{Ten on Ten} January 2017

Oops… I had such good intentions for 2017 but yet again I am a day or two late with my Ten on Ten. However, it’s the practice of slowing down to intentionally savour the beauty in our everyday that is important, not the date on which I do so.

I’m always surprised to see how much beauty there is to be found during a simple day at home together.  Lots of cleaning and organising but plenty of play too.

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

Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Multitasking my morning exercise with an impromptu tea party.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Sister snuggles.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Time to play.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Buckets galore!
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Binge reading by Bubbles.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
A world of pure imagination.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Finally making use of these homemade cards.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
More multitasking the daily reading with the daily dinner prep.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Stories and snuggles with their favourite man.
Ten on Ten January 2017 | The Open Home
Late night baking session.

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?

Woodland Bear Party

Woodland Bear Party | The Open Home

the-open-home-642Woodland Bear Party | The Open HomeWoodland Bear Party | The Open HomeWoodland Bear Party | The Open Homethe-open-home-641Woodland Bear Party | The Open Home

We ended the year with a little bear themed tea party in honour of our sweet Bubbles turning two. She adores all bears but our inspiration was taken from her beloved brown snuggly Bear that she totes around the house with her.

I kept things simple, making use of lots of home decor items I already had on hand, bought some winter foliage, gathered a few pinecones and made some of my favourite home made goodies; snickerdoodles and chocolate fudge cake. The M&D doughnuts were also a big hit!

As always I was pretty rubbish at taking photos during the party, too busy chatting, eating cake and helping Bubbles open her birthday gifts, but it was a fun time with family and as always the girls loved playing with their cousins.

What was the last party you went to?

{Ten on Ten} October 2016

I’m late getting my photos up as usual but my excuse is that I have two preschoolers to chase after so life is busy! Bubbles was full of a horrid cold on the weekend but is slowly perking up thanks to lots of time nestled at home and some fresh autumnal air.

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

Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Work and play in our garden.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Someone discovered their early birthday present!
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Autumn decorating in progress.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
To climb or not to climb that is the question!?
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Big sister, little sister.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Learning shapes the fun way.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Dinner time (the pretend one).
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
The fridge art gallery.
Ten on Ten October 2016 | The Open Home
Go for it! My pep talk.

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?

{Ten on Ten} September 2016

A day late with my Ten on Ten and Sunday was the usual kind of day really with a busy morning at Church followed by a lazy afternoon at home (for us girls at least). We enjoyed playing in the garden, exercising and snuggling, all in all some well spent family time.

Linking up again with Rebekah Gough here are my (not quite) ten shots trying to capture the beauty in the ordinary.

Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
A peaceful start to the day.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Still admiring my postcard beauties from Eastern Europe.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
A morning stroll for Bubbles.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Getting rather fond of my trainers these days.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Colourful lunches are the best.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Snuggling up for the day’s quiet time choice.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Finally able to see my rainbow books again.
Ten on Ten September 2016 | The Open Home
Benches in the bathroom are a must!

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?

{Ten on Ten} August 2016

Woops! I forgot that yesterday was the tenth so I’m a day late with my set, but let me assure that there is still beauty to be found on the eleventh of the month too! A usual kind of day for me and my girls really, full of sunshine, laundry, picnics and postcards. Oh and there was chocolate brownie but then that didn’t last long enough to be captured on camera!

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

The Open Home 396
Sunshine on my laundry never fails to make me happy.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Still working on this display area but progress is being made.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Buckets galore! A new project to keep me busy.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Happy Postcrossing indeed, one of the most beautiful postcards I have ever received.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Old quarter treasures to be found in town.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Lunchtime picnics shaded from the noon day sun.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
This weeks work in progress.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Interior design a la Blossom.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
Handlettering and chalkboard inspiration thanks to The Golden Lion.
Ten on Ten August 2016 | The Open Home
A surprise note following an early bath. He’s a keeper.

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?

{Books Lately} July 2016

Books Lately | The Open Home

Well it’s been a long time since I shared with you some of the books I’ve been reading as I’ve kind of had a bit of reading block these past few months and just couldn’t work my way through anything, until recently. I then devoured 3 books in just over a month, which is actually a lot for me. So here I am linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy again to share with you some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately.


Books Lately July 2016 | The Open HomeThe Rings of My Tree: A Latvian Woman’s Journey by Jane E. Cunningham

Once started this book is hard to put down. I have read quite a few biographies by survivors of World War Two, mainly set in the Netherlands and mainly written by Jews or those trying to hide the Jews, but this book is different. Mirdza is not a Jew so this book does not follow the usual theme of holocaust horrors but instead highlights the journey of a young Latvian woman who is forced to flee her country in 1944, not because of the threat of the Nazis, but because of the invasion of The Red Army. I had never before considered the double threat that eastern Europe and the Baltic States faced with both the Nazis and the Soviets fighting to claim their soil. The end of the war did not bring freedom to Latvia it brought a new regime that would be in power for many years to come. I could feel Mirdza’s anger and anguish as she faced life as a displaced person, an incredibly fascinating account particularly in light of the current refugee crisis that is happening today in Europe. The story is a wonderful reminder that “where there is life, there is hope.”


Books Lately July 2016 | The Open HomeThe Earth is Singing by Vanessa Curtis

Continuing with the theme of World War Two and Latvia this fictional story is inspired by the authors own Latvian Jewish heritage. The story starts in June 1941 when the Nazis “liberate” Latvia from the Soviets and swiftly put their anti-semitic plans into place. As told by Hanna, an ordinary fifteen year old girl who also happens to be a Jew, life is about to change drastically. This book is beautifully written, incredibly thought provoking and yet horrific at the same time. This book highlights the pain that is felt when your own community seem to have turned against you, a fresh perspective that is not always explored in other books set in the same era. As with reading all books detailing the holocaust it is hard to comprehend how some people can treat their fellow human beings in such a harsh and evil way. This book is very detailed which is why I also recommend it with a brief word of warning: do not read this book before going to bed! The story follows the historic events of the Rumbula massacre which is incredibly disturbing. I’ve been reading books about World War Two and the holocaust since my mid teens but never before have I read of an event quite so wretched. Despite the horrors, this is a story that should be told.


The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organising by Marie KondoBooks Lately July 2016 | The Open Home

As a self confessed neat freak, books about decluttering and organising always appeal to me as I’m always looking for new ways to fine hone my system. However, I’m also a bit wary of these books as some I’ve read in the past have been so basic they’ve just not offered me anything new. I’m pleased to confirm though that The KonMari method however, does have a lot to offer even the tidiest of people.  Marie Kondo is a cleaning consultant based in Japan and by the sounds of it works with some hardcore hoarders. This book is not really about everyday tidying up (which is really just putting things back in their place) but rather about the one-off decluttering and organising that will put your house in order. The first step is to work your way through her suggested categories and discard, discard, discard! Most of her clients discard at least two thirds of their belongings and are left with only the items that truly bring them joy. Her guidance of only keeping items that spark joy has become one of the main things that sets her approach aside from others, that and her folding and storage method for clothing, both of which I can confirm work really well in practice. If you struggle to keep your home tidy, desperately need to declutter or like me just enjoy organising your home then this book is definitely worth a read.

What books have you been reading lately?

{Ten on Ten} July 2016

Today was a usual Sunday for us, filled with a trip to church and a lot of lazing and playing around home. I had an unwelcome early start to the day that left me feeling shattered for most of the day but the girls managed to squeeze in lots of play and I even managed to squeeze in a nap with my big girl.

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

Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Morning horse ride.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
In true hobbit fashion, Blossom likes to make second breakfast.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Pre-Church colouring session
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Pre-Church pencil throwing session.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Gift all ready and wrapped for the birthday girl.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Post-Church nap time.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Post-nap play time.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Afternoon reading binge, toddler style!
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Blossom playing interior designer again.
Ten on Ten July 2016 | The Open Home
Planning our city break to Riga.

What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?