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

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

Cocoa’s Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter Bananas

Since getting my shipment of 10kgs worth of Spaghetti Squash I’ve been thinking of different squash dishes  to make. Not just because I really need to eat them all but it’s also the season where a good pumpkin, squash or warm dish is welcome after coming in from the cold.

I wanted to make something hearty but not chunky. Something sweet with a kick of heat. I decided to try a banana butternut squash soup. It just sounded like it would blend well together so I tried it out and it was DEEEELIIIIICIIIIOOOOUUUUSSSS!


**I don’t measure, so this is not a “proper” recipe. I cook to taste**


1 Butternut Squash

Bananas (however many you want- I used 1 per squash)- Can be substituted for apple


Brown Sugar

All Spice (the kind used for pumpkin pies)





Preheat oven to 350F

Cut the Butternut Squash in half.

Season the flesh of the squash with sprinkles of salt, pepper, and spread on melted butter (add cinnamon if you like)

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, place the squash on the pan flesh side up

Place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until it is easily pierced with a fork

Bananas in Brown Butter Sauce

Slice one banana

Melt butter in a pan and stir in sprinkles of brown sugar and All Spice.

Place sliced bananas in the pan and brown them on all sides

Once brown, place on the side


Remove the squash from the oven and peel off the skin

Cut the squash into chunks

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The Soup

Place the chunks of squash and banana/brown butter sauce mixture in a food processor/blender adding in a bit of water  to get your desired consistency.  Salt and Pepper to taste.


Put into a saucepan and stir until piping hot.

Top with grated cheese and cinnamon if you so desire.

Goes great with a classic grilled cheese sandwich  or French bread.

Serve and Enjoy!


Cocoa Goes Punting on the River Cam

As summer slips away and tucks itself into the clouds  I find it fitting to reminisce over the days of sunshine and seemingly endless  blue skies.

It was only a few weeks ago that we visited Cambridge and went out for a bit of exploration. I am not a huge history buff but I am a lover of pretty things and Cambridge gives the perfect combination of both. What better way to explore the history of such a beautiful place than by punting down the River Cam.

Judging by the mass amount of people walking the streets on this sunny day this is obviously a tourist hot spot but it certainly doesn’t have the feel of it. I spotted couples snuggled up on the grass, ladies in frilly dresses sitting beneath the shade trees and smartly dressed men dashing about, bottle of wine in hand presumably taking advantage of this gorgeous day by planning the perfect date.

“P” and I strolled the paths along the river and booked in a time slot with one of many punting companies, typically manned by students of one of the local universities.


Punting is very similar to the gondola rides that are popular in Italy or at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The only difference is that instead of an oar, punters use a long pole to propel the boat through the water. Punting takes a great deal of physical strength and skill so you can go with the chauffeur option or if you are really daring you can jump on a boat and do it yourself.  In order to enjoy the scenery and get a guided tour we took advantage of being chauffeured down the river.  Not only is it relaxing but it is ultra romantic in a very Pride and Prejudice kind of way.

Here are some lovely moments along with some tidbits of history that I was able to capture  while floating down the river.



King's College Chapel

King’s College Chapel



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Queen's College Mathematical Bridge- named for it's architectural design. The arrangement of the timbers follow some mathematical theory that I can't comprehend, but that's the story!

Queen’s College Mathematical Bridge- named for it’s architectural design. The arrangement of the timbers follow some mathematical theory that I can’t comprehend, but that’s the story!

Even though the experience was nothing short of fantastic we did witness other punters experiencing moments of “River Rage”, and some playing what seemed to be “bumper boats”.  We also got a brief tutorial of what bridge jumping looked like. Bridge jumping is when an adventurous soul is compelled to hop out of their punting boat, latch on to a bridge, climb up, run across and jump back down into the boat as it crosses underneath.

Going Over!

Going Over!

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Apparently you can rent a punt for a “hen do” otherwise known as a bachelorette party. It comes equipped with your very own scantily clad masked bloke to navigate you and your friends down the river.


St John's College

St John’s College


There are approximately 70 spaces along the River Cam permitted for residential boating. At present time, it costs approximately £1, 071.60 to moor (park) a two person occupancy boat along the river. Not bad for rent! I will certainly add this to my “Living List” (things to do while I’m still alive and kicking it).


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Ladies enjoying wine under a shade tree on Jesus Green on the River Cam. Just north of Jesus College.

Ladies enjoying wine under a shade tree on Jesus Green on the River Cam. Just north of Jesus College.



NuNu thoroughly enjoyed herself. You can see it in her eyes!

NuNu thoroughly enjoyed herself. You can see it in her eyes!


A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself” ~ Laura Gilpin

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Part 1

When driving through any part of London it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the city. The sounds of the train, the crowds, the big red double decker buses zooming by captivate your senses. The Victorian style buildings and random statues make the place look and feel like the world’s largest outdoor museum.

When you are here long enough you really start to take for granted the beauty of it all, but once in a while you have that one thing, that one picturesque, jaw dropping, “I have got to get a photo of this” kind of moment. That’s exactly what happened on our way back from Cambridge just getting back into the city. I was half asleep and “P” was driving. He told me that he had to show me something, a beautiful building. I was thinking to myself, “O.k., another old building…whoopty whoop”. To be honest, how spectacular could it be? We are just off a main thoroughfare in Neasden (once nicknamed The Loneliest Village in London). I see people walking, homes, and cars bustling by (nothing out of the norm), until all of a sudden I see a black gate with gold trim. He pulls over and tells me to jump out and take a look, so I do. Peering through the gate I can see a tall white building with flags flying from the rooftop. What…Is…This???

Through the gates

Through the gates


I know at that very moment I am looking at what has to be considered one of the Wonders of London, perhaps the world. Absolutely no exaggeration. I’ve seen beauty and perfection in the form of architecture but this is more than that. Just being close to the gate I feel something, a gravitational pull of sorts drawing me in. I want to see more. It’s BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir commonly known as Neasden Temple. It was closed for the evening but I HAVE to get back for a proper visit. This is indeed a hidden treasure that I want to explore.

Front View

Front View

Part 2 soon to follow…..