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I'M BACK! [life update]


I’M BAAAAACK! But where have I been!? I haven’t written since September 3, and I actually wasn’t sure at that time if I would ever write again. Looking back at why I wasn’t blogging anymore, I think it became a chore for me. It was something I felt pressure to do and the passion for writing wasn’t there anymore. Between working full time and going to school full time, I decided it was time to just walk away. However, the last month, since completing my Master’s (Whoop! Whoop!) I was able to revisit some old passions. I have been able to start reading for fun, playing tennis, and realizing that I missed writing!

So here I am, back on the blog. I don’t think it’ll ever be what it was. I want it to just be a passion project. Something I come to when I have something to say or need a creative outlet. The ideas for blog posts have been brewing the past couple months, and last week I created a spot in my Bullet Journal (new obsession, BTW!) to keep all these ideas when I feel like writing.

So this post is just a catch up post, to tell you where I have been. In the last four months I have finished both Master’s Degrees, including my teaching credential, visited New York and Washington D.C., and got ENGAGED! Yup, I am marrying the love of my life this year. I can’t believe my prayers have been answered by God and I found my soulmate. I can’t wait to share the wedding planning journey here as well! Although, I promise this won’t become some bridal heavy blog.

Life is really good right now and I know it is only getting better from here. I will be back, soon, with a post about how to “Ball on a Budget” as the cool kids say.
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GO READY MADE REVIEW

GO READY MADE REVIEW


Now that summer is over and I am back to teaching, I am having to really plan ahead to be successful and stress free each day. One thing I do to stay ahead of the game is to make my lunch the night before. However, I have found when I am in a pinch, I love being able to grab a quick, healthy alternative that I can throw into the microwave on my lunch break. I learned about GoReadyMade, a meal delivery service, and they offered me a week of meals in exchange for a review. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity because I am always looking for services to make my life easier.

GoReadyMade makes fresh, delicious, ready-made meals that are delivered directly to your doorstep each week. The meals are healthy and individually packaged for your convenience. For 4 meals per week, GoReadyMade charges $49.99 with free shipping. However, there are a number of plans available for whatever size your need is!



When you first join, you can select which meals you'd like. Some of the meals include Smoky Chicken Fajitas, Beef Steak with Peppercorn Sauce, and Soy Glazed Chicken. My favorite of all the meals I tried was Orzo and Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Spinach. Meals come on ice so that you don't have to worry about their safety while in the shipping process.

GoReadyMade separates themselves from other meal subscription companies because the meals are already prepared. Just a note, be sure to read the directions on the packaging BEFORE planning on eating. Day 1 I assumed everything was microwavable. However, the steak I brought to work with me required pan-searing! Whoops!

To get $25 off your first order with GoReadyMade, use code JWKX5 at checkout!
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BACK TO SCHOOL NECESSITIES & TARGET GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

BACK TO SCHOOL NECESSITIES & TARGET GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY


Back to school shopping is my favorite time of year. Even as an adult, I love the brightly lined aisles of Target full of college-ruled notebooks, #2 pencils, and locker decorations. While the key of back to school shopping starts with the perfect backpack, the most fun is found in filling it up. Here are some of my back to school backpack necessities:


1.) Cute, but reliable backpack
2.) Blotting Paper to help control the oil and shine when your crush sits next to you in COMM101
3.) BB Cream
4.) Lip Balm
5.) Snacks, protein bars, popcorn, and other healthy alternatives are great to keep on standby
6.) Planner
7.) Hair Bands/Bobby Pens
8.) Fun Writing Utensils

To fill your backpack for back to school, I am giving away a $50 Target gift card!
To enter: 
1.) Follow me on Instagram @kickbackwithcate
2.) Like the Back to School necessities Instagram post
3.) Leave a comment with how you are feeling about back to school

Winner will be announced on Monday, August 20th at 6pm PST.

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GRAMMA IN A BOX

GRAMMA IN A BOX


Whenever I spend time with my niece and nephew, I always want to find fun activities to do together. Whether it be making s'mores, going to the zoo, or doing art projects, I love those moments together. When I learned about Gramma in a Box, I thought it was perfect for the time I spend with the kids in our family.




Gramma in a Box is a subscription service started by a woman whose grandchildren moved away from her. She would send them boxes of cookies and treats, then they would make them together on Skype. After sharing this with friends and family, she created Gramma in a Box for others to have a monthly activity to do with their loved ones.

Each box includes baked cookies with frosting and sprinkles, plus two easy candy crafts. There are step by step instructions, with illustrations, included in each box. Some months will have a theme, such as for holidays like Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day.

Gramma in a Box is a steal at only $20 per box! When I think about how much I spend on baking and decorating cookies, plus all the extra random stuff that ends up in the cart that I didn't need, this is actually saving me money! Be sure to place your order for the September box ASAP!
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BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH HACKS


Packing lunch is such a simple thing, but when not put at the forefront of your prepping for the following day, it can end up in you running late in the morning and have to go out to lunch, which can be unhealthy and expensive.

Here are 4 lunch pack hacks to make sure you have healthy, convenient meals for work or school:

1. Get ahead of the game on Sunday. Sunday afternoon, in between doing laundry and finishing up homework, prep as much of your lunchtime meals as you can for the week. I like to utilize my crock pot for this to make something delicious and healthy that will last me the whole week.

2. Have a snack station set up. Have crates in the fridge full of various objects such as ready to go packages of fruit, sandwiches, cheese sticks, vegetables, hummus, and more. This will make it easy to grab and go out the door in the morning.

3. Make freezer meals! Believe it or not a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be kept frozen for six weeks. Make a bunch of them one day and you can take them with you to school or work. By lunchtime it will be thawed out and ready to eat!

4. Don't be afraid of leftovers. I know they're not ideal, but make extra of your dinner so that you can eat leftovers for lunch the next day. It will save time and money.
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