The Open Home

living with an open heart


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Edinburgh & East Lothian

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Highlights of Edinburgh and East Lothian…

  • Taking Libby to visit her first city and second country!
  • Ample amounts of quality time with our dear friends from college
  • Libby’s first plane and train journeys
  • Hot chocolate and cake at The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling dreamt up and penned some of the early Harry Potter books
  • Strolling through Princes Street Gardens
  • One epic castle and many a massive monument
  • Ambling our way up the Royal Mile
  • Finding interior design inspiration in a massive White Stuff store
  • Exploring boutiques on Victoria Street
  • Getting our fix of Pizza Hut for the year
  • Being chased by tartan painted sheep
  • Finally getting up close with that incredible breed of cow, the infamous “heilan’ coo”
  • Cute piglets called Frodo, Samwise, Merry & Pippin
  • Libby taking after her mama by loving on some donkeys
  • Awesome views from Calton Hill
  • Discovering a pretty graveyard on our way to wave at the Queen at Holyrood Palace
  • Coffee and Cake at the quirky Lovecrumbs
  • Choosing our very own tartan for the Girard clan
  • Random roadtrips through East Lothian
  • Pretty Portobello with it’s seaside promenande
  • Beating the Husby (twice) at Ticket to Ride!
  • Libby mastering the art of walking!


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{June Gratitudes}

For talented friends who make the most beautiful of gifts and the little lady that gets to wear them.

For talented friends that make the most beautiful of gifts and the precious new arrival that gets to wear them.

For the discovery of sand and the messes it makes.

For the discovery of sand and the messes it makes.

For an ample supply of banana bread and the simple beauty of succulent plants.

For an ample supply of banana bread and the quirky beauty of succulent plants.

For our lady-like girl who insists on elephant marching, even when visiting the manor house.

For our lady-like girl who insists on elephant marching, even when visiting the manor house.

For simple dens made by little hands.

For the simple joy of (not-so-secret) dens and the busy little hands that make them.

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

What have you been thankful for this month?


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{Chocolate Chip Banana Bread}

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As it’s Father’s Day today I decided to treat both our Dads to some homemade banana bread. The recipe made two 2lb loaves and worked perfectly with the addition of some chocolate chips. I’m actually going to make this recipe again and soon! The smell of these scrumptious breads as they left the oven made me kinda sad to be giving them away! We paired our banana breads with a quirky little succulent plant and together they made sweet little Fathers Day gifts.

Recipe {HERE}.

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


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{May Gratitudes}

For historic castles with picturesque views that prove to be the most perfect of picnic locations.

For historic castles that prove to be the most perfect of picnic locations.

For baby girls becoming little girls and the start of the busy toddler years.

For baby girls becoming little girls and milestones that signify the start of the toddler years.

For successful rescue missions that result in the sweetest of gifts.

For successful rescue missions that result in the sweetest of gifts.

For 69 years of freedom and the memories that continue to live on.

For 69 years of freedom and the memories of islanders that continue to live on.

For bespoke outfits that journey the globe and the sweet love of godmothers.

For bespoke outfits that journey the globe and the sweet love of the godmothers who send them.

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

What have you been thankful for this month?


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{Raspberry Coconut Oatmeal Bars}

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With two birthdays in our family this month my attention has been pretty preoccupied with these celebrations, so much so that I realised only this week that I was fast running out of time for this months bake off. I’m enjoying trying a new recipe each month and with only two days to go I have managed to squeeze in these sweet and simple oatmeal bars just in time.

This honestly is a super quick and easy recipe to put together, even with a toddler scampering around your ankles! I love the chewy texture of the bars and the sweet fresh flavour, perfect for the summer. I can see that these bars, like the Blueberry Breakfast Cake, will fast become a regular in our home.

Recipe {HERE}.

What have you been baking this month?


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27 Things I love About You… {A Birthday Tribute}

1. I love that you are a man of God and that I can share my walk of faith with you.

2. I love that you’re super confident – it’s was one of the first things that attracted me to you.

3. I love your servants heart and how you always bless me through so many acts of kind service.

4. I love that you always have your nose stuck in a book.

5. I love that you are a real sports fan and not just a fan of a team.

6. I love your honesty, it is so refreshing.

7. I love how much you love being a Daddy to our little girl.

8. I love it when you hold my hand.

9. I love that you can cook and do so often!

10. I love your open heart and adventurous spirit.

11. I love that you dance, and dance good!

12. I love how you get up early with Libby so that I can rest some more.

13. I love your rare personality type and skill set – the world needs more people like you!

14. I love that you can laugh at yourself.

15. I love exploring the world with you, you make the best travel companion.

16. I love that you can’t sneeze quietly.

17. I love how great you look in a suit.

18. I love your love of theology and how you seek to challenge yourself and others.

19. I love that you are open and generous with your words of love and affection towards us girls.

20. I love that you find it hard to spend money – I could learn a lot from you!

21. I love your legs – just saying!

22. I love that we can be geeky together – I feel another Doctor Who marathon coming on!

23. I love that we share the same values and goals in life, living with a common purpose.

24. I love that your love language is cake!

25. I love that you accept and love my many quirks – thanks for trying not to breathe my air!

26. I love when you read out loud to me.

27. I love that you are now the same age as me again!

A very happy twenty-something birthday to you lovely Husby! You bless me every day and I thank God for you.


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First Birthday Time Capsule

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I love making memories, collecting family treasures and creating family traditions, so when I stumbled across the idea of a first birthday time capsule it really appealed to me.

I love the idea of capturing a little of what the world is like today, helping Libby to one day better understand what life was like when she was only one year old.

We’ve always planned on writing Libby a letter each year on her birthday and saving them to give to her on her 21st birthday, so we’re now going to incorporate the time capsule within this time frame too. This means we will be keeping the capsule sealed for a whopping 20 years, reopening it on Libby’s 21st birthday in the year 2034!!

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Here is a list of some of the things we’ve included in her capsule…

  • Personal Notes - we asked all the guests at her first birthday to write a short note to her and make a prediction about what they think she may be when she grows up. It’ll be so special for Libby to read these notes in 20 years time and fun to see if anyone even came close with their guess.
  • First Year Stats – this was incorporated in the chalkboard print we had displayed at her afternoon tea, but a simple list would also suffice. It listed all the information I shared on her birthday, stats like her height and weight etc, as well as her favourites and the things she could do and say by the time she turned one.
  • First Year Memorabilia – we included items like the ticket stub from her first ferry journey, postcards she received, the first sleep suit she wore in hospital and her precious little baby slippers.
  • World News - we added in a list of world news from her first year. We tried to make sure this wasn’t too depressing and did a little research to make sure we included news about people who achieved positive things as well as the notable deaths, conflicts and natural disasters.
  • Sports News – as The Husby is a major sports fan we had to include a list of what went on in the sporting world in the year she was born. Particularly as both Wimbledon and The Tour d’France were won by Brits – that doesn’t happen often and was worth noting!
  • Top 20 Movies – a simple list of the top grossing films from the year she was born, which may then be fun for her to watch once she is grown up!
  • Top 20 Songs - my brother kindly put together a CD of all the songs that topped the charts in the year she was born. Firstly, this may be interesting as CD’s will likely no longer be produced in 20 years time, and secondly it should make for interesting listening at her 21st birthday as music may have evolved somewhat! I’ll be interested to see if guests at her 21st actually recognise any of the songs!
  • Top 100 Names - as I love names I had to include a list of both the top 100 boy and girls names from the year she was born. It’ll be interesting to see in 20 years time which names are still popular and which names have phased out and seem so 2010′s!
  • List of Prices – a simple list of prices for things like milk and bread, as well as utilities and even the average house price. Although these things feel expensive now, in 20 years time they’ll likely sound really cheap.
  • Current Fads – this was such a fun list to create, I honestly don’t understand these fads now so in 20 years they’ll most likely seem ridiculous! You know, fads like the slightly odd moustache craze and the excessive amounts of keep calm posters! As well as things people will likely later regret, such as wearing crocs or having a half shaved hair do.
  • A Newspaper – I also included a Guernsey Press from Libby’s first birthday, which tends to be a comical read even in the present day, so I look forward to reading that in 20 years time and finding out who had been caught breaking the speed limit!
  • Money – I added in some Guernsey pound notes, as who knows if we’ll still have our own currency in 20 years time? I also made sure there were some coins with Queen Elizabeth II on as unfortunately in 20 years we’ll likely no longer have a Queen on our coins.
  • Stamps –  I also picked a few stamps out, some that commemorate world events like the anniversary of The Great War and others that show some quirky details of island life, like our car registration plates (we have no letters in them).

I now just need to find somewhere to safely stash the capsule for 20 years!

Have you ever made a time capsule? What items did you put in it?

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