The Open Home

living with an open heart


Going Back to the Beginning & Reading for Pleasure.

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Apparently by now most people have failed their new years resolutions, well not I! Apart from my one word focus for the year I set myself one simple goal for 2016 – to read more fiction (and write more letters, but that’s for a different blog post!).

When it comes to reading though I have gotten into the bad habit of prioritising my non-fictional ‘work’ type reading over simply reading for pleasure.

As an organised type I tend to always have something to research or work on that will be of benefit to me and my family. How to tame a toddler and get a baby to sleep through the night, the benefits of simple living and how to start composting, which educational philosophies are the best and why should we eat like the French?  The list goes on.

Although I love reading now, I actually only started reading regularly once I hit my twenties when The Husby’s bookish ways started to rub off on me. He devours fiction books whereas I don’t always really know where to start.

I guess that means I need to start at the beginning or at least with the books I probably should have read when I was in my tween and teenage years!

Hence why I asked for a puffin classics books set for Christmas and will be receiving the rest from The Husby for my birthday.

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My goal is to simply read one fiction book per month. This month I ticked off Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (I do love a book written in letters!) and on my list for this year I also have Little Women, Treasure Island, The Secret Garden, Heidi, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pippi Longstocking and Black Beauty, just to name a few.

It feels wonderful to be prioritising my fictional reading for a change. I have a feeling that this year of childhood classics is really going to fuel my love of reading.

What are some of your favourite childhood classics? What should I add to my list?


{January Gratitudes}

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For Sunday treats from a very naughty but generous Granny.

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For winter sun and the chance to get my fingers green.

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For new reading material… at last!

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For mama daughter craft times and finally getting to welcome “Baby Susie” to the world.

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For sweet illustrations that are a picture of my childhood.

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For wrapping skills and an impromptu fajitas night.


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For Bear hugs and Granny cuddles.

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

What have you been thankful for this month?

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{My One Word} Discipline

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This year I decided to get in on the whole one word for the year thing.

The idea is to change your life with just one word. To skip the long list of new years resolutions and just pick one guiding word that is at the very essence of what you want to be or achieve throughout the year.

Now I am a big old planner at heart so do enjoy setting a few healthy goals at the start of each year to help me as I journey towards the person I hope to be.

However, this year when setting my goals I started to notice a recurring theme, so much so that choosing  a guiding word to focus my days and encourage me throughout the year made so much sense.


Nothing fancy, pretty unoriginal really, but it’s the word for me.

So we’ll see how it goes! By the end of 2016 I hope that my 365 days with a focus on discipline will have helped me to establish the habits that will enable me to live a fuller, healthier and more intentional life.

For more info or to pick your guiding word for the year check out these sites HERE and HERE.

Do you have a guiding word for 2016?


{Daughter Diaries} #23

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Dear Blossom, last week you paid me a very sweet compliment, perhaps the highest compliment I have ever received. “You are beautiful like Mary.” And not just any Mary, but Mary the Mother of Jesus! Wow. Thanks for thinking of your mother so highly, you blow me away with your sweet words. Dear Bubbles, you have a tendency to flail about kicking and screaming when I attempt to put you in your car seat. However, bring the thing indoors and “carseat time” is proving popular! Perhaps this should become a regular bench mark in the day like nap time and quiet time,  it bought me about 20 minutes of peace and for that I will be eternally grateful. Dearest Daughters, may twenty sixteen be full of  many more crazy, cute and quotable moments like these.

What is the highest compliment you have ever been paid?



16 Facts You May Not Know About Me

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It’s still the first month of the year so in honour of 2016 here are 16 things you may not know about me… enjoy!

  1. I have been a vegetarian since I was 11 years old – simply because I don’t like the texture and taste of most meat.
  2. I love a good murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s Poirot is my favourite.
  3. I talk about names a LOT. The meanings of them, why people choose them, what names go well together, etc
  4. I think all the best animals have big ears – donkeys, rabbits, elephants… I rest my case.
  5. I’m a geek and love the timey-wimey-ness of Doctor Who and kinda wish I lived in Hobbiton.
  6. Bats and crabs freak me out.
  7. I make a miserable shopping companion, my Mother will confirm this. MISERABLE!
  8. I don’t drink tea or coffee.
  9. My dream holiday destinations are New Zealand, Hawaii and Alaska.
  10. Autumn is my favourite season (and Summer my least favourite).
  11. I don’t wear black, I’m far too pale and look ill in it.
  12. My favourite Disney film is Tarzan.
  13. If you want to send me flowers I particularly like freesias and tulips.
  14. One day I want to get a British Bulldog and call him Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
  15. I have visited 20 European countries to date (and really must do a post about my favourites!)
  16. I’m an ISFJ for those of you who speak Myers Briggs.

Tell me something I may not know about you?

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{Ten on Ten} January 2016

Today was a wet, windy and blustery day here in the Channel Islands so me and my girls stayed home ALL day! We were actually pretty productive and also managed to squeeze in lots of play time and cuddles before some of the youth from church dropped by after school. I’m going to continue linking up with Rebekah Gough during 2016 as I try to capture the beauty in the ordinary. Here are my (almost!) ten shots…

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Starting the day with another of Blossom’s home brews.

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That’ll teach me for leaving out my diary!

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A spot of morning Tea.

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Craft time for a one year old.

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Lunch time with whatever was left in the cupboards!

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Finally got round to that montessori style quiet time activity for Blossom.

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Getting ready for Tea & Toast with the church youth.

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Loving our new lift-the-flap Bible!

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So engrossed in her play!


What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?


{Party} Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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Last week we had a little party in honour of Bubbles’ first birthday. It was a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme which seemed fitting not only because Bubbles’ real name actually means star but also because Blossom’s first birthday was a song theme too, a You Are My Sunshine party.

I do love decorating for these little parties at home and I do love a good theme. I find parties at home like this so easy to pull off as I already have all the home decor bits on hand to improvise with. It really is amazing what a chalkboard, some pretty cake stands and some flowers and hessian can do.

Next party to plan is a 3rd birthday Gruffalo party! What are your favourite party themes?


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