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.



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!


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.


I have said it time and time again that the best part of blogging is the people that I get to meet. Earlier this year I had the honor of meeting Tori at a Bloggers Who Brunch event. We immediately clicked and she has quickly becoming my blogging bestie! Although she is currently living on the other side of the country, we have stayed in touch via Instagram! I am so excited to share her and her blog with my sweet readers!

Before blogging, Tori was the average 20 something year old girl! She was engaged, working at Chase Bank, and going to school at Cal Poly Pomona. Because of her fiancé's busy career, most of her free time was spent with friends and family. Itching to create content and knowing life was about to change drastically upon getting married, Tori started Champagne and a Carry On

Tori's husband plays minor league baseball and before getting married, she didn't know anything about moving across the country to be a WAG. So she took the leap of faith and started her blog in hopes of helping other women in her same position.

The first year of marriage has been an adventure for Tori. She moved across the country because of her husband's career, leaving her friends, family, and job behind. Blogging has given Tori the outlet to grow in her faith and share her experiences with others, creating a community of other people experiencing the same things. In her post, God Knew What I Needed, Tori transparently shares how God walked her through difficult times. Knowing Tori, I know that God gave her this passion to blog so that she had a platform to inspire other women going through struggles themselves. 

Q&A with Tori:
What do you enjoy doing outside of blogging?
I love watching my husband's baseball games like any other WAG! I just started cooking a lot more so I've found great interest in that. And then of course, I love drinking wine. (Told you I loved Tori!)

Where is your favorite place to shop?
My style has gradually started changing to a more minimalistic look just because our lifestyle consists of lots of traveling. So I can always count on Nordstrom, Forever 21, and TJ Maxx.

What is your summer fashion staple?
A basic tee or cami with a cute bralette is my jam this summer!

What are your top 3 go to beauty products?
Huda Beauty foundation is one of my staples, Fenty Beauty highlighter always makes me popping, and I love BLVD Lashes.

For more of Tori, follow her on Instagram @champagneandacarryon