{Books Lately} November 2017

Books Lately | The Open Home

I have been slowly working my way through quite a few books over the last few months so today I am linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy to share with you some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately. Here are the notable.


Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 21.46.58The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon by David Elkind

One of my biggest values as both a parent and a home educator is protecting childhood, hence my interest in this book. In a world where toddlers have iPads, TV is an acceptable baby sitter, school hours continue to increase, organised sports dictate a child’s schedule, young girls are dressed like grown women and teenagers are constantly plugged into their smart phones, it’s not a surprise that childhood is drastically changing and quickly eroding. It’s all too much, too fast, too soon. Although first written over 25 years ago this book is even more relevant and important today. The message at the heart of this sometimes wordy book is that freedom and play in childhood is crucial for a child’s healthy development. Last updated in 2001 to include the effects of the internet and laptop devices on children, it already needs to be updated to include the effects of smart phones and social media, but the message remains the same – it’s still too much, too fast, too soon. Boundaries are needed and as parents, educators and childcare providers we need to make protecting and respecting childhood a priority because “in the end, a playful childhood is the most basic right of children.” Lets not deny them it.


Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 21.48.16The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian

In a Christian marriage praying with and for your spouse is perhaps one of the most intimate things you can do. I don’t know about you, but as a Christian wife my prayers for my husband (when I remember to do them and remember to include him!) can quickly degenerate into “be with him today, keep him safe, etc, etc.” Better than nothing I guess, but grossly hindering the power of prayer in our marriage. For wives who want to pray more intentionally for their husbands and perhaps see breakthroughs in their relationship with their spouse, this book acts as a guide enabling you to pray more regularly and more specifically for your spouse. Each chapter focuses on a different area of your husband’s life, enabling you to cover his whole life in prayer. From his health, to his work, his fears and temptations, his attitude and choices, hopes and future. It’s a broad list, but delivered in a very accessible way, with short chapters highlighting the authors own experiences and each ending with scripture verses and a prayer to guide you. Once you’ve read through the book you can simply return to a chapter that seems fitting at a specific time of life. I plan to write a list of the prayer prompts onto a bookmark to keep in my Bible as a reminder to pray for my husband and a tool for being more specific.


Books Lately August 2017 | The Open Home

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The Danes continually rank the charts as some of the happiest people in the world and Meik Wiking, the author and CEO for the Happiness Research Institute based in Copenhagen believe this is down to one simple thing: hygge. Books on “Hooga” and “the Danish way to live well” have been trending for some time now so when I saw this book on display at my local library I decided to grab it and see what this hygge thing is all about. Hygge does not translate easily into English, but the words cosiness, ambiance, intimacy and togetherness often get thrown around. As Wiking explains, “In many ways, hygge might be the Danish cousin to slow and simple living” a topic I have been reading around for many years now. I personally didn’t find the concept of hygge to be particularly revelatory for my own life as it seems to be a lifestyle I have already been in pursuit of without the hygge label. However, it is still a very appealing concept. For those who want to add more hygge to their lives this book gives lots of practical suggestions on hygge-like activities you can try, things such as bringing out the board games, playing boules, lighting the fire or setting up a mini library. What I particularly liked about this book was one of Wiking’s final chapters on savouring and gratitude. If I was to sum up hygge in just one sentence then I would say that hygge is all about savouring the moment and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, because living in and appreciating the moment are conducive to gratitude, which in turn is conducive to happiness, which is why those Danes are just so darn happy!


Replenish Book ImageReplenish: Experience Radiant Calm & True Vitality in Your Everyday Life by Lisa Grace Byrne

I first read this book in 2015 and it resonated so deeply with me that I vowed to work through each core essential. Admittedly it’s taken me a little time to get there so I’ve re-read the book so as to come up with a plan of action. I still stand by my original review from July 2015 it’s definitely a book I want to keep coming back to as it’s full of practical and life giving advice. A must read for all mothers of little ones.

What books have you been reading lately?

{October Gratitudes}

Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For simple traditions that fill a happy childhood.
Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For surprise visitors and secret gardens.
Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For autumn’s treasures and whimsical mail.
Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For our island home and sweet moments like these.
Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open HomeGratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For postal buddies and passing on the love.
Gratitudes October 2017 | The Open Home
For October picnics and both my girls back in the nest.

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

What have you been thankful for lately?

{Ten on Ten} October 2017

Today has been a good day. We spent time with friends in the morning, managed to be a day late for our orthoptist appointment but got seen anyway (phew!), stocked up the kitchen cupboards, baked some birthday goodies, played in the garden, squeezed in some colouring, played hide and seek and had a family favourite for dinner – Macaroni Cheese! You really can find so much beauty and joy in the small things.

Linking up again with Rebekah Gough here are my ten shots trying to capture the beauty in the ordinary.

Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
A surprise splash of colour in the greenhouse this week.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Favourite hide outs for these little hobbits.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Peter Rabbit in his burrow.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Leaves!!
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Our autumn treasures out on display.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
This season’s trending accessory, the giant leaf hat.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Afternoon colouring session, as usual.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Chocolate chip banana bread fresh from the oven.
Ten on Ten October 2017 | The Open Home
Happy hobbies.

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?

{September Gratitudes}

Gratitudes September 2017 | The Open Home
For new ventures and ideas that turn out better than you planned.
Gratitudes September 2017 | The Open Home
For the fruits of Autumn.
Gratitudes September 2017 | The Open Home
For my little treasure hunters and family legacies that live on.
Gratitudes September 2017 | The Open Home
For order and beauty all in one box.
Gratitudes September 2017 | The Open Home
For sweet little babes and the celebration of life.

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

What have you been thankful for lately?

{Daughter Diaries} #42

Daughter Diaries 42 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, you teach me to be patient and kind and you encourage me to be bold and courageous. Always remember that following your heart is not necessarily the easy thing to do, but it is more often than not the right thing. Take courage and do it afraid. Dear Bubbles, it’s amazing how much your young mind absorbs. Last week as we strolled through the park you found all the conker trees by looking for their golden leaves, pointed out which ducks were boys and distinguished (and then imitated brilliantly) a crow’s call. Your wonder and enthusiasm for learning is contagious. Dearest Daughters, living, loving and learning with you girls is both a privilege and a joy, may I never take it for granted.

What do the little ones in your life teach you?

{Dear Husby} 11 Years and Counting…

Dear Husby 11 Years & Counting | The Open Home

Dear Husby,

Eleven years have come and gone and life has changed so much along the way. Our family has doubled in size, various homes have come and gone and our careers and dreams have evolved along with us.

We’re very different people and a very different couple to the one that got married all those years ago. Many view change within marriage to be a bad thing, but it is in fact simply inevitable.  The important thing is that through it all, the good, the bad, the new and exciting, the same and mundane, the fears and frustrations, the surprises and the joys, we stick together and as we grow and change as individuals, we change together.

May we continue to walk through life together, growing and evolving as we dare to dream and strive to be the best that we can be.

Thank you for believing in me, but most of all thank you for believing in us. For believing that together we’re stronger and that together we really can do anything we put our hearts and minds to.

All of my heart…

… these eleven years and counting,

Wifey xx

Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary!

{Ten on Ten} September 2017

Today we had a family celebration so got all dressed up and went out for lunch. Despite the grey and wet weather the girls gave their summer “swishing” dresses one last twirl and then we came home to chill after all the fun. We jamified early, had a snuggly quiet time and then prepped for Blossom’s first day of “big school” tomorrow.

Linking up again with Rebekah Gough, here are my ten shots trying to capture the beauty in the ordinary.

Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Less than 24 hours to go.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
My sweet babes.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Changing up the seasonal display.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
All dressed up and ready to go.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Sisterly love.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Oink Oink.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Rainy Sunday, quiet time snuggles.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Uniform, ready.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
Lunch box, ready.
Ten on Ten September 2017 | The Open Home
First day of school photo prop, ready. 

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?