SpeakOut Essentials….Accessories With A Voice


I don’t claim to be a fashion guru but I do know a little bit about expressing ones personal and unique style even when you’re a busy mum on the go, fighting the urge to just throw on some mum jeans and desperately attempt to hang on to your individuality. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to carefully piece together a fabulous outfit but one thing that my mum taught me is that you can make any outfit POP with just the right accessories and I have found them in SpeakOut Essentials customized pieces.

SpeakOut Essentials has a very clever concept giving you a range of one of a kind pieces that you can customize to fit your particular taste. The brand epitomizes Bold and Beautiful and so does it’s founder, the young and vibrant Camilla Miller. Camilla pours her passion into her statement pieces in the same manner as an artist does a canvas painting. Each article is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and is made for those that not only enjoy being seen but also love to be heard.

Creator, SpeakOut Essentials, Camilla Miller

Creator, SpeakOut Essentials, Camilla Miller wearing a signature piece

SpeakOut Essentials isn’t just about jewelry. If you like a bit of originality in your home you can also purchase coasters and various home decor pieces. If you have a design concept that you would like to see come to life all you have to do is put through a request to make it happen.

2014-06-30 19.24.36

To see more designs from SpeakOut Essentials click here to follow them on Facebook.

To order some beautiful pieces or to customize your own accessories visit the website at www.xpressncreate.com

Toddler Margot Martini, Inspiration for Fight Against Blood Cancer Dies



It is with the greatest sadness to have heard of the news of two year old Margot Martini’s passing. Margot had been diagnosed with two forms of Leukaemia and had undergone a bone marrow transplant in February. I never had the opportunity to meet Margot or her parents but Cocoaonthegogo was 100% Team Margot.

I remember meeting up with The Free Help Guy and a group of wonderful people waiting for instructions for the first ever Help Mob. We were handed flyers and told to make noise, advocate, and most importantly get people over to participate in a nearby donor drive. I looked down at my flyer to see the sweetest face, a baby girl that reminded me so much of my little NuNu, smiling, all the while fighting for her life. I was proud to take part and even more excited to learn that shortly after a donor was found.

This event was the subject of one of my early blog posts but without a doubt the most meaningful. In just a few short hours I learned the depths of what parents would do for their children as I saw hundreds of people rallying to find a donor. Margot’s parents, Vicki and Yaser, made countless appeals, inspiring tens of thousands of people to register as potential stem cell donors. Margot passed away peacefully at home surronded by her loved ones.

Heaven has gained an angel. Many blessings to her family.

If you would like to register and become a donor or for more information on how you can help save a life go to www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk.

Click here to viw the original post: Cocoa Joins The Mob

Brunel’s SS Great Britain…The Ship That Changed The World @ssGreatBritain @VisitBristol



Before the Titanic there was the SS Great Britain. SS Great Britain is a former passenger steamship turned award winning visitor attraction located in Bristol’s beautiful harbour.

Over years she was carefully designed specifically for the Great Western Steamship Company’s service from Bristol to New York. Upon launching in 1843, the SS Great Britian was the largest vessel afloat. Adding to her accomplishments she became the first steamer to cross the Atlantic in 1845, a 14 day journey.

During her time in service she was employed to undertake an Australian route which was responsible for carrying hundreds of emigrants from Australia to England.  She suffered many mishaps but during her final run as a coal transporter an onboard fire damaged her beyond repair.

Beautifully restored and boasting over 150,000 visitors per year, the SS Great Britian is a Bristol must see.





Address: Great Western Dockyard,  Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY

Weekend in Beautiful Bristol: Family Friendly Travel @mshedbristol @BristolAquarium @BristolZooGdns @AtBristol


Being a young(ish) family, we like to get out and explore, see new things and have a little fun all with our 19 month old busy body. To save on costs and travel time we often opt for day trips, weekend getaways or staycations exploring different parts of London. Thankfully there are some really fantastic places that we can travel to that are within a two to four hour radius of London. This particular weekend we decided to head to Bristol.

Nestled in South West England, Bristol is a city that is built around a historic and beautiful harbour. It’s bustling, it’s culture rich and ultra trendy with the perfect balance of history. It is indeeed a happy marriage of traditional and modern architecture that is apparent upon first entry into the city.

Weeks before our trip I literally immersed myself in the visitBristol website which gives all of the information needed for a trip to the city. It’s tourist friendly AND what makes it really nice is that you can plan your itinerary online so that you can have a clearly laid out trip. We didn’t do that. It is a little difficult to stick with a schedule in between naps, tantrums and feeding times….and that’s just “P” and I, NuNu has her own agenda that she keeps to!

On the two hour drive from London several thoughts came to mind. How will we get on in a trendy city with a baby? No doubt the hubs and I could hit all of the hot spots if we had a babysitter but will Bristol be enjoyable for a toddler? Thanks to the nice peeople at visitBristol for facilitating portions of our trip we had more than my half prepared list of “must visit” places to guide us through the city.

Novotel City Centre Bristol


First stop, hotel check in. We opted for Novotel Bristol Centre which was one of the family friendly accommodations listed on the visitBristol website. The location was prime, the hotel has available parking and is within walking distance of all of the sites.

We found our Superior Room with queen bed and convertible sofa to be more than enough room for the three of us. Even with a spacious work area, mini bar and tea and coffee console, the room still had space for our little NuNu to comfortably and safely run about. Extra plus was the small refrigerator that we used to store milk and juices. In addition to the perks of the room, in the lobby area there is an Xbox with games for older kids (or adults) to play. It was certainly a hit because it was in constant use with kids watching on as they wait their turn.

Novotel Bristol Centre was not a let down for us parents either. It is equipped with a full fitness suite with a lovely sauna and steam room. We included breakfast with our booking which I will say was top notch. It included all of the staples of hot and cold breakfast items served buffet style. I was even able to special order vegetarian sausages.  The staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the surrounding area.  We would without a doubt recommend Novotel Bristol Centre.

Address : Victoria St, Bristol BS1 6HY www.novotel.com

Bristol Aquarium


On our first day we decided to head out to Bristol Aquarium.  The aquarium boasts over 4,000 aquatic creatures and various forms of plant life. Visiting the aquarium makes for a great outing for the entire family. It’s like a maze of one exciting exhibit after another with sharks, octopus, and seahorses to name a few. You can tell when you are getting close to the clownfish display by the tiny voices echoing through the corridor yelling “Nemo!” 


Address: Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT www.bristolaquarium.co.uk



You don’t have to be a science buff to thoroughly enjoy this state of the art interactive science centre. With over 300 hands on science exhibits the centre lives up to its motto of making science accessible to everyone. In addition to the many exhibits, there are live science shows as well as a planetarium. Though most of the exhibits were well over NuNu’s level of comprehension, many of the exhibits provided a high level of sensory stimulation. If visiting with kids I suggest dedicating an entire afternoon to partake in all that the centre has to offer.

Address : Anchor Rd, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB www.at-bristol.org.uk

M Shed


City museums are typically small and rarely showcase the history of the people up to present day but this free museum does so in a very notable manner. From the first step into the museum visitors experience the struggles, trials and triumphs of Bristol’s past and present. I originally approached the M Shed with one mission and that was to caste my eyes on artwork by Bristol’s own, the infamous Banksy. That I did. It was a rather small piece but I also discovered that Bristol has a rich history in the labor movement, women’s rights, trade industry as well as the arts. Atop the M Shed is one of the most amazing views of the Harbour via its fully accessible roof top terrace.


Address : Prince’s Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN www.mshed.org

Clifton Suspension Bridge


If you are looking for the most stunning views in the city, Clifton Suspension Bridge is the place. Soon to celebrate 150 years, the bridge is long standing, spanning Avon Gorge and the River Avon. I will admit that out of my fear of bridges I didn’t dare to take any of these photos. I did however enjoy the views from the lookout point which in itself was breathtaking enough. This spectacle takes sightseeing to extremely new heights.




Bristol Zoo Gardens


Since I was a kid I loved a day out at the zoo so I had to take this opportunity to give NuNu her first experience. She absolutely loves animals and having been on several safari excursions in Zimbabwe the child now thinks that a lion is as cuddly as a kitten! The Bristol Zoo is a fantastic 12 acres housing over 400 species. There are also cafes and exhibits which ensures that there isn’t a shortage of animals to see and things to do. Allow yourself 2-3 hours to take it all in especially if you are interested in the many attractions such as ZooRopia (high ropes obstacle course) or Zooniversal Studios (an intractive acting experience).

Address : Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA www.bristolzoo.org.uk

The Verdict

Bristol is a city with everything for everyone and scores high marks for being very family friendly. It is a place that can be enjoyed by those with an affinity for the arts, music, nature, architecture or those that can appreciate a beautiful, rather chilled out scene. Bristol is a place that we will be returning to as well as recommending!

Eat Fresh, Eat Poco…Bristol @TomsFeast


There isn’t anything that I enjoy more than a good meal aside from a good meal in an atmosphere that leaves you to believe that everyone that you are around appreciates the same thing. Poco in Bristol has that. Situated on Jamaica Street, this hidden oasis of seasonal goodness is nestled on a corner plot of a graffiti lined street. Some may call it small or cramped but I call it cozy and intimate.

Everything has the taste of garden to kitchen, fresh and refreshing. The founders of Poco doesn’t just talk the talk of the environmentally conscious, eco-friendly types. The menu reflects its purpose. 90 percent of the ingredients used are sourced in the UK using local suppliers. The fish that is served is sustainably acquired. The menu changes monthly to mirror what is available seasonally which gives diners something new to look forward to. Dinner is made up of a tasty tapas selection serving up small delicious plates. I typically wouldn’t go for tapas because the American in me loves to see lots of food on my plate but the portions were more than enough. “P” and I ordered several dishes and left completely satisfied.

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Rosemary Chips

Rosemary Chips

Lamb, watercress with har

Lamb, watercress with harissa

Moroccan spiced lentil so

Moroccan spiced lentil soup

Poco's own Elderflower Cordial

Poco’s Very Own Elderflower Cordial

**For those parents that are visiting with baby in tow I do recommend leaving behind the pram if possible as space is limited. High chairs are available for the little ones.

For an updated menu visit www.eatpoco.com


45 Jamaica Street




Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist Village, Victoria Falls Zimbabwe


Visiting Victoria Falls is an experience and stumbling across the nearby Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist Village was an extra added treat. It’s a central place where you can buy the most stunning art directly from the artists. This family run operation is also home to The Ruoko Project, a community based initiative spearheaded by management and the Ndau Collection. The Ruoko Project identifies local talent, giving them space to work, create and bring forth their masterpieces to the marketplace. There are plenty of shops selling everything from one of a kind paintings to larger than life sculptures.




Collage 2014-08-14 19_08_45~2




You will also find the most charming cafe with extra comfy, colourful seating within the plaza, a great place to relax in between shopping!

For more information on Elephants Walk Shopping and Artist Village click here.


3 Ingredient Pancakes- FLOURLESS


My favourite breakfast consists of nothing other than a huge stack of pancakes, American style, fluffy and filling. I know that it isn’t the healthiest choice so I decided to try out an alternative that would satisfy my flapjack craving. I made flourless banana pancakes.  It turned out to be a light, easy, no guilt breakfast. They were absolutely great but I will say that they aren’t a replacement for the real deal, just an alternative.


2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder (can be left out)

(yields 3-4 pancakes)


In a bowl beat two eggs

Add baking powder to egg mixture

In a separate bowl mash the peeled ripe bananas (lumps are ok as it gives the pancakes it’s fluffiness)

Combine the egg mixture with the bananas

Stir until totally mixed or place in a blender and lightly pulse the mixture

Cook on a hot griddle or pan just as you would traditional pancakes (flip the pancake to cook through the other side).

Plate them up and top with butter, maple syrup and blueberries. I used Cloister  Whipped Honey with Cinnamon instead of syrup and it woke this dish up making it absolutely YUMMY!

*I have not mastered perfectly round pancakes but they are delicious just the same!*

Mmmmm Mmmmm Goood! Makes me think of one of my favourite artists, Jack Johnson singing “Banana Pancakes”

Cocoa’s Juice Concoctions: Little Red Riding Hood

Do you remember the story of Little Red Riding Hood? She walked into the forest on the path to Grandma’s house only to encounter a Big Bad Wolf. Well, the wolf takes advantage of her naivety and ultimately swallows her up. Much like Little Red Riding Hood, this juice is extremely mild and for those that like a bit of colour but not a whole lot of bite. It’s bright red due to the beetroot and accompanied by kale, spinach, celery, and just a small amount of ginger, it’s just perfectly balanced.

Collage 2014-08-08 12_20_58