You know how sometimes you have a plan for the day… and then you remember you have kids… and whatever vision you had was just a joke really? Pile up Mya getting sick, some gloomy weather, and post breastfeeding hormones and the past week was pretty thrown. But rainy walks around the block, lots of pajama days, and a daily dose of Moana seemed to do the trick. Last weekend, that’s exactly what happened– we stayed home to get well and recharge for the week. All the bins and baskets of playthings were thrown on the living room floor and we all just camped out by the fire. Most of the time, I have the girls pick up things as we are done playing with them because it leaves less of a mess for me after bedtime. And because #mamatired. But last weekend we just let it happen and looked past the mess to find two happy girls, perfectly content with being together at home with just us parents. Which I’m going to pretend will always be the case. Because this is my heaven.

I’m a gal that likes things in their place, organizing is my jam, and clutter makes me cringe. But after seeing the daily “mess” of living with kids in these pics, it got me thinking… Why doesn’t this bother me as much as it used to throughout our days? And I came to a couple conclusions.

We’ve made it a top priority to declutter. You can’t tell it from these pictures and we’re far from minimalists, but after the girls’ last Christmas gift haul, it had to be done. If the girls repeatedly bicker over the same toy, I’ve stepped on it two too many times, or it hasn’t been played with for a good month– it gets donated. Meaning after they go to bed, I get out a trash bag, make like a bandit, and gather the things that we no longer need. And you know what? Mya’s only questioned two items (a pencil and a plastic cup) that disappeared within the many bags that have been dropped off at Savers.

We surround ourselves with things that make us happy. Derek and I both are pretty sentimental, so any toy or game that sparks a good memory, we gravitate toward those for our girls. For me, that means super soft stuffed animals and wooden toys. Growing up, my Grandpa would made me countless items in his workshop– doll furniture, wall shelves, and animal cutouts that my brother and I would then paint. So whenever I see a well-made wooden play thing, I’m lured in and it usually ends up in our house.

Bannor Toys is a Midwest company owned and operated by a husband/ wife team. Their organic woods are never stained and all of their products are crafted in the USA. We recently received their camping matching game, camera, and phone. Each item is beautifully crafted, but so far we play with the matching game the most. I actually like it when the wooden disks are scattered about the floor. The natural wood is so pretty and the “mess” doesn’t make me uneasy in the slightest. I even throw them in a pouch and take them on road trips.

Bannor Toys are for sure heirloom pieces, beautiful baby gifts (look at these state rattles!), thoughtful baptism presents (like this cross teether), and would make a fun addition to any Easter basket. Many of their products can be personalized with a child’s name, birthday or whatever you wish.

From now through April 5th, Bannor Toys is offering 15% off their entire store to all our readers. Just use code BANNORMAD15 at checkout.

Thank you to Bannor Toys for partnering with us on this post. I say “yea!” to toys that don’t require batteries and actually look good lying around the house. Now please excuse me while I go pick them all up.

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