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TWA Hotel with Kids (and Dogs)

As we were moving from the USA to Germany, everything was its own big step: list the house, sell the things inside, narrow down the bags. A very ominous one for me was getting everyone in the air. Traveling with an eight-year-old and two dogs internationally, I am so glad we decided to break up…

kids gifts on etsy under $25

Etsy Gifts Under $25: Kids Edition

Especially now that we live out of town, I delight in few things more than spoiling my nieces and nephew by mail. I remember being so excited to get a package from an out-of-town aunt or grandparent growing up. It seems like the cost of an average children’s gift is rising these days. Honestly though,…

Hi, I’m Lilly

Welcome to my place to chronicle my adventures in learning to live more open-heartedly with my family and the my community as I create a home that’s an oasis for our family’s authenticity and creativity.

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Posts That Mean A Lot To Us

OPEN HEARTED HOME BLOG

baden baden germany hotels

Baden Baden, Germany Hotels and Restaurants

The Fourth of July weekend was the perfect time for an expat escape. Just a ninety minute train from Freiburg, it was such a treat to cut out solo and spend a weekend checking out Baden Baden, Germany hotels, restaurants and spas. Shop the Look JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to…

how to make a german school cone

How to Make a German School Cone

I know and I cannot believe that we are thinking about Back to School again. I am never the one to start these conversations, as you can usually find me at the pool feeding my family sandwiches until 9:00 p.m. the day before The Big Day. As much as it pains me, I think our…

ikea erktorp slipcover

IKEA Erktorp Slipcovers and Other Ways to Fancy Up a Rental

When I first considered moving from Texas to Germany, I pictured us in a chateau with vintage wood beams on the ceiling, an upstairs and downstairs and sprawling backyard. Hey, it could happen. The German housing market continues to humble those of us who flock to her nature and care, but I’m here for the…

Between Protests

As we round the corner into late July, I am resentful.  In the rhythm of life, I view deep summer as the season of adrenal reset for Mothers. The children are feral, they eat fresh food off the vines with their bare hands half naked outside and run wild until they pass out. To touch…

how to make grocery flowers look nice

How to Make Grocery Store Flowers Look Nice

On Fridays in Dallas, my favorite thing was Markus walking in the door from the grocery store with two drinks for us from the coffee bar, a paper bag filled with supplies for his amazing nachos and a cello wrapped bouquet of flowers poking out of the top. They mean everything and brighten up the…

Travel Favorites from Amazon

Right before we did our big trip moving to Germany, I developed a small tick for adding just one more thing to my Amazon cart with my normal household items as I prepped for the journey over. Now that I’m flying slightly more regularly than the last two years, I have some travel favorites from…

How a Phone-Free Mother/Daughter Trip Changed My Life

December 2020 was quite a time, looking back on it. What happened to the year?  I hadn’t gone anywhere, from sheltering-in-place to losing my job and homeschooling, but yet it didn’t feel at all like life had slowed down.  Everything in life felt so slow – that is besides my mind, which was working in…

Why I Moved From Texas to Germany

This week’s it’s my birthday.  For the last two years, I’ve wished on my birthday candles that I would move before my next birthday. This last year feels like a one-blinker – just a flash of experiences and challenges – and here I am, alive and writing to you from my desk in Freiburg, Germany….

pool day essentials

Summer Pool Day Essentials

If there’s one thing I know as a native Texan, it’s how to spend a day at the pool. Beginning my ways as a teen girl to meet friends and only continuing to refine itself through my years of Motherhood, I am a master of the art of packing a bag of summer pool day…

a summer garden party

A Summer Garden Party

Our flat has access to a private garden for tenants. It has a keyed entry and is a pet-free area, which keeps it quiet and the perfect spot for picnics. Ironically, a family of foxes now lives in the garden, but they don’t seem to be as comfortable taking over a picnic. We were so…

how to make reading fun for kids

How to Make Reading Fun for 8 Year Olds

Sharing stories with my daughter has been something I’ve looked forward to since before she was born and enjoyed all of her life. Now that we’re really growing into independent reading as well, it has been a good challenge on how to make reading fun for 8 year olds. These years began my feeling of…

benefits of performing arts for kids

Five Benefits of Performing Arts for Children

My name is Lilly and I owe every part of who I am to theater camp. It’s true for so many of us, whether we went on to ever find ourselves back on center stage in life or just in a happy adult life using our voice, carrying ourselves with confidence and knowing how to…

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