How to get active with your kids

Ever thought of taking them skiing?

Just because I’m Canadian doesn’t mean that I’m a brilliant skier.  I can get down the slope without killing myself but that’s about as far as it goes.  I don’t know why, but people they think we’re born with skis on.  Well I guess  they do think we live in igloos as well.

I’ve taken my daughter skiing before, not in Canada but at an indoor ski slope in the UK, which I’ve always found slightly bizarre.  However, the last time we went, she had a separate lesson to me as she was only 4, while I did a few practice runs on the main slope.  We weren’t allowed to ski together as I’d just get in the way on the beginner slope and she had to be of a certain level before she could go on the main slope with me which does make sense for safety reasons.

Family Skiing in Milton Keynes

This weekend we went for a family ski lesson at the Snozone in MK which was absolutely brilliant.  We could all ski together and the instructor was able to get her swooshing down the slopes whilst giving us intermediate skiers a few tips on how to improve our own technique.  Plus, I got to see the huge smile on her face, hear the squeals of excitement and throw snow at each other.

Learning to ski at Snozone in Milton Keynes

I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to Dave ‘Lemon’ the ski instructor from the Snozone for making it so much fun, she not only picked it up quickly thanks to his instruction but more importantly for us she was so keen to learn.   Dancing up the travelator!  Brilliant!

She absolutely loved it and now we’re toying with the idea of signing her up for regular ski lessons.  It really wasn’t something we really thought of doing as a family.

Introducing Spogo UK

The cost of inactivity is £1bn in direct costs to the NHS across the UK

We were invited by Spogo UK which is a new lottery funded online initiative to make it easier for people to find sports and physical activities.  It’s the biggest searchable database of sport and physical activity with over 112,000 Clubs and Venues.

I had a quick little play and by simply putting in my post code it came back with quite a few venues and activities locally that I hadn’t even thought about and if you’re like me and hate exercising alone you can also use it to find a buddy!

It’s currently in Beta version but they’d love your feedback.

Do try it yourself!

Find Sports and Activities Near You




Slow Cooker Sunday: My Top 5

slowcookingAs always, I’ve  been slow cooking this week.  But, it’s been one of those weeks, I’ve been so busy I don’t know if I’m coming or going and to be honest I’m starting to drop a few balls.

Nothing this week really stood out to blog about so I thought I would dig through the archive and share a few of my more popular recipes.  Weirdly, my most popular recipe is still the first Slow Cooker Recipe I ever posted ‘Green Thai Chicken Curry’ back in August 2010.

My top 5

Thai Green Chicken Curry – one of the most visited pages on my blog and if you want to have a go at your own paste check out the recipe on Just Annie QPR

Easy Slow Cooker Lamb Curry – yes it involves jars but it’s still worthy, but as a busy mum I’m always up for a cheat.

Abruzzi Lamb – perfect for a dinner party, I’ve served it time and time again and always gets rave reviews.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry – for my veggie friends!

Pesto Salmon Bake – find me a kid that doesn’t love salmon.  Plus a bit of wine for mummy!

Now it’s your time to share.  There is a linky below;  recipes can be old or new and it doesn’t have to be your own recipe, just one that you know and love and have a website address.  Alternatively, you can email recipes to me or leave your recipes in the comment section.

And if you need extra inspiration, don’t forget to check out our Pinterest Board, with over a hundred recipes.

Google+ fans, we also have a Community ‘All Things Slow Cooking’ feel free to join in.

Slow Cooker Chili with Chocolate

Slow Cooker ChiliI was given a bit of a challenge for tonight.  Thanks to the folks at Booths, I have been put up against Sally Whittle in a cooking competition to see who can produce the nicest meal that incorporates some of Saint Emillion Grand Cru Red Wine.  If you know us both you can see the funny side of this, we are great mums but not known for our domestic abilities.

At first this seemed like a very unfair challenge as I do a bit of slow cooking and I was under the impression that Sally couldn’t cook, but it now looks as though she can, but doesn’t purely down to being ridiculously busy.  She’s taken up the challenge with gusto, there are not many people in this world more competitive than I am but she is……according to her she is an AWESOME cook.  She’s also incredibly modest.

I’m not sure how to break this to her, but I didn’t find time to cook myself today and I have issues with sharing my wine with food.  But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching laughing at her rolling up her sleeves and getting stuck in with zeal and I must admit I’ve been egging her on knowing I hadn’t cooked myself.  Yes, I am evil.  I was at work today so hubby did the cooking but it was one of my recipes, I literally laid everything out for him, including all the spices but I promise to enjoy a glass of red with it.

Does this mean I have to forfeit?

Pictures to follow

Slow Cooker Chili with Chocolate

Recipe Type: Slow Cooker Chili with Chocolate
Cuisine: Main
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
The temperature has dropped dramatically today and it only makes sense to have some chilli.  This recipe is full of aromatic spices, plus the secret ingredient of chocolate, which sounds odd but gives it a velvety texture.
  • 1 TBSP sunflower oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 410g kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 TBSP dark muscovado sugar
  • 300ml Beef Stock
  • 25g Dark Chocolate
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sour cream to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the mince with the onion.  Add the garlic, spices and bay leaf and cook for another minute.  Mix in the tinned tomatoes, beans, sugar, stock, chocolate and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  2. Transfer it all to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Serve on a bed of basmati rice with a dollop of sour cream