Jul 29, 2018

Why I Embrace the Toy Clutter

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*OR* Confessions of a Minimalist in a Sea of Toys

This weekend I organized and purged the boys’ toys. They “helped” with the process and we worked through discarding broken toys and selecting books and toys they have outgrown to pass on to others. 

I came to a realization whist we were organizing: I have let toys take over our home. This was followed by an even more startling realization: I don’t mind it. Let me explain.

I tend to strive for a simple, minimalist lifestyle. I don’t have many wants and value experiences above things. I’m frugal and thrifty and wait for sales.  I think that’s why I was so shocked to realize how much of a toy and book enabler I am for the kids. I think a lot of it stems from infertility. For years the deepest desire of my heart was to have a home filled with the laughter of little ones. And for six years I waited with empty arms. Every baby shower and pregnancy announcement left me weeping bitter tears. The toy and book clutter is literally the fulfillment of my dream. I see a toy strewn living room and my heart swells with happiness. It’s completely crazy but it’s true.

I don’t want the boys to grow up entitled or spoiled so I do restrain myself a great deal. We purge as needed and make an effort to only keep things which are useful and loved. But, I don’t find myself irritated by what they do have the way I thought I would (or even the way my husband is). I often hear people say “I don’t want toys to take over my home” or read blog posts “How I keep the Kids’ Toys in Their Space.” This is SO not my home. It is lived in. The minute someone enters our home it is obvious we have small children. One of the dominant features in our living area is a cube storage unit with toys. “Goodnight Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are” have replaced my history books on the shelves. And, truth be told, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The time we have with small children is so fleeting. Someday the toys will be gone, the books will all be mine, and nobody will dump bins of stuff from one end of the house to the other. And I will miss the mess. I will miss their littleness, their playfulness, the scent of baby shampoo on their still wet heads. One day they will leave me.

And this is how it ought to be. That is, of course, the goal of child rearing. But, for now, I choose to enjoy their childhood and embrace the toy clutter, the sounds of lightsaber battles, and their precious little hands holding mine. I hold tightly to bedtime stories, Lego creations, and playing Star Wars for the hundredth time today. I discuss which Octonaut is my favorite with the seriousness I once reserved for foreign policy discussions. The time will come when I no longer have a home cluttered by toys. But, for today, I say “God bless this mess.”

Make sure to join my Daily Deal Detectives Facebook Group to keep up to date on the latest kids' deals!

Jul 19, 2018

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 Picks!

We are mere HOURS away from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale going live for EVERYONE! Even if you've been shopping Early Access there should be restocks in many items between 2am-3am!
While we wait you can check out some of my favorite picks from the sale from my Daily Deal Detectives Facebook group below!

Shop the whole sale here (affiliate link):

And may the deals be ever in your favor! I can't wait to hear what everyone scores!

Make sure to join my Daily Deal Detectives Facebook Group to follow the sale!

Jul 10, 2018

Prime Day Device Deals!

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I hope everyone is getting excited about Prime Day; I know I am! If you haven't read my list of tips you can check it out here. Amazon devices are generally at their BEST prices on Prime Day so I am getting the most questions about them! Here is my "Cheat Sheet" for Prime Day. I will update it as prices are released.

Make sure to join my Daily Deal Detectives group on Facebook where I will be live blogging the deals all day! 


For the uninitiated, Echo is Amazon's line of Alexa enabled Smart Home devices. They can play music, turn on your lights, adjust your AC and even run your robot vacuum! Right now Prime Members can get 4 months of Amazon Music Unlimited for only $0.99 here.

  • Echo Show: The Echo Show allows you to video chat using the built in screen. 
  • Echo Spot: Same idea as the Echo Show but smaller with a cute little round screen. 
  • Echo (2nd Gen): This is the "tower" that everyone thinks of when they think of Alexa devices. 
  • Echo Plus: The difference between Echo and Echo Plus is that the Echo Plus has a hub to manage Smart Home devices built in. Check it out here
  • Echo Dot: A more compact version of the original Echo with a less powerful speaker.
  • Echo Dot Kids: This is basically the same as the Echo Dot but you get a case, a 2 year warranty and a year of Freetime Unlimited. 


Kindle Fire is Amazon's tablet line. There are several size/performance options depending on what your needs are.
  • Kindle Fire 7: Amazon's entry level tablet. 7" IPS display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and up to 8 hours of battery life. 8 or 16 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage. Good value if you want a very basic tablet. 
  • Kindle Fire 8:  8" HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. 16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage. A better value IMHO than the 7.
  • Kindle Fire 10: 10.1" 1080p Full HD display, up to 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, and up to 10 hours of battery life. 32 or 64 GB internal storage expandable by up to 256 GB (using the microSD slot). This thing is a BEAST! The specs are great but I would make sure you want one this big! 
  • Kindle Fire Kids: The kid's version comes with a case, a 2 year-worry free guarantee and a free year of Freetime -- I PERSONALLY think this is the way to go if you have kids. Amazon will replace it if your kid breaks it no questions asked!


I LOVE my Kindle E-Reader. In a world of tablets and smartphones I really appreciate how much easier it is on my eyes! Right now Prime Members can get a 3-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited for $0.99 here!
  • Kindle: The entry level Kindle without any bells and whistles. No Built in light.
  • Kindle Paperwhite: Higher resolution screen than the e-reader (twice as many pixels) and built in light. ABSOLUTELY no glare in the sun! This is my current Kindle and I LOVE it! I had the basic version and think this is worth it for the back lighting alone!
  • Kindle Voyage: The big difference between this and the paper white is PagePress (it enables you to turn the page without lifting a finger) and Adaptive front light (provides ideal brightness day or night). 
  • Kindle Oasis:  ALL the bells and whistles lol! This is the first waterproof Kindle. It also is Audible enabled and has a larger screen.
  • Kindle for Kids: The latest Kindle without sponsored screensavers, a free cover, plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Set reading goals and track progress with Kindle FreeTim. Zero distractions since there aren't any apps or videos. If your kid is as destructive as mine are this is the way to go since it's comes with the warranty.


Don't forget to join my Daily Deal Detectives group on Facebook where I will be live blogging the deals all day!