The Open Home

living with an open heart


Leave a comment

{October Gratitudes}

For the fruits of Autumn and an opportunity to get creative.

For the fruits of Autumn and an opportunity to get creative.

 

For castle explorations and the bravery of toddlers.

For castle explorations and the bravery of toddlers.

 

For mama's little helper.

For mama’s little helper.

 

For new flower-power jammies and snuggly bunnies called Boo.

For flower-power jammies and snuggly bunnies called Boo.

 

For ten weeks to go and still being able to see my toes!

For ten weeks to go and still being able to see my toes!

 

These are some of the inserts from our family gratitude journal during October, reminding us that God is good and that we are blessed!

What have you been thankful for this month?


Leave a comment

Autumn in The Open Home

The Open Home 227

The Open Home 221

The Open Home 225

The Open Home 224

The Open Home 226

The Open Home 223

The Open Home 228

I finally found the perfect sideboard for our hallway that not only hides all my sewing and craft materials out of sight, but doubles up as the perfect seasonal display table – hurrah!

We love to embrace each season and I’ve been waiting to do some seasonal displays at home for a little while now so was delighted that my first one could be for Autumn, my all time favourite season.

We keep adding to the display as we find more treasures on our walks and I even managed to make use of some dried lentils and chick peas from my kitchen cupboard that had sadly passed their use by date.

I’m loving our twig tree which was originally bought from Amazon for our Easter decor and is proving to be the perfect year round seasonal tree. It’s still looking a tad bare unfortunately as I’ve not been able to find any autumnal tree decorations locally, which means I may have to resort to Amazon… again. The difficulties of living on a small island!

The Thankful banner I bought especially for our Thanksgiving celebrations last year from this etsy seller and I simply love it!

And for all you Guernsey readers the glass display items I found on sale in a certain local garden centre (you know the one!) and I quickly snapped them up.

Happy Autumn! (or Spring for my friends in the southern hemisphere!)

How are you celebrating the season?


4 Comments

5 Chores a Toddler Can Do

The Open Home 215

 

I am amazed at what my toddler can do. Every week she astounds me with some newly acquired skill. Just recently she has mastered that first puzzle and that fiddly shape sorter, she now even helps out around the house!

Part of me is nervous to admit that my toddler already does chores in case I get labelled a strict mother who is using her child for free labour, but I honestly believe that starting chores young is a good thing and that many people underestimate what their little ones can do.

If young children predominantly learn through movement and imitating their parents then household chores are the perfect way of helping them to gain independence and to become contributing members of the family.

This has definitely proven true so far with Libby. Since her first birthday she naturally started to take an interest in getting involved in household tasks, something I of course encouraged and ‘voila!’, at just shy of 18 months old she now carries out five age appropriate chores (with the encouragement and supervision of her mama).

Here are five age-appropriate chores that most toddlers can easily get involved with:

The Open Home 212

 

1. Turning on the dishwasher This was the first thing Libby started to help with purely because she was so intrigued by the dishwasher! After dinner she would eagerly toddle down the hall when she heard one of us loading the dishes into the machine so we soon allocated her the exciting job of putting the washing tablet in the flap and it’s been her job ever since. She can now also turn the machine on and press start!

2. Wiping down the table top In our house we have a rule – if you joined in the meal then you join in the clear up after the meal. It’s a way of showing gratitude and Libby is no exception to this rule. Even little hands can find a suitable job and as I wipe down the main table Libby now wipes down her highchair table top. She’s not always the most thorough but it’s a simple task that she does 3-4 times a day after all her meals and snacks. The Open Home 211

 

3. Unloading groceries Libby really enjoys this chore and as a major foodie loves rummaging in the bags, ‘oohing’ over the weeks purchases before passing them up to me to put away. Grocery shopping is one of my least favourite jobs but Libby’s involvement really does make the dreaded weekly shop much more enjoyable.

4. Laundry This is Libby’s ultimate favourite chore! She absolutely loves sorting things so helping me to load and unload laundry from the washing machine is a huge hit with her. She is also incredibly proud once she has completed the task, as you can see from the below picture, and usually gives herself a round of applause at a job well done. She has now also progressed to hanging clothes to dry on the airer.

5. Putting toys away at the end of the day This is the job that is the most confusing to Libby as she sorts toys in and out of boxes as part of her play so can’t always tell if the end of day clear up is actually more play!  I have started to use a little ditty to help her understand that we’re packing away toys but at the moment we probably do two thirds of the work before she clues on to the fact that we’re actually packing away! Once she does though she is perfectly capable of clearing away her own toys. (The key is just not having too many toys!) The Open Home 213

 

I’m not sure how long these chores will remain fun, but for now they bring her a great sense of pride and purpose which is wonderful to see.  I find as she learns to fine hone her skills I too am learning, learning to slow down and grow in patience as I approach life at a more child friendly speed.

Yes, I could probably get things done much quicker if I did them myself but then I’d be robbing her of the joy of helping out. Plus, I try to see the extra time now as an investment for the future when her repertoire of chores will hopefully make my life much easier!

What chores do your children get involved with?


Leave a comment

{September Gratitudes}

For this sweet face and precious soul. Oh, how I love you!

For this sweet face and precious soul.*

For the arrival of my favourite seasons and memories of my Grandpa that live on.

For the arrival of my favourite season and memories of my Grandpa that live on.

For 8 happy years and surprise getaways to awesome hotels.

For 8 happy years of marriage and surprise getaways to awesome hotels.

For deep bathtubs & inspiring interior design and a Husby that knows my tastes so well.

For inspiring interior design and a Husby that knows my tastes so well.

For another Mr & Mrs G and happy family moments with the cousins.

For another Mr & Mrs G and happy family moments with the cousins.**

These are some of the inserts from our family gratitude journal during September, reminding us that God is good and that we are blessed!

What have you been thankful for this month?

(* Photo credit to my sister-in-law, Emma. ** Photo credit to my sister-in-law, Lisa.)


Leave a comment

{Caramel Carrot Cupcakes}

The Open Home 208 copy

 

I know most people tend to make carrot cake around Easter time, but there is something about autumn that makes me crave carrot cake and when I came across these mini carrot cupcakes with a slight caramel twist I just had to make them! I decided to be brave and make these to share with my church community group so of course the cream cheese frosting was far too runny and I had to improvise. If my little one’s reaction is anything to go by they tasted good all the same, however I am finding that she is pretty easy to please when it comes to baked goods, cake is definitely one of her love languages – just like her father!

Recipe {HERE}.

What have you been baking this month?


Leave a comment

{August Gratitudes}

For little legs that are learning to run!

For little legs that are learning to run!

For ducks in the park and our very own Duckie at home to love.

For ducks in the park and our very own Duckie at home to love.

For the pretty new cushions that make our house more of a home.

For the pretty new cushions that make our house more of a home.

For old gifts that bring new joy.

For old gifts that bring new joy.

For the halfway mark and a healthy, active baby.

For the halfway mark and a healthy, active baby.

 

These are some of the inserts from our family gratitude journal during August, reminding us that God is good and that we are blessed!

What have you been thankful for this month?


Leave a comment

{Peach Turnovers}

The Open Home 186

 

I originally made a scrummy Pineapple and Coconut Crisp for our date night, however I forgot to take some photos of it! I therefore decided to do some extra baking in celebration of the late summer bank holiday, which turned out to be the perfect weather for baking as its been pouring with rain pretty much all day long. This turnover recipe made for a quick treat too as I was able to use a ready to bake sheet of pastry from the freezer, and despite my slight cheating these little puff triangles turned out to be the perfect treat when served warm from the oven on a rather blustery and un-summers-like day.

Recipe {HERE}.

 

What have you been baking this month?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers