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

Minimalist Living & It’s Economic Properties

Let me just quickly insert a disclaimer that this post is in no way bashing a lavish lifestyle. You should spend your money whichever way you please but if you’re interested in learning how to cut out unnecessary things from your life, please proceed.

When I first started working at eighteen, I had no responsibilities like I have today so I bought a lot of wants and not needs. Pretty soon my life was a clutter of products that would sometimes expire before I even opened it. Sometimes I believe our culture conditions us to convince ourselves we need something when we really don’t. For instance, you may not purchase a top for $15 but if you were to save $3 on the top, you’d purchase it for $12 despite having ten tops at home. That sale doesn’t make you save $3, it makes you lose $12.

As women, we often fall in love with little knick knacks such as perfumes, lotions, accessories etc. and it’s very easy to hoard them every time you step out of the house. As I get older I’ve seen where I could really live without a lot of things and still have quality of life.

One of the first items I stopped purchasing was make-up. I’m no make-up guru and I wear minimal make-up to look presentable when I need to so I now purchase just the basics and try to use them until they’re empty. Other items you can stop hoarding are clothing, shoes, handbags, other beauty products.  I have use one purse, and a very minimal amount of shoes just for their functionality. I use one boot and one snow boot when needed. And I’m recycling my sneakers from two and three years ago this summer. You really one need one or a few of these things to survive.

I used to do seasonal decorating for the kids and it makes no difference to them, so I stopped and every season that’s money I’m left with. Going overboard with the house decorations and scented candles is another want and not need. If you have the extras, make a credit payment on a bill.

Your kitchen also doesn’t need twenty coffee mugs, and thirty pots and pans. I bought one pot set a few years back, with a frying pan included and we still use that set. After my first child I did go crazy toy shopping and I can tell you, it’s not worth it. She’d prefer the box that it came in. That fifty dollar toy in Target will only be attractive in the store…as soon as it comes home, there is no love for it anymore. So learn to say no and leave the presents for birthdays or Christmas if you celebrate that. I’ll probably make another post about cheap entertainment for kids.

Another thing that we don’t so often is outtings. It’s costly to take your kids to kiddie related places all of the time. There are pricey admissions, and then accomodations if you’re going on a trip. It all adds up. I’m not saying don’t ever take your child somewhere extravagant but not as frequently as you would like. We substitute a lot of weekends just going to the same old park, with side walk chalk and blowing bubbles.

To sum it up, focus on your needs and necessities and not your wants. It’s easy to become a material person in this material world but is it really worth it? Living minimalist doesn’t take from the quality of life. There are many ways to enjoy with your friends and family without going into debt. Set realistic expenses for you and your family and watch yourself pay off that credit or save money in one year. Personally since becoming a minimalist, I’ve experienced a new level of freedom from sales gimmicks, and competing with others.

XO