How To Parent Today

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Easy Gingerbread House Recipe To Make With The Kids

IMG_3061How To – Gingerbread House

An excellent recipe for gingerbread, and a simple sweet house. Make christmas a little more special – the kids will love it!

Ingredients

Dough
550 grams Honey
250 grams Sugar
125 grams Butter
3 Eggs
1000 grams Bakers (or bread) Flour
25 grams Mixed Spice
50 ml Water
16 grams Bicarbonate of Soda

Royal Icing
200 grams Egg White
1350 grams Icing Sugar
3 Drops Lemon Juice

Sweets to decorate
Icing sugar to shake over for snow effect.

Method

This recipe makes enough dough for 2 houses. I usually make 1 house and cut gingerbread cookies out of the second piece of dough. My 4y/o loves decorating the biscuits with icing and sweets while I decorate the house!

1. Heat the honey and sugar to 65 degrees Celsius. (Don’t worry if you haven’t got a thermometer. Just heat until the mix is melted and hot but not near boiling).
2. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix until 35 degrees Celsius. (or is neither hot nor cold when you touch it!)
3. Add flour, eggs and spice and work into a smooth dough.
At this point you can store the dough to mature – or keep going with the recipe.
4. Dissolve bicarb into the water and add to the dough. Mix thoroughly.
5. Roll out the dough to 4mm for base and walls and 2.5 – 3mm for roof.
6. If you wish you can now glaze the dough with a sugar syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water) and dock well (prick), both to prevent bubbles rising. I have done this in the past and the result is just as good. In my example here I haven’t.

In this example I have rolled all the dough to 4mm and baked the dough in sheets then cut it when cooked as this gives a cleaner edge. The roof pieces will be too thick so I carefully cut them in half (width ways) to make them lighter.

7. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 15-20 minutes.

To Assemble

1. If you have not already, cut out the pieces. Do this while the dough is warm. Don’t forget to cut a round window and a door. (See pictures) Cut the circle in half to form shutters.
2. Make up the royal icing. (Royal icing dries hard so keep in covered with plastic wrap.)
3. Put the icing into a piping bag with a medium plain nozzle.
4. Assemble in the following order:

Back wall.
Two Side walls.
Front wall.
Now, let icing harden for an hour, then

Roof.
Chimney.
Front door.
Shutters.
Now, pipe on more royal icing to decorate. Decorate with sweets before the royal icing hardens.
Finally, dust with icing sugar for fresh snow effect.

Another hint is to leave the dough to dry overnight. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit. Cook the next morning. This gives the cooked dough a nice dry crust with a moist interior.

One last note, I once made a gingerbread house twice this size and you can see my hand written measurements on the diagram photo. If you are making this for the first time, please use the typed measurements in the diagram as reference.

Enjoy!

Mamasimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Bambino Merino – So Soft and Gorgeous For My Baby

I recently bought some pyjamas for Babygirl from Bambino Merino.  When I received them I was reminded yet again why I have been buying baby wear from them for about 7 years.  Sooooo soft.  (100% superfine merino wool which is silky soft.)

The quality is outstanding.  I.  Just.  Love. Their.  Stuff!

I have bought many items including the sleeping bags, bodysuits, pyjamas, socks, hats, swaddling wraps, toddler sleeping bags and the gorgeous baby merino bundlers that I (and Babygirl adored).

They make beautiful gifts as well.

Can’t recommend them enough.

Check out their site here.

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

If you enjoyed this post you will also enjoy:

The Best Advice For Giving Birth You Will Ever Receive

Mother’s Love

 

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3 Great Ideas For Baby #2

Here are some more top tips, some great ideas for baby!

1.  Gogol Kidz Travelmate available from Go-Go Babyz.

Great ideas for baby

What a super idea, especially for plane travel and around the airport or the shopping mall. Love it!

2.  Wubbanub Infant Pacifiers from Wubbanub.

.
Great ideas for baby

Another super idea.

3. Boba Long from Bobalong Baby.

Great ideas for baby

Not seen this before. Really cool.

If you enjoyed this post you will also like:
Teach Your Child Fractions (The Fun Way)
3 Great Ideas For Babies

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

5 Comments »

How To Create The Best Gift For Your Child

childhood diaryWhen my first born arrived I had the requisite baby book to hand and dutifully filled in the date of first smile, the date of first tooth and so on and was very excited to do so.  As he got a little older though, I would relate the funny stories of his doings each night to my husband.  I remember thinking that I should write these down in a book as I will never remember them when he gets older.

So that’s what I did.  Now that I have three children I also have three such diaries.  When they reach a suitable milestone age I will present them with a lovely diary full of stories of their growing years…

My other motivation is a little morbid perhaps.  What if something happens to me and I’m not around to tell them everyday I love them?  So my diaries could fulfil this heartfelt duty as well.  They will read in my own words and in my own handwriting how much I love them, how much they mean to me and all those moments I really treasured.

Another wonderful idea is to ask my children’s teachers to write a little something for them in the diary each year.  I’m going to start doing this.  Even though my eldest in now almost 7, he is still young enough for the comments to start with  ‘oh he is such a sweet, lovely boy!’

Do you keep a record for your kids to have when they are grown?

Mamsimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

 

3 Comments »

#Giveaway! Win A Copy Of Each Of My Two ‘House Journals’

A gift for you my lovely blog readers……….

Giveaway – Leave a comment below and you could be the lucky winner.

Share this post via Twitter and get a bonus entry.  Share by Facebook and also get a bonus entry.  It’s that simple.

Sign up to my blog and receive 10 entries!

Just remember to leave a link to your Facebook profile and/or twitter handle in your comments so I can verify.

‘Our Homes’ and ‘This House’ companion journals.  The perfect gift.  For yourself, families or couples.  In fact, for any homemaker.  The first journal, Our Homes – The Story Of, is the journal in which you keep a treasured record of your family’s homes. It’s a journal you take with you from home to home so over the years you build a wonderful record of the family homes in which you have lived. The journal contains dedicated chapters for each home. The homes address, the dates you moved in and out, why you moved there, improvements or changes you made to the house and garden, the things you liked best about living there, best memories and memorable events, why you are leaving the house, where you are moving to and plenty of blank pages for photographs and keepsakes.

Browse an example of ‘Our Homes – The Story Of

Our Homes - The Story Of.  The perfect gift.

Our Homes – The Story Of. The perfect gift.

Our Homes - The Story Of.  The perfect gift.

Examples page for Our Homes – The Story Of.

The companion journal – and the journal you will receive free if you buy ‘This House – The Story Of’ belongs to your home. The current owners have custodianship of the journal and the pleasure of completing one chapter. When they leave the journal is left as a gift to the new owners. The journal’s purpose is to provide a tangible link between the current owners and those who have previously made the house their home—giving a peek into its history, and a glimpse into the stories of those who have loved the house in their turn. The journal contains chapters for each owner to complete. The journal is a perfect gift for house warmings and weddings, and would be equally appreciated as a birthday or Christmas present—for someone else or yourself.  Imagine moving into your new home and finding a book that tells you it’s history, who lived their before you and see picture of what the house looked like when they did.

Browse an example of ‘This House – The Story Of

Mamasimx. Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Competition closes 11.59pm Wednesday 15th and winner announced on Thursday 16th.

Good luck!

Giveaway – Leave a comment below and you could be the lucky winner.

Share this post via Twitter and get a bonus entry.  Share by Facebook and also get a bonus entry.  It’s that simple.

Sign up to my blog and receive 10 entries!

Just remember to leave a link to your Facebook profile and/or twitter handle in your comment so I can verify.

© 2013  Simone L Woods

6 Comments »

Top 10 Baby Gifts For This Christmas

Stuck for some beautiful baby gifts?  Here are some great ideas………….

Hat_bunnie_pink2__17380.1374850964.1280.1280

 

1.  Pink organic knitted bunny hat £10 – so cute!  From Angel Cashmere – also available in blue.

 

 

 

 

Baby Sleeping bag from Bambino Merino

 

2.  Baby Sleeping Bag from Bambino Merino £59.95 – also available in pink and other colours.

 

 

 

 

Wallaboo Animal Comforters3.  Animal Comforters from €14.99 – love them!

 

 

 

Nattou Lion Neck Pillow

 

 

4.  Lion Neck Pillow £9.95 – from Nattou.

 

 

 

Spook Travel Rattles

 

 

5.  Travel Rattles £34.50 – from Spook.  How cool!

 

 

 

 

Personalised Santa Sack6.  Personalised Santa Sack £20 – from The Organic Baby Company.  A lovely baby gift.

 

 

 

 

 

Locally Produced Bib

 

 

7.  Locally Produced Bib £6 – from Little Green Radicals.

 

 

 

Reindeer Playsuit

 

 

8.  Reindeer Playsuit £32 – from Picalilly.  Serious festive fun…

 

 

 

Skip Hop Treetop Friends Owl and Friends Trio Ball

 

 

9. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Owl and Friends Trio Ball £15.95 – from Bebeeco.

 

 

 

Birdie Gift Set

 

 

10.  Birdie Gift Set £35 – from Frugi.  A lovely gift.

 

 

 

 

Hope this list gave you some wonderful baby gift ideas.

Mamasimx

Remember to enjoy your day.

 

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Giveaways & Christmas Gift Ideas

My style guru, top makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, has posted her 2013 christmas gift ideas videos.  Check them out for wonderful ideas for not only Mummy but Daddy, Brother, Sister, Grandma and everybody in-between. There is also a chance to win any of the products Lisa recommends. Watch her videos for details.

Mamasimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

No Comments »

Top 10 Baby Gifts for New Parents

Here is my list of the top 10 must haves to get together and have ready for when your new baby comes along.  All of the items on the list are items I have found indispensable, in other words, I would not be without.  They would also be top baby gifts for new parents so add them to your baby shower gift list!

*Some of the product links are UK specific, please search for similar products for your location.

  1. Dunstan Baby Language DVD.  Click for my review.
  2. Dedicated Feeding pillow.
  3. Hippychick Hipster Seat.  Click for my review.
  4. All natural Sleep Sacks.
  5. Good quality low chemical Nappies and Wipes.
  6. Calpol.
  7. Saline Solution and Nasal Aspirator.
  8. Windowsox.
  9. Net Feeding Bags.
  10. Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Moisturiser.  See my recipe for a simple and inexpensive version here.

Mamasimx.

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

 

© 2012 Simone L Woods

1 Comment »

Need A ‘Home’ Themed Gift for Christmas? Look No Further than these journals…

An offer for you my lovely blog readers of my latest  journals……….

Buy 1 and get the companion journal free!

‘Our Homes’ and ‘This House’ companion journals.  The perfect christmas gift.  For yourself, families or couples.  In fact, for any homemaker. 

Buy ‘Our Homes – The Story Of’ and receive the companion journal  for free.  That’s a saving of £10.50 ($17).

The first journal, Our Homes – The Story Of, is the journal in which you keep a treasured record of your family’s homes. It’s a journal you take with you from home to home so over the years you build a wonderful record of the family homes in which you have lived. The journal contains dedicated chapters for each home. The homes address, the dates you moved in and out, why you moved there, improvements or changes you made to the house and garden, the things you liked best about living there, best memories and memorable events, why you are leaving the house, where you are moving to and plenty of blank pages for photographs and keepsakes.

Browse an example of ‘Our Homes – The Story Of

Our Homes - The Story Of.  The perfect gift.

Our Homes – The Story Of. The perfect gift.

Our Homes - The Story Of.  The perfect gift.

Examples page for Our Homes – The Story Of.

 But don’t believe just me -here’s what my customers say!

“I bought this book as the companion book to “This House: The story of” for a housewarming gift for a friend. The idea was just ideal for what I was looking for. Well, I received these books and am so impressed with them that I’m going to get some for myself! I have lived in a lot of different homes and love the idea of being able to record that information. I love that this history will be recorded and that my young family will have a memento of all their homes. I’m just not sure if one book will be enough!”

” I’ve just checked out your books and they’re awesome! We’ll order Our Homes, I love the idea of handing that down to our kids one day, who doesn’t feel nostalgic about their childhood homes! Great house warming gift too huh” 

 “Essentially, it’s a ready-formatted scrapbook where you can enter various details, memories and facts about all the homes you have lived in. The author, Simone, is lovely and has answered any questions I had via Twitter – you can find her there @simauthor. I asked whether I should start from my first childhood home, or from my first home with my partner (our current home) and Simone recommended that we start right from the beginning for both of us. It’s a lovely idea to make sure we capture our memories on paper before we forget them – and as I’m not always very disciplined it’s a great idea for me.”

 There are limited copies – so order today!  And you will receive completely free –  

The companion journal – and the journal you will receive free if you buy ‘This House – The Story Of’ belongs to your home. The current owners have custodianship of the journal and the pleasure of completing one chapter. When they leave the journal is left as a gift to the new owners. The journal’s purpose is to provide a tangible link between the current owners and those who have previously made the house their home—giving a peek into its history, and a glimpse into the stories of those who have loved the house in their turn. The journal contains chapters for each owner to complete. The journal is a perfect gift for house warmings and weddings, and would be equally appreciated as a birthday or Christmas present—for someone else or yourself.  Imagine moving into your new home and finding a book that tells you it’s history, who lived their before you and see picture of what the house looked like when they did.

Browse an example of ‘This House – The Story Of

Here is what my customers say about ‘This House – The Story Of’

Just received this book in the mail today & flipped through it.  I simply love this idea. My husband & I have lived in a few different homes & have both remarked about how great it would be to have a history about our home. That’s why when we built our current home, which we plan on being in for some time, we documented our building process. Now I have a place to record our documentation along with any changes we make over the years. I also very much like the idea of learning who the families are who’ve lived in a home. I look forward to filling that portion of the book out too.”

“I was looking for a gift and saw this for a friend who is moving into a new home. I loved the idea so much that I bought the companion book also “Our Homes: The Story Of”. I have just received the books and think they are so fantastic I am going to get myself a copy too. I have built a few homes and love the idea of passing on this experience to the new home owners. I can’t wait to get started!”

As soon as I saw this journal I bought it, along with the companion journal Our Homes. 
My husband and I have owned eight houses in the course of our life together, and we probably haven’t finished moving yet. We have built two and extensively renovated others. The idea that when we move on we can leave a record for the new owners of who was there before them and what we did and why, is a very evocative one.”

“I loved the idea of this journal so much I bought it immediately, along with its companion journal This House: the story of. 
I have lived in a dozen homes in my life — buying and selling being the way my husband and I thought to make a pound or two. We have owned eight and rented others while building. Once in a while I’ll test my brain by recalling addresses, dates and events linked to each one. As soon as I saw these journals I realised they were what I needed. And I love how the author, in the Look Inside pages, has mocked up example chapters to show just how creative you can be with your own copies of the journals.” AEW Australia.

Buy your copy now in time for Christmas – with free delivery!

Remember there are limited copies so be quick to ensure you get your bonus companion copy of ‘This  House – The Story Of’.

And save £10.50. ($17)…..

UK – Buy from Amazon here.

US – Buy from Amazon here.

To receive you free companion copy – Simply email me the copy of your purchase receipt with name and delivery details and I will send the companion journal.  (admin at howtoparenttoday dot com.)

Mamasimx.

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

 

© 2013  Simone L Woods

1 Comment »