My Top Ten European Destinations (so far)

This is not a travel blog and I am by no means a travel guru, but a little while ago a friend requested that I share the favourite places I have visited in Europe and I thought I would oblige her request, because perhaps my other readers may be interested too.

The Husby and I have travelled far less in recent years since becoming parents, simply because we now live on one income and have little ones to factor in our travel plans. However, we still enjoy traveling when we can and my ultimate travel goal would be to visit every country in Europe. Ambitious I know, I’ve made it to 20 European countries so far, but admit I have only visited some of these countries very briefly.

Before revealing my list let me state that I’m pretty sure that cities like Rome and Barcelona would be on my list if only I had actually visited them. Most of my European travels have been in the Central and Northern European countries and I have yet to tick off a lot of Eastern Europe. But for now my top 10 places in Europe, in the order in which we visited them are;

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{Daughter Diaries} #35

Daughter Diaries 35 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, today at lunch you declined eating baguette… BAGUETTE! But you love baguette! It’s official then, my little hobbit has lost her appetite and really is under the weather. Having both my girls nap should be a rare treat but hearing you softly snore whilst bundled up on the sofa all afternoon makes Mummy hope her little lady is feeling better soon. Dear Bubbles, folding laundry and changing the beds is not my favourite task of the week, but it is way more enjoyable when your oh so sweet toddler spontaneously declares, “I love you, Mummy.” Mama loves you too little limpet, thanks for loving me so well.  Dearest Daughters, Mama is so thankful that she gets to take care of you in sickness and in health.

Anyone else got the dreaded lurgy? 3 out of 4 of us here.


{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?

{December Gratitudes}

Gratitudes December 2016 | The Open Home
For winter sunshine and new adventures with Daddy.
Gratitudes December 2016 | The Open Home
For creative minds and busy hands.
Gratitudes December 2016 | The Open Home
For strong shoulders, the best way to ride home.
Gratitudes December 2016 | The Open Home
For handwriting that can brighten even the cloudiest of days.
December Gratitudes | The Open Home
For the simple joys of Christmas and the assurance that less really is more.
December Gratitudes | The Open Home
For the quiet courage that can only be found in the woods.
Gratitudes December 2016 | The Open Home
For the beautiful world of make believe and the sweetness of life with little girls.

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

What have you been thankful for this month?


Bubbles Turns Two!

Bubbles Turns Two! | The Open Home

I love bears, bath time, snuggles with Mummy, collecting the post, binge reading, hide and seek with Daddy, gardening, emptying the dishwasher, outings with  Uncle Jojo, my blue handbag, hair clips, tea parties, playing dress up, dancing with my big sister, running through leaves, picnics, outdoor adventures, plane spotting, birdwatching, goats, the moon, being cheeky, giving kisses and raucous belly laughs!

My favourite phrases include “me too!”, “me come!”, “Mama’s baby”, “my wifey chops!”, “me like that!”, “blue car/door/bag…”,”more books”, “read me” and “Jojo Jojo Jojo.”

My favourite toys are my bear called Bear, my dolls, toy animals, wooden puzzles and play kitchen.

My favourite books are Cave Baby, The Gruffalo’s Child, The Scarecrows Wedding, The Baby’s Catalogue and Alfie books.

My favourite foods are bananas, raspberries, yoghurt, potatoes, sweet corn, baked beans, more potatoes, pink french fancies and of course, chocolate cake!


For more posts about our sweet Bubbles, click {HERE}.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Mama loves you.

{Daughter Diaries} #34

Daughter Diaries 34 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, warning… life doesn’t always go to plan, your most recent haircut being the case in point. Almost three inches later and following a few tears (on my part) you’re still as cute as a button and sweet as a lollipop. It really is what’s inside that matters but puffy tutu skirts do help. Dear Bubbles, your birthday next week will see you leaving the sweet toddle of your baby days behind you and trudging full gusto into your terrible tremendous twos. Your cheeky ways continue to keep us on our toes, your incredible cuteness constantly blows us away and your love for your big sister melts my heart. Dearest Daughters, we laugh more and love more with you in our lives, may you always know how deeply you are cherished.

Hands up whose received a hair cut they later regretted? (The year was 2006…)