The Open Home

living with an open heart

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{Pink Rhubarb Cake}

The Open Home 120

This recipe almost defeated me, so I may attempt it again whilst rhubarb is still in season. Firstly, it took much, much longer to bake than the recipe suggested. Next time I’ll use my glass dish which may help, but I have a feeling something was perhaps lost in translation when converting the US ingredients into UK equivalents – some things just can’t be replicated here! This may be why it was also much more gooey (and less pink!) than the original recipe showed. Making it a difficult dessert to photograph, but then I am neither a photographer nor a food blogger, just a simple and enthusiastic learner!

Anyways, the Husby and I enjoyed it and would happily eat it again, but be warned it is very sweet!

Recipe {HERE}.

What have you been baking this month?

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{A Year of Dates} An Evening with Bear Grylls

The Open Home 100

I had hoped to get tickets to take the Husby to ‘An Evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes’, however I unfortunately had no luck in getting these and decided we could instead spend the evening with another of our favourite adventurers – Bear Grylls.

In fact, I think the Husby thought this idea was even better! First he opened the date night envelope, which revealed the plan for the evening and I handed over his very own survival backpack. After making a rather impressive survival shelter in the living room, we camped out for the evening, watching episodes of Born Survivor and feasting on bug-like treats that were much more appealing than the ones Bear was munching on, that’s for sure!


Cost: £20.00 (£15.00 on the DVD set – even less if you already own the series or can borrow it from a friend – and £5.00 on bug-like treats).

Prep: 15-30 mins to create a survival pack and a bit of forward thinking to buy treats and order/borrow the DVD.

Would appeal to: The guys, adventurous types, travellers and nature lovers, people who like building forts in the living room, and people who want to know how to survive in the rainforests of Ecuador, just on the off chance you find yourself stranded there.


30 Day Challenges

So simple, but sometimes we need the reminder to make small, consistent changes. I love the idea of setting myself 30 day challenges, I can think of a whole list of things I would want to learn, projects to tackle, as well as some habits to break. I could finally start knitting, create that patio garden, learn to play the ukulele, walk daily with my baby girl, reduce my screen time, journal more regularly, the list is potentially endless!

I’ve actually set myself a 30 Day Challenge for April. I’m trying to re-establish a daily devotional and exercise time to my day and so far so good. Once Libby is down for her nap, I sit with my Bible and journal and take some time to be still and quiet with the Lord. I then follow this up with a short time of prancing round the living room and I’m pleased to say after one week I can already stretch further and plank for longer… result!

What challenge could you set yourself for the next 30 days?

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(Almost) A Year of Dates

The Open Home 099

We’re no experts when it comes to date nights, thats for sure. Like most couples we realised the importance of them once we were expecting a baby, when time was becoming all the more precious and money all the tighter. For years we had overcommitted to church and community activities, struggling to say ‘no’ so that we could prioritise quality time for our marriage and own self care.

I actually know very few couples who have regular date nights and downtime. Yes, they spend time together, but a date night is much more than just crashing on sofa in your jammies at the end of a busy week. It’s a time to make an effort, to dress up, go out, surprise each other or try something new. It’s also an opportunity to play, have fun and remember why you fell in love in the first place.

Date nights allow you to grow together, instead of apart. They provide the perfect opportunity for deepening your relationship through real quality time and intimacy.

For over a year now the Husby and I have been attempting regular date nights, which I’ll admit haven’t always gone to plan with a young baby to care for. However, we’ve made an effort and have tried out different ways of doing date nights to see what works for us.

Over this year there are two things that I have come to learn about dating your spouse.

1. Creativity is important. It keeps things fresh and fun and allows for new experiences and memories to be made.

2. Intentionality is even more important, as creativity tends to take a bit of organising!

This is why I have chosen to plan a year of dates for my Husby. Well, almost a year of dates, we’re starting this April.

This may sound like a lot of hard work, but it was surprisingly not. I’ve simply tapped into our interests, made use of local events and the global calendar, as well as gleaned some ideas from blogs around the net. I then wrote out little invite style cards and popped them in envelopes, ready and waiting to be opened by the Husby when the correct month arrives. Some of the dates are out and about, but many of the dates are at home and pretty much all of the dates are cheap (like, really cheap) and require little prep time.

As date nights seem to be a thing many couples find hard to prioritise, organise or afford – us included – the Husby has kindly agreed that I can share with you some of our date night ideas from our year of dates. It is our hope that you will be able to glean ideas from these posts and be encouraged to creatively date your spouse and set time aside to nurture your marriage. Whether you’ve been married for 3 years or 30 years, it’s never too late to start dating your spouse!

You could even plan your own year of dates. It would make a unique anniversary or Christmas gift for your partner, and if like my Husby ‘Acts of Service’ is one of their main love languages, planning these dates will likely be a huge blessing to them.

If this is something you want to do then I suggest starting {HERE}, this is where I found my inspiration.

Keep and eye out for April’s date coming soon!

Do you have any creative date night ideas to share?

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{March Gratitudes}

For friends who visit from far away places and baby goats that pull the cutest of faces.

For friends who visit from far away places and baby goats that pull the cutest of faces.

For another new milestone and the chaos that comes with a crawling babe.

For another new milestone and the chaos that comes with a crawling babe.

For the arrival in spring and the timeless beauty of the daffodils in bloom.

For the arrival of spring and the timeless beauty of daffodils in bloom.

For our new baby carrier that helps us go off the beaten track.

For our new baby carrier that helps us go off the beaten track.

For the love of books and the challenge of reading them upside down!

For the love of books and the challenge of reading them upside down!

For sweet sardine jugs and baby girl hugs, all gifted to me on my very first Mother's Day.

For sweet sardine jugs and baby girl hugs, all gifted to me on my very first Mother’s Day.


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

What have you been thankful for this month?


{Orange Poppy Seed Bread}

The Open Home 097

Oranges will soon be out of season, so for this months bake-off I decided to make use of them by baking this succulent orange poppy seed bread. The recipe made two 2lb loaves that when partnered with a locally made pure beeswax candle made a sweet little gift for each of our lovely mums on Mothering Sunday.

Recipe {HERE}.

Happy Mothers Day! What have you been baking this month?


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