Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cupcakes and Cocktails

As soon as we moved into our house, I set the date for our housewarming party. Yes, that sounds crazy but if I didn't give myself a deadline I knew I would slack off and not get things finished in a timely manner. It turned out to be the best idea because once I was pregnant I had zero desire to get anything accomplished, so it was fantastic that I was basically finished by the time I started feeling badly. I wanted to throw a big party for all of our family and friends to be able to come and see our new home, but a big party is such a huge undertaking! I decided that the best approach to keep the party fun yet cost effective was a "Cupcakes and Cocktails" theme. By serving just desserts and drinks, I could keep the party costs down. Also, by starting the party later (8pm) everyone would have time to eat on their own or attend any other events they may have had that evening and still have time to swing by our house later in the evening. It turned out perfectly and I have to say people loved the theme! You can check out my idea board on Pinterest HERE.
I have to give a shout out to all the people who helped me get the party ready. I was either 10 or 11 weeks pregnant and was still feeling exhausted and weak. My "getting ready for the party" consisted of laying around on the couch while my mom and aunt decorated. Without them I don't know what I would have done. Farrah brought SO much food for me and came early to set it all out, and Harriet, who didn't know I was expecting, not only brought my favorite Neiman Marcus Brownies, but also monitored the food table and beverage station and did refills so I could stand by the door and greet my guests. Of course, Forrest was a rock star and got the yard ready throughout the week and helped me in the house too. It was a team effort and I appreciate everyone's help more than they know!
Here are some pics from the evening!
 photo 2F36DB58-CE7E-4B69-894A-D959754E0EC5_zpsfsl03kc7.jpg
In keeping with the sweets theme, I had a candy bar so guests could make their own party favors. The gummy worms were the biggest hit!

 photo C1CD8159-82DE-40EC-AD20-757772F7DCCE_zps72btu2t4.jpg
Cookies by Alison, my favorite cookie gal, made these custom cookies to match my purple and teal invitations.

 photo 2E6B2462-48A6-4935-BA59-E6C28324E88C_zpslaxid9ux.jpg  photo E633B5AF-5F83-41E0-AB62-303096469A68_zpsetfcyisg.jpg
On top of everything else she did for me, my mom was also my florist!

 photo 08433E7C-4521-4725-BDAF-6EC7E7F97A1D_zpskkqmtvxr.jpg
One of my favorite ideas that I found on Pinterest were doughnut hole pops. I had over 100 doughnut holes and I probably had 10 left over.

 photo 6B529682-1203-4DE2-9923-1C843342272B_zpsf6kuthsu.jpg
Farrah's sister Holly made me several dozen cupcakes in wrappers that matched the invitations.

 photo 56492149-3D45-4745-9955-07AEAA154F05_zpsp86u4boj.jpg

My table! I thought it looked lovely and delicious! My menu included:
--doughnut pops
--Neiman Marcus Brownies
--cheesecake bites
--sugar cookies
--Godiva Dip and strawberries
--Yellow Hammers (my cocktail)
--I also had cheese straws and some lemon squares sprinkled around the house

 photo 3D2274C6-D655-49E2-A6D2-50789AEB5766_zpsezbba8lh.jpg

Here I am with the Wilsons, the previous owners of our home! We were thrilled to have them come back and see what we had done to make the house our own, and even more excited that they approved!

Despite the fact that I was exhausted, I pulled it together for the big night and had a fantastic time. I loved squealing as people entered the front door and loved all the excited faces as they saw how hard we worked to make our house a home. Thanks again to everyone who helped make it all possible!

Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Friday, September 26, 2014

We are tickled....

 photo B922B79B-3F7D-4CDB-88C8-8A6EDBCC1C6C_zpshvg89nj7.jpg  photo 797A249E-3CC1-4BF7-8309-D7F5AB17F9C8_zpsfmwjwzxc.jpg

PINK!!! It's a girl!!! I have to admit I am still in shock. Forrest's family only has boys, and he was convinced it was a boy, so I just believed him! When the ultrasound tech said it was a girl, I literally told her to look again. I just hadn't been expecting it so I was beyond surprised, but of course thrilled!! I'm such a girlie girl so I'm so ready for bows and glitter! I'm hoping she gets some of Forrest's height and athletic ability. Honestly, I'm so nervous that now that I'm over the moon about a girl, I'm going to go to the doctor and they are going to say "oops--it's a boy". Not that a boy wouldn't be fantastic, but now that I'm dreaming in pink, it would be hard to switch gears. I have heard so many stories of people being told they were having a girl and then it turned out to be a boy that I'm a little paranoid. But oh my gosh, a girl!!!! I'll talk about our "reveal day" next week but for now here are some stats:
 photo 5BF92DDE-2A7C-4E7B-907E-0446E3CA5E1D_zps89losb3e.jpg
16 weeks and heading out to a party--baby girl loved getting dressed up (and Mommy loved being able to still fit into her dress!)

Total Weight Gain: 5 lbs 

Gender: GIRL!!!!!

Maternity Clothes? It's getting to be about that time. I'm happy it's getting cooler and I am able to wear tunics and leggings--that makes everything easier! I have had several friends gift me maternity wear and one of my weekend goals is to organize it all. 

Stretch Marks? Not yet, hooray!

Sleep: I was unable to sleep the night before the ultrasound, then I couldn't sleep the night after it, and this morning I woke up at the crack of dawn thinking about all the things I need to buy. Needless to say I'm glad Bama has an off weekend because I need one too!

Movement: Not yet. It's weird to see HER on the ultrasound move and not be able to feel it. 

Food Cravings: I'm still on sandwiches. Nothing thrills me quite like going to Quiznos and reading the menu board. I also am wanting veggies a lot too. 

Food Aversions: Ick, still nuts. But I don't mind them when smothered in chocolate or ice cream!

Symptoms:  Nothing really new to report. I've been telling people that my latest symptom/craving is 19 Kids and Counting. One of the daughters got married and is pregnant now and due right after me in March and so now I'm hooked on their show. I can't get enough!

Belly Button In or Out? In, please stay that way!

Wedding Rings On or Off? On. I haven't noticed any swelling yet, other than in my feet every now and then but that's normal after wearing heels all day to work anyway, so I don't think it's pregnancy related. 

Miss Anything? Shaking my tail feather! Ha! It feels so weird to dance right now. Of course the weight in my belly is different and so when I'm grooving to the music, it feels weird! I don't notice it so much in my ballet class, but it definitely gives me pause when dancing in the stadium to the hype music, or with girlfriends at a party! Last night I was at an all women's fundraiser with some friends and we got up to "wobble" and I started to worry that it wasn't really a good example for my little girl for me to be shaking it! I know that's silly because she doesn't know what's going on and she probably actually likes the movement, but the extra weight in my belly when I move makes it hard to ignore those crazy ideas!

Best Moment This Week: Finding out we were having a girl and getting to announce to all of our friends! It was also so special to share that moment with Forrest. When we left the ultrasound room we met some people in the hall and they told us bye and he replied "It's a GIRL!". Yes, to strangers. Then he told me not to freak out and spend all our money on pink this week, but that his baby girl could have whatever she wanted. It made me melt. I know he will be a wonderful girl daddy even if he came from a family full of boys! 

Looking Forward To: Getting immersed in pink!! Now that we know it's a girl (barring some sort of disaster by the tech, but we made her promise it was a girl) I get to start planning her nursery and registry! SO MUCH FUN! As Forrest says, planning is my "wheelhouse", so I can't wait to get started!! Any ideas and tips would be MOST appreciated!! 
Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bump Update

I can't believe I'm already 15 weeks and into the second trimester! Here's the progress we've made so far: 

 photo AA9214DB-494B-46AA-9A32-FC6182667E10_zpsjwlawrbt.jpg  photo D059B66A-6A46-4106-B478-ED2A63E9552E_zpswnnogxry.jpg

Here I am at 15 weeks. The one on the right is a little misleading because I'm wearing a tight shirt and it's night time, when the bump is bigger from a full day of eating and drinking.
Total Weight Gain: 5 lbs 

Gender: We actually got an ultrasound at our 15 week appointment but the little rascal wasn't very cooperative! Hopefully we will find out next week at the ultrasound place. 

Maternity Clothes? I actually wore a borrowed maternity dress to the football game last Saturday. It looked just like a regular dress though. I am at a stage where I feel like people probably think I just have a gut, not a baby, under my dress so I'm a little self conscious about that. 

Stretch Marks? Let's cross our fingers for no!

Sleep: I'm much less exhausted now than I was a few weeks ago, but I generally can always take a nap if I lay down. Also if I have a really long day, then the next day I struggle. I feel much better if I can plug some down time into every day. 

Movement: No, but I'm waiting on it anxiously! 

Food Cravings: I've moved on from salty--now I really want salads and sandwiches! I think about Subway all the time. I know I'm not supposed to eat lunch meat so I just get the veggie sub, foot long, so I can save one half for later when I'm inevitably hungry again. I've gone from want to fill up my starving belly with anything and everything filling to wanting light meals. Seriously it was like a switch was flipped over night. 

Food Aversions: Nuts, still. However smother them in chocolate or bury them in cereal or trail mix and I can handle them much better. 

Symptoms: In the past 2 weeks my symptoms have really let up. I'm not nearly as hungry or tired as I used to be so that's great. I've been having sinus headaches lately but I don't think that's related. They tend to linger because I can't take my usual Advil, so I've had to go home a few times and be in the dark and quiet to feel better.  I have gotten extra thirsty in the past week though. I drink so many glasses of water a day it's ridiculous, and I'm not even forcing myself. I can't get in the car without a bottle of water. 

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? ON

Miss Anything? Not having to worry about myself. For example, Forrest and I went car shopping and to the football game on Saturday. We had to pack a cooler with water and fruit because I knew I'd get hungry and thirsty. I was so worried that I'd get too hot in the game. I was worried that I couldn't make it up the stadium steps (it's hard when you aren't growing another person). I was so worried about feeling bad the next day that we left after the 3rd quarter (granted, if it was a good opponent, I probably would have sucked it up). I know it's silly to worry but at the same time, what I do affects baby and I didn't want to do anything to hurt him or her.

Best Moment This Week: Getting to see our little baby again and finding out that it is still doing great! 

Looking Forward To: Finding out the gender next week! Baby better cooperate!!
Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Baileys do Vegas (Prego edition)

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, Forrest and I decided we better start tearing up the skies and using up our credit card miles before we are home bound for a while. Plus, we didn't want to lose any miles since we worked so hard to accumulate them. Remember how we have been flying for free all over the country (and the world)? If not, HERE is a refresher on how to fly for free on Southwest.
First stop on the agenda for this mama to be was Vegas. Yes, I wanted to go to Vegas, prego. I really just wanted to see Britney Spears and I didn't care what condition I was in. The Pucketts signed up to go with us and off we went. I was really nervous about how I would do on the trip since I was so exhausted but luckily since we'd been to Vegas before, we didn't have to hit it that hard to see what all we wanted to see.

 photo 4E1C098E-9D7E-47AE-B22D-30759C09D179_zpsfoqp3mwd.jpg
Amazing view from our room!

On the first day we at at SW Steakhouse. I had never been to the Wynn or Encore and boy are they beautiful! Just like a fairy land!
   photo CC36DAE1-50C3-4FAC-BF79-B35896A1D337_zpsom3fosma.jpg

 My sister's friend Chelsea, Miss Nevada 2013, hooked us up with a great reservation. Thanks girl!!

 photo 67CFEA20-DF39-4EFD-812F-753E74B94C57_zpsorqkg7se.jpg
At SW they have these little shows every few minutes. The singing frog was particularly precious, yet creepy.

 photo 4C43ED82-B9F0-47F5-B485-906142C03783_zpshyoptkkn.jpg
That is a slice of bacon on my salad...

 photo 5AF42B6D-56DF-4A98-942B-456468CDD48B_zpseoqildc6.jpg
Boom--those are funnel cakes. We weren't even hungry for dessert but we powered through to get a taste of these bad boys. We walked all the way back to the Vdara as punishment, so it was totally worth it.

On Sunday after church we had brunch at Mon Ami Gabi. I felt so fancy having my little Pepsi in a wine glass overlooking the Belagio fountains from the patio!
   photo D37801E9-A3A3-4201-A392-47137C1BBEAD_zpslg5l2qmt.jpg
My sad little half full wineglass of Pepsi. Every time I told a waiter I was pregnant, they immediately offered to bring my drink in a "fun glass", like I was 8. I always said yes...
   photo 77DE11F3-3FF6-4AC1-A616-E931A7057BE0_zps64xfjyir.jpg

Boys brunching

 I spent the rest of the afternoon at the spa---ahhhh! You know I'm great at spas and turns out, so is baby!!

 That night we ate at Koi--cooked sushi for the prego, please!!  photo 2AE00E9D-13DB-4C17-93BD-7913E75336D9_zpsocg6e1hy.jpg

This sushi was on their specials list that night and was incredible. I think it was the sunfire roll? Mango, avocado, cooked crab, and some sort of sauce. Heaven! I had been nervous to eat sushi, even cooked sushi, but I got over it!

   photo AA023F90-FFA5-4014-9C18-C07154B74CDA_zpsohfqhme9.jpg
Hip hip hooray for this sundae!

Then it was on to the main event--Britney! Her shows was phenomenal and so over the top. Very Vegas. Even Forrest enjoyed himself--he kept saying "She's still got it!!" The people watching was out of this world as well!  photo B80BF94B-F74B-4CA7-992E-F04AF946F7C0_zpst9vy9yze.jpg
Acting 17 again with my husband--we actually were dating when he was 17!
   photo d39bdfb1-6394-4266-bb55-7a671a5480dd_zps1047e3ed.png
I may or may not have told this guy he was my spirit animal. He may or may not have known all the dance moves from the video.

 On Monday I chilled in a cabana at the pool while everyone else did their own thing. It was nice to relax. Turns out baby is good at pooling too! I met some girls from Scotland that in a very sitcom-y way made me tell them what I called different things. It was fun. I did learn that they have a Krispy Kreme in Scotland, so I felt proud to be an American! :)  photo AB0700B1-B5C8-4638-947C-30911ED163F2_zpsktrsqvzv.jpg

 That night Chelsea got us reservations to MIX, which is atop the Mandalay Bay. Our dinner was fantastic but the views were out of this world! If I hadn't been so tired I would have wanted to stay in the bar overlooking the strip all night!!
   photo 831A8C27-E9B6-444D-97A6-66EE01E5C6ED_zpsjjuosi7k.jpg

All too quickly, the extra long weekend was over and we were hugging the Puckett's goodbye and jumping on the plane. Until next time Vegas!!
Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Friday, September 5, 2014

I'm Delighted to Announce...

that we have a new Bama fan on the way!!

 photo 9F227FF0-5579-4D7A-8372-0E53ED5942A7_zpsl4gz3b32.jpg
 Baby Bailey is due March 2015!!

I cannot tell you how humbled I was by the outpouring of love and support we received after we announced our news on Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday. I know that sounds really silly but it's true! We had so many sweet comments and texts, phone calls and messages that it was overwhelming. Our baby is already loved by so many, and that makes me so happy!!

If you've noticed that I've been an absent blogger, it's because I've been asleep for the months of July and August. Baby Bailey is growing like a weed in there and that means it's stealing all of my energy. I've been taking naps on my lunch hour or leaving work early for nearly 8 weeks because I can't seem to make it through an entire day. Of course, I'm so lucky to have a job that's flexible enough to let me do that! Since I usually do my blogging during my down time and work, and since during my downtime I've been sleeping, I haven't had time to blog! That made me really sad because I love this blog and have had so many fun things to talk about (housewarming party, Vegas trip, etc!), but I just haven't had the energy. I know I have to understand that my life is changed forever now, but it's hard to let go of my old ways!
I have stolen this little survey from my friend Lauren's blog. I don't know how comfortable I feel talking about pregnancy stuff yet, but I guess we shall see over time. I like this survey though because it's a great way for me to keep up with my pregnancy without being overly detailed. So here goes:

How Far Along? 13 weeks--baby is the size of a peach!

 photo 21d45d02-60fe-4a2e-a6bb-6ec9ddb08057_zpsf050b808.jpg  photo 3A35F1AF-944B-4C61-85A3-92022A5B8E66_zpsmjlpj6x9.jpg
12 weeks v. 13 weeks (you can see a kitty hiding in the 12 weeks pic)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my 11 week appointment I had gained 2 lbs. I might be up another by now!

Gender: I have no feeling either way. Forrest and my sister are convinced it's a boy. The heart rate was fast, which suggests girl and the Chinese calendar said girl too. The ring test was boy and I haven't had morning sickness, which people say is boy, but I know lots of boy moms who were sick and girl moms who weren't, so who knows! I will find out in 3 weeks!

Maternity Clothes? Not exactly. I had to buy some new work dresses because my work clothes are very tailored and were SO uncomfortable already.  Luckily most clothes these days are flowy so I can hopefully just keep buying my regular size in regular clothes to save money. I don't like anything fitting across my tummy at all, so I've given up on wearing pants (except yoga pants!) and I refuse to wear my Nike shorts any more. I'm hoping I can get away with leggings under long tops for the fall and winter! Some sweet friends have already given me some great maternity stuff so when I absolutely have to break down and wear some, I'll be ready!

Stretch Marks? Let's cross our fingers for no!

Sleep: I sleep all the time. I'm so exhausted. It doesn't matter if I take a nap at 5pm, because I can still go to sleep at regular bed time. I sleep pretty well throughout the night as of now too. I used to wake up and have to eat, but now I can at least make it throughout the night.

Movement: No, but I'm waiting on it anxiously! My mom felt me really early and the Dr. said I might too since I'm little, but who knows. I don't think I should really worry about it until around 20 weeks.

Food Cravings: SALTY!! I want Lays plain potato chips and Barbers party dip at all times. I could eat that all day long. It's weird because I was a pretty healthy eater before and now all I want is salty, fatty, fried food. I also have had to break my rules and allow Ranch dressing back into my life because the baby wants it (my sister says that's just me), and it also wants Coke! I haven't had a Coke since I was a freshman in college (circa 2002!). I know I'm not supposed to drink caffeine and that really easy for me except whenever there is Coke I absolutely have to have a few sips! It's so weird! My very first craving was Taco Bell, something else I haven't eaten in years. This is one crazy baby!!

Food Aversions: Nuts! So weird, because I love nuts. I can eat peanuts but anything else requires me to choke them down. I even covered some nuts in French Onion dip and it didn't help. I think it's the chalky texture? Also I feel a little weird about eating fish. Of course, these foods are both high in DHA, something necessary for baby's brain, so I'm hoping the aversions go away soon and that in the mean time, my vitamin is doing its job.

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, hunger every 2 hours, weepiness. I can cry about anything right now! The hunger thing is much better than morning sickness, but I have to eat every few hours or I start to feel terrible. Overall during my first trimester I just felt generally crappy, but hopefully that will stop soon. I felt so good yesterday that I went to the gym for the first time in weeks!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? ON

Miss Anything? I know that you aren't exactly in control of your life when you have a baby, but I didn't realize how out of control I would be during pregnancy. I can't control when I eat, when I sleep, and what I do any more. I haven't been to the gym or running in about 8 weeks because I've been too tired. I hardly cook; the grocery store makes me cry, and I have to take a break between showering and drying my hair because I get too tired. I just miss feeling like I have everything together and that I'm in control, but I guess I better get use to being a mess for a while!

Best Moment This Week: Sharing our news with the world, actually making it to the gym, watching the 13 weeks videos with Forrest, and finding out about a few new babies on the way to some of our friends!

Looking Forward To: Perking up in the 2nd trimester and finding out the gender!

Well, that's it in a nutshell I suppose! Thank you all for your support and hopefully as I feel better, the posts will be much more frequent!

Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Get ready to tailgate!

Who is ready for football season? Anyone? Anyone? Well you all know I am. I have been counting down the days until college football kicks off since the last down of the last game on January 6. The start of the college football season means so much for us--Saturdays spent in front of the TV or with 101,000 of our best friends cheering on the Tide, spending time with friends who live out of town while we are on our football travels, and of course, tailgating. Recently, I got to try out the Gourmet Grillware Deep Dish Sizzler. Not only can you grill in this dish, but you can also serve in it. It's very versatile and easy to clean, although you can't put it in the dishwasher. You can put it just about anywhere else though! It goes from grill to oven to fridge to freezer to tabletop! I think it will be the perfect tailgate accessory this fall! Forrest and I tried this baby out one Saturday night. We grilled burgers on the grill and used the deep dish sizzler to grill up some fresh veggies from Chip and Lucy's garden. After the burgers were grilled, we put them into the sizzler to keep them warm. You have to make sure it isn't hot enough to continue cooking your meat, but if you can do that, it really does a great job of keeping everything warm. No one likes cold burgers before the football game!!

 photo C8BAF7E8-3FE8-4D69-868B-482567B0BD77_zpsxlscnr1l.jpg

Delicious dinner in the Deep Dish Sizzler

 photo EF54CC1C-40D6-4E2F-8550-A865A1E60907_zpsnaqxms1d.jpg

Here is my mom's recipe for her amazingly delicious burgers--perfect for tailgating:
per 1 lb of hamburger or turkey meat
1 egg salt pepper garlic powder
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
 Put the meat in a big bowl (don't chop it up yet). Add the egg on top. Then salt, pepper, and garlic powder the meat. I do this by eye--just cover it until you feel it is enough (then add an extra dash for good measure). Pour in the cheese and bread crumbs. Again, I usually eye ball this, so you can just pour from the can instead of measuring. I usually go heavier on the cheese and lighter on the crumbs--just do what you like! Now chop up the meat and stir it all together. You may decide to add more seasoning as you go!

I really did enjoy this product and will most definitely use it again. Although I did receive it for free in exchange for my review, my words and opinions are all my own!

Now YOU have the change to win $300 worth of Gourmet Grillware products. Just enter the giveaway below! Happy tailgating!!!


Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What to Pack for the Lares Trek

Remember when I went to Peru, like ages ago? Ok so more like March, but still. I wanted to be a prepared as possible for the trip, but I really had a hard time finding information about my exact trek. Most people do the Inca trail but it is longer and a little different than the Lares. My biggest concern, though, was what to pack. Luckily the info on the Inca trail translated well to the Lares, but I'd like to put this out there for anyone interested in this 3 day trek as opposed to the 4 day Lares. My friends Carly and Adam are about to do an even longer trek and their impending trip motivated me to get this post together!

 photo SAM_7585_zps69b04061.jpg

Here are my tips for packing for the Lares Trek....

1. Pack light but pack right. Remember you have to carry all of your crap with you like a turtle so you want to bring as little as possible but you want to make sure you have the things you need.
2. Abuse the extra bag they give you--Many trek companies will give you a duffel bag to fill with things you don't need immediately--those things you will keep in your day pack. Abuse the heck out of that bag. A very able bodied horse or donkey will be carrying it so you don't have to worry.
3. Choose a small day pack that is light weight. If I had to do it over again, Forrest and I would have just had one back pack and we would have shared it. Our packs were perfect sizes and light, but we really didn't need to both be carrying a backpack since we had expertly utilized the duffel.

I packed everything in individual ziploc bags that were labeled. This was to make sure everything stayed dry and organized on the trip. I have to say it was really wise...

What to pack in your day pack:
1. Snack bag--before we left I bought individual bags of trail mix and lots of luna and cliff bars. I divided them up and made each of us a "snack bag". You don't need the whole snack bag in your day pack, maybe just one of each snack. Your trek company will probably provide you with a daily snack so you will have plenty to eat.
2. Potty bag--Goes without saying. Our potty bags had those little packs of tissue (much easier than rolls of toilet paper), wet wipes and hand sanitizer (if I over did anything on the trip it was the hand sanitizer, but I think that was ok).
3. Water--coming from the idiot that didn't realize they were boiling stream water for us to drink, you would think I wasn't really worried about water, but I totally was. Forrest and I each had a Camel Bak reservoir in our back packs that we filled with bottled water. We had people along the trail selling drinks and snacks so we took advantage of the bottled water. I think our were 2 liters each. You will need it!!
4. Rain gear--nothing is worse than getting wet. We had rain jackets (that were insulated so they were also great for cold) and ponchos, just to be safe. Also, make sure you have a rain covering for your back pack.
5. Other necessary items: chap stick, sun screen, sun glasses, warm gloves, scarf, bug spray, hand sanitizer. Have these handy in your pack because the horses may go another way than you and you might need them. We went from freezing cold to burning hot all in one day so be prepared!!
6. Camera/iphone--you won't get service but I wanted to be able to upload pics as soon as I hit a wifi area so I had both my point and shoot and my phone. The phone was also great for setting alarms and some people used an app that calculated our elevation and how far we walked. I wish I had used one too!

In your duffel...
1. Changes of clothes-I'm sorry but I couldn't deal with feeling nasty so I had a clean pair of socks and undies for each day. I had 2 pair of yoga pants, 2 work out tops with built in sports bras (that saved me from having to pack bras!), and so I just rotated the tops and pants. For night time I had an extra pair of fleece lined leggings (amazing), a long sleeved tshirt, wool socks, and a sweat shirt. I ended up sleeping in my clothes for the next day topped with the pjs--it was that cold. Oh and I also slept in my jacket, scarf and fleece headband. Yikes. I had each day's clothes in individual ziplocs and then a PJ bag. I didn't bring an extra pair of shoes but if it has been warmer it might have been nice to have some flip flops to wander around in once we were at camp.
2. Sleeping bag--You must have a mummy sleeping bag! Find one that is compact and light weight but rated for lower temps than you will experience.
3. Pillow--A good night's sleep is essential!! All I had was a airplane neck pillow and rolled up clothes and that didnt cut it. Just find a small travel pillow or one that inflates.. Trust me, it's woorth it!!
4. Sleeping mat--Let's get this straight--I don't care how big it is or how much room it takes up! I would have gladly toted a twin sized mattress up that mountain if it was the only option. Our "mats" were hard rubber that were literally terrible. If the ground hadn't been so cold I would have scrapped the mat and just slept on the ground because it was softer. The mat was so hard I got bruises on my hip bones. I'm a side sleeper and I had to sleep with my gloves in my pockets to try to put a little cushion between my hip bones and the mat! You can rent mats when you get there and I promise you I would have spent all my money on one if I had known how bad ours were before hand.
5. Toiletries: I perhaps over did it slightly on the toiletries but I am nothing if I'm not prepared. I had small bottles of my  face medicines, moisturizers, and face creams. I wasn't about to get grody skin just because I was being outdoorsy. I also had my tweezers and a little compact--I mean, eye brows don't stop growing while hiking!! I also had a pack of wet wipes for bathing and those facial cleansing cloths for my face. I had my full sized brush (my hair is too long be to be tamed by those travel size brushes but I kept it in a high pony the entire time), hair spray, and dry shampoo. My hair was surprisingly descent looking when it was all said and done and I think it's because the hair spray and dry shampoo dried it out. Oh and of course, I had deodorant. OH and a disposable razor...
6. Meds-We had prescriptions for Diamox for altitude sickness and Cipro for any tummy infections, but we both hated the diamox and never took the Cipro. I'm glad we had it just in case though. I also had Advil, Advil PM (Forrest would say this is the number 1 thing to pack), Pepto to Go, Band aids, and Neosporin. Allergy meds might be a good idea too.
7. Extras--I highly recommend ear plugs and an eye mask. You will sleep by water and it is LOUD! Also the sun comes up really early and so the mask will keep you asleep.

 photo 933A8FFB-DBF8-4A31-A8F6-14C8316F6F19_zps6nhjqekl.jpg

SHOES--I didn't pack these of course because I was always wearing them. I had Salomons and I loved them. I got them a 1/2 a size too big and that was great because my Darn Tough socks were really thick, plus your feet will swell AND when you are going down hill you don't want your toes cramming into the front of your shoes. Mine were not water proof because the guy at the store told me that Gore-tex made your feet sweat and that is NOT something you want to deal with. They are pretty water resistant so I was fine even when it rained a little and when we walked through wet areas. Also mine were just trail shoes, not boots, because my feet aren't used to big hiking boots, plus the boots were HEAVY! Think light!!

 photo 1F77A8C3-8BC1-4A33-B885-51DD841CD6FD_zpsnfffi5gs.jpg

Other things to consider:
1. I had my nails done with gel polish before I left. That sounds prissy but I didn't want to worry with picking them, filing them, or anything like that and gel tends to keep them pretty sturdy. I think I did have a file and clippers in my toiletry bag though.
2. I used Frizz Ease 3 day straight spray in my hair right before we hiked in efforts to keep my hair tangle free and less of a disaster. It was fantastic.
3. I brought a fleece headband instead of a hat. It kept my hair back and my ears warm and then I used my hood if I got really cold. I thought it worked pretty well.
4. All of your hiking clothes need to be dry-fit material. Socks, clothes, undies, everything. You don't want to hike in ANYTHING cotton because even though you may get cold you will sweat and you don't want to carry that water on yourself because you will a) stink and b) freeze.

 photo DB4AE822-2889-4640-94FC-4BC194480931_zpsk3godeno.jpg

Ok--I'm sure I forgot several things so if you are going to do the Lares Trek, just message me. Hopefully by putting this out there I can help others who are on their way!!

Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter
Blogging tips