts and bikinis and you’ll find a potty for those who don’t want to use the big girl potty (brand new, of course) along with a cup for the Magic Bullet I’m bringing that’s tucked inside it.   And there is a big plastic hood for my favorite camera lens wedged in, too.

Space is at a premium.  Make the most of it!

And don’t forget to cram some raisins in between my bikinis and a nightlight, too.  Just in case someone is scared of the dark.

We leave Friday night on a red eye for Aruba and I can’t wait!

I will be blogging from there, twice daily, like always.

But I also plan on kicking my feet up and having a few of these.

Now the three winners for the CamelBak Groove Giveaway:

1. Gina May 11, 2011 at 4:12 am “I need a new Camelbak so bad! Mine is all worn out. I love water, Vitamin Water Zero and coffee of course!”

2. Bria @ West of Persia May 11, 2011 at 7:31 am “I like to drink smoothies, hot chocolate, and iced tea. But I’d prob stick to water for this Camelback :-)

3. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) May 11, 2011 at 7:57 am “I’m a water girl through and through…”

Ladies: email me with your color choice and mailing address, asap and CamelBak will ship directly to you.

Thanks for all the great comments about the Fudgy Nutella Brownies I made for the bake sale.

it was fun to hear what you’ve bought from bakes sales or if you’ve ever donated to one.  I am donating to Tina’s Bake Sale, so stay tuned for that!

I’m donating High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls


1. Is your suitcase neat and orderly by the time you depart or sort of a hodge podge? What are some crazy but you have-to-bring-them-with items?

Mine is still neat, to a point, because the stacks of clothes are still stacked, and the toiletries and snacks are all in baggies, but it definitely is a hodgepodge from clothes to nightlights to a Magic Bullet (don’t want to lug the Vita) to books to computer and camera gear.  A little bit of everything.

2. Who does the packing in your house? How far in advance do you pack?

As the woman and mother, I have to pack for myself, child, and bring household goods from potties to nightlights and bring snacks and things like children’s Tylenol just in case, and have extra pairs of sandals for Skylar and make sure we have extra sets of keys for the house and make sure the mail is stopped here in San Diego and the cab to the airport is called and arranged and that the fridge is cleaned out and nothing is going to rot while we’re gone and it goes on and on.

Scott, well, he shows up.  And he brings: his clothes. And his bag is usually overweight!   Mine, I get a hall pass because I am packing for three: me, Skylar, the house stuff.

No wonder men have “an easier time packing” and getting ready for trips!

I start pre-packing a week or so before because I have so many different items to bring that I need a head start to make sure I don’t forget anything.

Happy Friday everyone!


  1. That magic bullet cup in the plastic potty cracked me UP! Great way to conserve space! I usually pack really far in advance so I have more time to remember things I’m likely to forget :)

  2. LOL, I love your packing! I stuff in nooks and crannies, too. I had the funniest thought when I saw the choc chips: Wouldn’t it be hilarious to bring powdered sugar in an unmarked plastic bag and try to explain what it is? hahaha Ok, maybe not so funny!

    Have you decided if you are doing the body scan or the pat down? I haven’t been through an airport since the new regulations, but I would do pat down. It’s invasive no matter what, but I think I’ll avoid even low doses of radiation that I probably don’t need.

    I am a habitual over-packer. I always pack like we are moving and want to bring the whole house… “just in case.” Even though I stop at every store along the route anyway! Dustin helps me pack but only because he’s trying to optimize my compulsiveness because he has to carry the crap around, haha.

    You are going to have a wonderful time!! I’ll live vicariously through you. I need a tan, I’m pasty. :D

    • Oh, they love to pat me down. I dont even get asked for the scan, before you know it, someone is rushing over to frisk me. And airline travel and flying is glamorous, right? sure. But Ive also actually been scanned too. Both creep me out!! Gah!!

  3. **SAFE TRAVELS AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOUR ARUBA POSTS!!!** (< – – this is me being very very excited for you!!).
    jennifer weiner – my favourite beach-read author. hope you like that one! (i think i actually read it in aruba, too!).
    great use of nooks and crannies with your packing. i do the same: fit it in where possible. i think you win the "greatest random assortment of goods in a suitcase" award!

  4. Safe travels and have an absolutely wonderful time. Take loks of pictures so we can vicariously live your vacation! Haaha. But seriously, thanks for taking the time to blog on your vacation…we will be looking forawrd to it. :)

  5. Safe travels!!! haha I have so much fun with airport security people with all the food I pack for my flights. They always look at me like I’m NUTS! But seriously I am not paying $12 for half a sandwich — no way. Especially on those all-day, three-layover deals.

  6. I totally do the packing so we dont’ forget anything, plus food! haha. Oh I am so happy for you to get away. Enjoy some “sex on the beach” beverages. And please, send some tan my way!

  7. I love the feeling of anticipation before a trip! It actually gives me all the motivation to pack. The worst is unpacking. But you won’t have to worry about that for awhile. :)

  8. My suitcase is most definitely a hodge podge!! Yours looks neat compared to mine most of the time! I am so excited for you to go to Aruba, pack me in your suitcase?! I promise I’ll fit:)

  9. Averie! I hope you and the family have a safe flight to Aruba! So lucky! Please have one of those yummy and fruity drinks for me while you are there!!!!!

    The brownies look so good! How nice you made those for the bake sale!

    Have a great day!!! xoxo <3

  10. I make the lists and I start packing. But Jason tends to go back behind me and repack. It’s kind of annoying. But he really is the better packer. Not sure how he does it, but he can squeeze everything in there and make it look like there’s still room. Problem occurs if he packs my bag but isn’t going with me. I never can seem to get it all back in there (same amount of stuff mind you). I guess I can’t be perfect always ;-)

  11. Exciting! You totally deserve this trip! Kevin and I both do our own packing. Kevin doesn’t let me touch his…. he uses large ziploc bags for each of his types of clothes – shirts, pants, hats, etc. Then sucks all the air out of the bag. It keeps things so organized… but way too organized for me! He goes on a bunch of business trips every year and has limited space, so he’s had to get creative. It works for him!

  12. My suitcase is always put together at the last minute, but it’s totally organized. I keep everything together so that I know where to look for certain items!! I’ve done my own packing as long as I can remember. Even as a toddler, I’m betting my dad put together my suitcase. My mom is usually up all night before a trip, trying to pack!

  13. Congrats to the winners! I hope you have safe travels. So jealous of your trip, but it’s making me look forward to mine – I leave in 2 months!

  14. I most definitely pack for everyone and my husband just shows up! And he wonders why I’m so exhausted before we even head out the door…
    Have an amazing trip. Aruba is at the top of my must-see-someday list!

  15. You’re leaving San Diego tonight, and I’ll get there tomorrow morning. Could we have planned this any worse if we’d tried?!

    I’m a very light packer; all I ever bring with me is a carry-on piece of luggage; no check-in. Extra pair of pants and shoes, some t-shirts, underwear and bare-bones toiletries and I’m good to go.
    I don’t have to pack Trader Joe’s goodies with me, since I can go shopping at yours!

  16. Yay! I like having easy to cary bottles for my water! As for packing, I’m neat on the way there and then messy on the way back. I pack for me and the boys, while Tony packs for himself. I normally do a huge wash and fold session and then pack from that. We haven’t taken a trip to anywhere with drastic temperature differences from what we are experiencing at the time, so we normally just need our clothes that are already in rotation.

  17. I pack like a madwoman. I take everything-I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. After we get back we head straight to NJ for my brother’s med school graduation so I have to pack for that too! Packing for a baby is a whole new ball game. Looking forward to meeting you!

  18. Have a safe/awesome trip!

    My suitcase is always a hodgepodge because I try to bring everything — I like to be prepared! Although I have never brought a toilet with me :)

    I make lists and then Jason and I pack together.

  19. Sooo excited I won!! Have a fabulous trip, Averie!

  20. Congrats to the winners!

    Oh boy, do I ever pack….EVERY weekend! My husband has a job in one state and our “home” is in another. So we go back “home” every weekend and stay usually 3-4 days. So I do a lot of packing! :)

  21. Loving the two big bags of chocolate chips at the top of the pile! Haha :)

  22. You must be so thrilled to be getting a well deserved break! Packing is stressful so its great you start so early. I am more of a night before kind of girl, but I’m also never packing for 3 and usually its for no longer than a few days. Have a great time!!!

  23. I’m so excited for you hahaha! Enjoy every moment of this vacation, you deserve to relax to the max! :)

  24. Good thing bikinis don’t take up much room!
    I’m a light packer and I usually leave it till the last minute. On our trip to Orlando in Febuary, I packed about two hours before we left for the airport, but that wasn’t procrastination; I seriously didn’t have time to do it until then. I don’t think I take anything too weird…a decent chocolate stash though. You never know when and where you’ll be able to get good chocolate, so I just play it safe.

  25. Tried your cookie dough balls last night and they’re AWESOME – and so much simpler than similar recipes I’ve seen!

    Have a fantastic trip!

  26. I HATE packing, and as much as I HATE packing, I HATE unpacking even more. But, I LOVE to travel, so I guess it’s necessary. I am a packing procrastinater and wait until the last minute. It drives my husband bonkers!
    I love the pic of you and your smiley face with the cocktail (that would make me smile too!), BUT why in the world does the lady in the background have such an unhappy look?? How could you be in a beautiful place like that and have a huge frown?? Just an observation :)

  27. I’m leaving for a trip first in the morning and I haven’t packed yet. But to be fair, that’s because I don’t have a suitcase yet! I have a giant one, but I’m going to save money by not checking any bags, so I need a little one. Gotta live it up on my birthday weekend!

    I like my suitcases ncie and neat. I actually went to a trip to Europe about a decade ago and lived out of my suitcase. We were only in each country for 2-3 days and I didn’t see the point of unpacking everything and having to repack it all!

  28. looking forward to your aruba posts :)you can bake in aruba? your hotel/cottage/rented place/resthouse must be nice :)

  29. Can I just say that I love that you put a magic bullet in a toilet. Awesome.

    I pack like a mad-woman. Moving so many times and flying home and vacationing so much has made me a master conserver of space. Socks get packed into my shoes, toiletries go in empty water bottles…there’s barely any airspace left when I finish.

    You are bringing chocolate chips with you?!? You’ve earned so many cool points for that.

  30. packing chocolate chips… something i would totally do :) have an amazing trip!

  31. Love to see Im not the only one bringing my own chocolate and foods on trips;)
    I really hope you will have a GREAT trip Averie! Sounds like you always have soo much going on in your life- Im sure you need the vacation for once!
    So glad you will keep blogging:)

  32. Happy Friday and have fun in Aruba!! I usually start planning my outfits about a week before the trip, and pack a couple of nights before I leave. And I consider myself a good packer so like you, I utilize as much space as I can!

  33. I bring food with me too. Always double bag it in a zip lock type bag “just in case”.

    We each pack our own suitcases, but I work from a “list” so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked. My list usually gets started about a couple weeks ahead, and my suitcase comes out a week ahead – much to the dismay of the cats. They like to sit on/in it as it fills up.

    Have a great trip!

  34. Lucky you for getting to go on some vacation!! We always pack our own bags…and it’s always the night before or the morning of- haha!

  35. I am a packing minimalist, and so is the hubby. Once we flew to Maine for a wedding in cocktail attire, attended the wedding, and few home the next day in the same clothes so that we wouldn’t have to pack a suitcase. I just grabbed a big purse full of toiletries and 1 pair of clean undies for each of us. (No, we’re not always that minimal, but it’s still a fun example!)

  36. Averie – I just started following your blog again after some time off – I LOVE the new format and style – it looks fantastic. I also wanted to tell you how much I look forward to your posts – it kind of feels like checking in with a friend once a day. Thanks for all the great recipes and information. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful trip.

  37. Travel safe! I definitely laughed out loud when I saw the magic bullet in the potty… A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

  38. Happy Friday and have a great trip! Just got back from a super-busy semi-working trip, and then blogger was down…bet you’re glad you moved to wp! Love the look of your suitcase, so homey and comforting.

    Those brownies look epic.

    Hey, have a great trip!

  39. have a fun trip! the beach looks absolutely beautiful.

    I’m a very neat packer, albeit the packing is done the night before I leave. If we’re going on a family vacation, we all pack our own travel necessities.

  40. I gotta say, I pack a mean suitcase. But then again, I don’t have to pack for anyone else but me. I definitely stuff things into shoes. A half eaten bag of trailmix or my nettie pot–wrapped up in something else functional? Into the sneakers they go!

    Yeah, doncha just love it how men ‘show up’ with a badly packed bag and that’s that? (Rolling eyes).

    I just emailed you about the giveaway. You have no idea how psyched I am that I was one of the winners :-) Thanks, hon!

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  42. Your suitcase contents look more fun than mine ever have!

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  44. My suitcases tend to look like that too.

    1. It’s getting neater, but still a mess. Hubby loaded up on sectional suitcase organizers for our last trip so I have one for workout clothes, shoes, undies, etc.
    2. Mostly me and I keep a pack list on my phone I update a month ahead of time as I think of items we’ll need.

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