Mellow Mummy : Taking life as it comes...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Netflix Easter Holidays Choices #StreamTeam

Despite having to work for quite a bit of the Easter holidays, we have managed to find some time to relax and chill out (and my, don't we need it).  Right now, we're really enjoying our Netflix subscription - all four of us.

The girls can easily get stuck in a rut when it comes to television and will quite happily watch the same thing AGAIN and AGAIN so we like to encourage them to try something new at least once a week (more for our own sanity than anything).  We particularly like to use the Apple TV interface to Netflix where the children can browse the catalogue using just the images of the characters.  

This is how we discovered Oggy and the cockroaches which has become a new favourite.  Oggy and his friends are cats who are plagued by a gang of cockroaches.  This is traditional slapstick cartoon mayhem with some quite extreme accidents and tricks which make the girls roll around the room in laughter.  There is no talk, just music and sound effects so the comedy is timeless.

New on Netflix this Easter for children is Disney's Wreck it Ralph; a great idea for a rainy afternoon or just for a bit of a calm-down period after a busy day out.  Wreck it Ralph gets awesome reviews from both adults and children and Netflix.

Having recently finished our Breaking Bad marathon, Mr. B. and I have yet to be tempted in by any of the other series' we have sampled.  We are still trying to settle in to Netflix original prequel, Better Call Saul but there are a few new arrivals on Netflix this April which may tempt us instead...

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cooking with Kids :: Turkey Pitta Pockets with Tortilla Chips

With the change in weather, we have fancied a few lighter meals in the evenings.  Last night the girls helped me make healthy turkey pitta pockets served with an array of crunchy salads and Manomasa premium tortilla chips. It was such a quick meal to prepare, very summery and both the girls could get involved.


500g lean turkey mince
Ground black pepper
5-6 thinly sliced spring onions
1/4 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon tomato puree

Approx. 6 pitta bread, cut into two pieces

Lots of raw salad vegetables such as grated carrot, tomato, cucumber, celery, crispy iceberg lettuce, raisins
Grated cheese
1 bag Mamomasa Tomatillo Salsa Tortilla Chips


  • In a big mixing bowl, squish together the turkey mince, black pepper, spring onions, chilli powder and tomato puree.  Lara hates getting her finger dirty, but Holly loved kitchen activities like this!
  • Form the turkey mix into about 10 small patties and flatten them slightly to less than 1 inch thick.
  • Heat a large non-stick frying pan.  You can cook these with or without oil - they will take longer to cook without oil.
  • Fry for about 4 minutes on each side.  Check one of them is cooked all the way through before serving.

  • Lightly grill the pitta bread before serving.
  • The best way to serve this meal is to place the tortilla chips, cheese and salad in bowls in the middle of the table so that your children can help themselves.  Give everyone a pitta pocket and a turkey patty and then let them loose on the crispy bits.


Manomasa premium tortilla chips come in a range of shapes and sizes with some exciting flavours (which you really can taste).  Our family favourites were the Green Lemon and Pink Peppercorn traditional tortilla chips which we all LOVED.  You can find Manomasa chips in Waitrose, Whole Foods and independent delis.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Training for a 5k Race For Life #RaceForLife

It is around 100 days until Lara and I run a 5 kilometre Race for Life to raise vital funds to support Cancer Research UK.  Our fundraising is off to a good start, with 30% of our £500 target raised already.  Our fundraising will really kick off in the next few weeks and there are lots of fundraising ideas and support packs available through Cancer Research UK online to help us.

Lara had been running with me almost every weekend, just for 1-2km each time, and often very stop-start.  With our Race for Life approaching, I am keen to try and teach her to run the distance.  About 10 months ago I went through the same thing myself.  I used the NHS Couch to 5k scheme to help me go from nothing, to running for a full 30 minutes without stopping.  It took me 7 weeks, running three times a week to be able to run 5km without a break and at the time it took me nearly 39 minutes to complete the distance.

Race for Life do have a series of 5k training plans available for whether you are planning on walking, jogging or running your Race for Life.  I have decided to teach Lara using my own interpretation of the couch-to-5k scheme because we really only get a chance to run together at the weekends and because she is 5, she can't reasonably go for a run without me during the week!!!

Next weekend I am completing my Run England "Leadership in Running Fitness" course so training Lara up is good practice for my new coaching skills.

This past weekend I hoped to teach Lara to run in short repeats.  To push your body even when your brain is telling you to stop.  This is a phenomenally hard skill to learn, whatever your age but it is very hard to explain and to justify to a 5 year old.  We jogged for 3 minutes, and then walked for 90 seconds.  We did this over and over again for around 4.2 kilometres.  We held hands, we talked and giggled.  I showed Lara some of my favourite countryside running routes (it always surprises me how quickly we can be in the middle of the country given that we live in a fairly built up town).  Yes she did pester me every time those 3 minute stretches were beginning to drag but when we reached the end of each interval we had a nice rest and a chat.  I loved it.  She loved it.  I can't wait to do it again.

This weekend I intend to vary the intervals a bit.  Maybe 8 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking?  That's a harder test of your body and brain's ability to keep on running.  I'm sure Lara will take it all in her stride.  I think she has a lot of energy and can probably run a lot faster than me once she has mastered the art of will-power and has learned to pace herself.  I don't think it will be too long before she can jog the full 5km race distance with me - a massive achievement for a 5 year old.

I have set up a JustGiving charity donation website for myself and Lara which took a matter of minutes to do.  We would LOVE it if you could sponsor us to complete our 5k challenge, whatever you can afford.  

Maybe you fancy joining the Pink Army this summer?  If you fancy joining in with the Race For Life challenge yourself then I have a £2 discount code off the cost of entry to any 2015 Race for Life.  Just quote RFLMel when entering the race online.  if you do join up, please leave me a comment below to let me know when and where you will be running - it'd be great to give each other support.
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