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

It’s Not Easy Putting On A Face

I’m sure it’s very familiar to hear us wives and mothers are always complaining when we really have nothing to complain about. Sure, the other person has it harder, working and supporting kids alone, or their husbands have hurt them beyond repair and they can’t go on.

Okay, fine. I get all of that. But everyone’s lives are different and we all have our limit buttons and capacities at which we can handle things.

Emotionally, us women are often not okay. Put all the bias aside, this is a post about women in general and how we deal with things, whether we are wives, mothers, girlfriends, sisters. 

Often we have to be strong, holding together everything and we get caught up in that heroism, that we often forget ourselves. It’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re always tending to everyone around you. And when you neglect yourself, you start loathing things about your life. You may even tend to overlook some of the beautiful parts of it.

That’s why it’s important not to lose one self amidst everyone and everything. That feeling of suffocation, suppressing what you really feel can damage who you are. Believe me, we learn to hide things, put on a face for the world and beneath it all, we are broken and shattered. 

When this builds up inside of you, part of you dies. You don’t even have the will to be happy anymore, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You just go through the motions of everyday life like a robot without a purpose.

I myself, have fallen prey to this many times and I often lash out. I snap at the smallest things, I get depressed very quickly. I feel like I’m sinking and there’s no way out. I begin to self-loathe and blame myself for the crappy way I feel inside. My hurt and disappointment is my own fault.

Let me share with you something that has worked for me. Us humans will never feel perfect 24/7, it’s just how we’re programmed but simple things can enhance the way you feel about your life.

Firstly, you need to look after you. Yes, spend some time pampering yourself, indulging in something you enjoy. Take a cooking class, get a manicure, go watch a movie, hang out with girlfriends. Just partake in something that causes you small bursts of happiness and you’ll see results in your everyday life. When you look after you as an individual person, really look into your heart and know yourself, then you are able to take care of everyone and everything around you.

The kids will seem less annoying, your petty fights with your husband or family members will seem like nonsense. There really is a certain kind of power that comes with making yourself happy so choose happy 🙂

xo Kat
email me @ for questions.

Raising Your Brats

When I was a new parent I would look at a lot of videos and do a lot of research into being the “perfect” parent. When you’re becoming a parent for the first time, people all around you will have something to share whether you want to hear it or not. After having kids, every parent thinks they’re an expert. As a new parent you will be very confused and feel incompetent mostly. Being responsible for another human, shaping the way they speak and think in the initial years is frightening. For the first two weeks of my first daughter’s life I was really worried. I felt like a failure. Here I am holding this perfect baby, I myself am not perfect so how am I supposed to raise her right?

Let me blatantly tell you from upfront…every child is different. Whatever works for someone else’s child may not work for yours. Their eating habits will be different, interests in activities will be different as well as disciplinary methods. You should enter parenting without taking others too seriously, take what they’re saying with a grain of salt. If you focus on them and their children too much, you may end up thinking there is something wrong with your child by the way she or he is responding to things. I myself am a victim of that. My first daughter walked at 18 months, she was simply just scared of falling down. Many people made me think it was my fault, maybe I didn’t do something I was supposed to, maybe something is wrong with my delayed child. 

The key is understanding your children and accepting their diverse personalities. My daughter started coming into her own at around two years old, not eating, wanting too much cartoons or candy etc. She is a few weeks shy of three and has been very challenging these past few months. I am always reinventing ways and methods to deal with her carefully. Parenting in my childhood was like a dictatorship and I would not like to repeat that with my children. Comparing your children to other people’s children is a recipe for disaster. I can speak from experience. Way into adulthood, married with two children and I still have issues with not being good enough in my parents’ eyes. 

Below I will share and discuss some things that I have observed or found helpful in being a parent.

Setting an example for your children. I think this is one of the first things that shapes children. They mimic everything we do, the way we hold a spoon, they way we speak, our manners, the way we do our hair etc. This means that they will also mimic the negative behaviors around them. They are always listening and paying attention. You may think they’re too young and don’t know what’s going on but they do and one day, they might surprise you with that negativity in public.

Knowing Your Child.  Like I was saying above, each child is different and responds to things differently. Some may be faster or slower, it is important not to compare. You will only find things wrong with your child. They are just like us, each with a different personality and mindset. Understand your child’s personality and what his or her interests are and encourage them to excel at it. For example, my daughter likes pretend play and building things. While I hate my house looking like a toy store, it’s better to encourage her interests and creativity than forcing something else on her. She is happy, I am happy. 

Too Much Affection.  Is there something as too much of this??? I don’t think so. Some people get confused between giving a child too much love and turning them into a spoiled brat. You create a brat by letting them feel like they are always entitled to their own way and having or doing whatever they want. You child needs as much affection as possible.

Getting Involved. A lot of us are just great providers for our children and that is not equivalent to great parenting. Children need attention from their parents. My daughter is constantly doing things to gain my approval and if she is ignored, her faces drops so low. They like when we express our appreciation. They need to know we are proud of them and we need to show it. The day you become a parent, you have to work your priorities around your child. Be there both physically and mentally.

Give them independence. No, I’m not going crazy. I know there is a limit to how much freedom we should give small children but you have to let them participate in their own lives. Children get tired and frustrated of always hearing no, no, no. Let them decide what they will wear today, or what they prefer for breakfast. Now you get where this is going? They also want to be independent but we as adults accuse them of being rebellious or disobedient. They aren’t always easy to parent but if you pay attention and listen to them, you may understand more than you thought you understood.

Be Consistent with Rules. This is an important one and it had blown up in my face one or two times. I have always believed and will stand my ground when I say children need routines, consistency and rules. My husband and I are the only two people that raise and discipline my daughter. Sometimes I would set down a rule and he will allow her to bend it…I can’t begin to explain how chaotic life feels at that point. I am saying one thing and she is throwing a tantrum because he said something else. What we found worked better was when we both stuck to the same rules and not give in. When she sees we mean business, there is no tantrums to throw because she knows she can’t tantrum her way out of this.

Explaining Rules. As much as rules are awesome, children won’t follow unless they have some sort of understanding of why they are doing what they are doing. Explain to them why they are being punished or why they need to eat veggies. Right now I’m having a hard time at bath time. I explain we need to take showers to get rid of germs so we won’t get sick, or we need to eat so we can grow strong and tall. It doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Adapt parenting to fit your child. As I was saying before, each child is different react differently to things. Understand how to deal with your kid, simple. For instance, time out does not work for us, that will just result in a tantrum and we would waste a day going back and forth in the corner. I just take away some privileges like cartoons or painting. If she wants to do these things, then she has to behave or listen. That may not work for each child, personalize your own parenting.

Treat Them With Respect.  We often forget that our children are humans and they have the same feelings as us. Sometimes we may want to snap at them thinking “Ohhh they’ll get over it.” They do remember. I am human, I snap on impulse. It should not be beneath you to apologize to your child. Respect them, speak to them politely, tell them thank you or good job.

It Matters To Them. Recently I butt heads with my parents about this. My daughter likes to take all her toys and line them up on the couch. It seems senseless to many parents, these random things. My parents thought my daughter was just making a mess all over. But if you pay attention to what she is saying, it makes perfect sense why the toys are lined up they way they are. She took her time and did it neatly. It makes perfect sense to her that her stuffed animal is wearing a diaper and a jacket. These random things don’t hurt anyone at the end of day, you can let it slide.

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert and whatever I said here may not make sense to you. These are just observations and things I have learnt from parenting my own daughter.

Good Luck 🙂