What Happened on Halloween + Nanowrimo???

My kids are relatively small and this trick or treating thing is new to me but year after year I get better. After school, the two year old and I picked up the four year old and off we went. Initially I was spazzing out about trick or treating for the first time on my own with both kids, because the younger is a runner. Thankfully, we met up with the parents of a classmate and they were a big help. Also, did I mention I had to keep the younger strapped into the stroller the whole time?👌🏽

So we started early, before the big kids came out and started shoving everyone away and throwing eggs I heard(witnessed the aftermath in front of the school this morning). This started when we were on our way back. I’d say we did pretty darn good, escaped the crowd in the nick of time with our bags full of goodies. But then…we saw that someone had gotten knocked over in the street and it cut our trick or treat short by two blocks. After that, I just said let’s go home. I don’t think it was serious but at the same time the mother bear in me kicked in and also my best friend paranoia showed up. I’m always so nervous handling both kids without the hubby in public. Maybe it’s the umpteen horror flicks I’ve consumed since childhood or maybe I’m just too darn panicky. Anyway, the kids had a blast in their Moana(4yr old) and Witch(2yr old) costumes and we can’t wait for next Halloween.

It’s still November 1st, although very late and it’s the first day of Nanowrimo(National Novel Writing Month). Ever since I first heard about Nanowrimo, I’ve been excited about doing it but last year my youngest was a baby and this year, well, she’s a toddler. I’d love to say 24 hrs in a day is enough and I should try harder but I know myself and my hectic schedule. Despite writing daily, I’m not sure I can make a Nanowrimo commitment and I’d hate to start it then not finish in time. 

How was your Halloween and what are you reading??? I’m always nosy about that🤣 📖 

Xo Kat

Back to School Haul|Pottery Barn Kids|Lunch Essentials


My four year old will be entering Pre-K for the 2017-2018 school year as she didn’t meet the cut off age for Kindergarten. Can’t say I’m not bummed about that because I’ve been teaching her basic math, and reading. I hate to think she’ll be kept back a year but it’s completely out of my hands. 

As Pre-K didn’t require much except the basics like hand soap, paper towels, wipes etc. I thought I’d do a review on our backpack and lunch items and why we had to buy so many different containers. 

If you don’t know this already, I am a bit obsessed with Pottery Barn Kids because of it’s durability. I feel like with PBK kids gear, I don’t have to buy backpacks and lunch totes yearly. From reviews, I’ve seen other moms talk about their kids using them for years. The price point for this kind of quality is not bad at all. I also like the backpack size which fits a preschooler perfectly without swallowing their tiny frame. So that was also a plus. 

Now that you know what I like about PBK backpack and lunch tote, here’s what I don’t like. The backpack is fine for now as she doesn’t need to take much stuff, a change of clothes and a folder maybe. But we’ll definitely have to upgrade once she hits grade 1, or even next year depending on the supplies she has to take to school. 

Let’s talk about the lunch tote and why you see two of them in the picture with a crap load of containers. PBK has a variety of different lunch totes but we went with the classic because my daughter doesn’t eat much. That being said, although you can’t go wrong with the quality, not many containers fit in there with other items such as a smaller container or juice box/water bottle. You’ll definitely want to purchase a bigger size tote for an older kid. The second lunch box is just a thermos brand one from Target. I randomly choose the largest sized one for when we send a food jar and a container. 

Here’s the price breakdown of what you see in the picture. I also did not pay full price for the PBK backpack and lunch items so I got a pretty good deal there. 

PBK backpack. These originally go for $39.99. Whoa! I know that’s a lot but with the coupon I had, I got it for $19. Sign up for their newsletter to get notifications on good deals. 

PBK Lunch Tote. Originally $20 but I got ours for $11.

Thermos Lunch Tote. $8.99 at Target.

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox. These are so cool. The containers clip onto the ice pack. Perfect size for small eaters. $8 on Amazon. 

PBK Food Jar. Orginally $18 but I payed $10 for ours which was cheaper than the thermos brand one so we went with that. 

Aladdin Food Jar. This is not a steel food jar like the thermos and pottery barn one. It’s made of plastic and keeps food hot for a lesser time. However, my daughter requested this and because I didn’t get her a trolls character backpack, I caved. The wide opening is perfect for soups and it seems durable enough to last us for years. $10 at Target. 

PBK double compartment container. This one I really like because there’s an ice pack that fits in the lid. Will be great for a little lunchable type situation. Originally $12.50 but I payed $8 for it on sale. 

PBK utensil set. Originally $8.50, paid $5 on sale. It’s a fork and spoon with a little holder. I thought it was practical and at five bucks, why not? 

PBK ice pack. That little horse you see in the picture is actually an ice pack. It came with another one in the shape of a peace sign. I ordered a couple of those some time back because they were .99 cents a pair. Originally $8.

Thermos Water Bottle. $15 at Target. 

Camel Bak Water Bottle. These are $13 each. I bought two at Babies R Us during a buy one half off sale. 

I would like to insert a disclaimer here. This is not a sponsored post. All items were purchased by me and reviewed truthfully for my fellow moms who are looking for deals and ideas. 

Hope this provided you with some options for your little one’s upcoming academic year.

Xo Kat

How We Live On One Income

“Simple living is smart living.”

When my husband and I decided that it was better for me to become a stay-at-home mom, we were definitely aware of the pros and the cons. One of the main cons being that we were about to survive on one income. My husband is not a surgeon or anything so we had to put a lot of thinking and planning into how this was going to work. It’s been a little over four years that we’ve been living on just one income which fluctuates because of the nature of his job and it’s been a roller coaster ride. Managing finances when you don’t have a lot of extras is a challenging task. Here’s some pointers that we’ve been implementing so far:-

Budgeting. Control how you spend you money by creating a budget chart. List all of your expenses such as food shopping, clothing, bills and miscellaneous activities along with your projected savings amount. When you subtract the total from your income and have a little left, it means you’re well within your budget.

Spend money that you have. Try your best not to use too much credit, only in cases of emergencies and when you know you can pay it off.

Spend wisely. Focus on your needs and not your wants. A purse from Target works just as well as those three hundred dollar purses.

Cook at home. Of course we still eat out but we save money by eating at home more often than not. Sometimes we cook a large meal that lasts us two days as we’re not big eaters and it helps the food budget.

Sales and coupons. Always look for bargains. I rarely ever pay full price for an item. I shop sales, and whenever I get coupons in the mail or in a store, I take advantage of that.

Recycle toys and clothes. A little trick that I do is rotate toys. What this means is I put some in storage and I leave some out. When my kids get bored of the ones they play with all the time, I swap them out. Also when you have multiple kids, let them use their siblings’ hand me down clothes and toys.

Buy things in advance. When you have small children, you usually have to do a clothing haul a few times a year because they’re growing very rapidly. Instead of waiting at the last minute to dish out three or four hundred dollars, buy in small quantities whenever there’s a sale and save it up for when they need it. I even buy clearance and keep it until the next season.

Live without. You’d be surprised at the things you can give up. Unnecessary things and outtings that you don’t have to have or do. Don’t look at someone else’s life and think you need to live it. Live within your means and stick to your budget.

xo Coffee Doll