Monday, 31 August 2015

One Ingredient Healthy Ice Cream



I'm sure a lot of you reading this have probably already come across the healthy banana ice cream aka the 'nana nice cream' recipe that so many people seem to be obsessing over at the moment. Just in case you haven't, I thought I would share it with you all because it really is too good to miss out on (unless you dislike banana - in which case this is probably not the recipe for you). 

I put off making this for a while because I really didn't think it would be that good. Oh how I was so wrong! The recipe is simple. Literally just frozen bananas. You can use however many you like but I usually use two medium sized bananas for a breakfast/snack portion. I usually leave them in the freezer overnight just to make sure they are really solid. 

Then you just blend your banana's up! At first it goes into a sort of grainy texture and the first time I made it I was thinking.. what have I done wrong?! You just have to wait a little and as the banana melts a teeny bit, it will suddenly turn into the ice cream texture you are looking for. Sort of similar to Mr Whippy! Then just spoon into a bowl and voila! It's as easy as that! 

I usually eat mine just on its own but you can add various other things to jazz it up a bit. Things like cacoa powder and peanut butter are good because the flavours go SO well with banana. It's also nice topped with nuts, chia seeds, strawberries, cacoa nibs and granola. 


Have any of you tried this recipe before? 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

2 Years Of Blogging



Today, the 26th August 2015, marks exactly 2 years of blogging.. or in other words..


Happy 2nd Birthday Rachel Coco!

If someone had told me when I was starting this blog two years ago that I would still be blogging now, I probably wouldn't have believed them! I would have liked to think so but in all honesty I'm not really one to stick to stuff - I get bored and change my mind too easily. 

2 years on and I still love it! I've had ups and downs with it but I've completely taken my focus of sticking to a rigid schedule and concentrating on numbers. Now I just blog when I feel like it (which happens to be quite frequently). I also just blog about whatever I want to blog about. When I first started, my posts were very fashion focused. My interests have changed a lot now and don't get me wrong, I still love buying pretty clothes but I've realised that I prefer writing about more general lightstyle-y things. 

This may sound a bit OTT but my blog has actually changed my life in various ways. For starters getting invited on an all expenses paid trip to London (with Unite Students) back at the start of the month was one of the coolest and completely surreal things ever. It felt so crazy that the only reason I was given that opportunity was because of my blog. And It wasn't even just the fact that it was all expenses paid, meeting other bloggers and making new friends was amazing. I wouldn't even know them if it wasn't for this! 

I've also made some other amazing friends - Hollie, Victoria, Charlotte, Han, Jess (to name a few) who I am yet to actually meet.. but we will one day!

In addition to all that brilliant stuff, blogging has made me realise what path I want to take with my life. It took me a very long time to actually discover what kind of career I want but I'm now completely set on a digital marketing/PR/SEO kind of thing (that sounds a bit vague but jobs like this usually involve some kind of mix of all of those things). My blog involves a great deal of marketing and I spend half my life (probably more like 80%) on the internet so I definitely think it's my thing.

I just want to thank all the readers of my blog - whether you've been reading for a while or you just clicked on today! Also.. all the people who regularly leave me the most lovely comments, thank you so much! It makes me so happy that people actually read my posts and take the time to leave a nice little message for me. 

I know blogging isn't about the number of followers you have, but it sure does make it exciting and I wouldn't be able to get involved with such brilliant opportunities without you. So yeah. thanks a MILLION. Mwah. All the love. R. 



XOXO 

Monday, 24 August 2015

The London Student Experience Video Summary




You may have already read about my trip to London with Unite Students. A group of 12 creative bloggers/vloggers were put into groups to create the most epic 24 hour guides to London. I already want to go back in time and do it all over again! 

Some of the footage collected from the very talented camera guys has already been put together to create a summary of what we all did. I absolutely love the video as I think it really sums up how much fun we all had and captures London so nicely. It has also been edited perfectly thanks to Tim (the camera guy). I've never featured in something that looks so professional before so I'm quite proud to be part of it!



I would love it very much if you would like/share the video and subscribe :)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Food Heaven At Pizza Express




I am posting this for no other reason than the fact that I went to Pizza Express and took some good pictures of some good food. I think the pictures are too nice (and yummy looking) not to put to use.. so yeah. 

I'm sure the a lot of you have probably been to Pizza Express before.. but if you haven't, I highly recommend that you do! They do the most amazing thin and crispy pizzas with a huge range of delicious toppings. You can even get a carbonara pizza with white sauce rather than tomato! *drools*.

After perusing the menu and trying to make the VERY difficult decision of what pizza to have (I take my food choosing very seriously), I opted for the Pollo Forzo, a fairly spicy pizza topped with chicken, peppers, red chilli, chilli flakes, mozzarella, chilli oil and garlic oil. Being a fan of spicy food, I really enjoyed it (If you don't like anything remotely spicy - do not go for this one!).

Not only do they do delicious pizza's, but they also offer the yummiest side dishes. My favourite definitely has to be the polenta chips. They're quite hard to describe so I won't attempt it.. just try them and thank me later. They also do bruschetta, cheesy garlic bread, dough balls with garlic butter and various other yummy things. 

At £9.99 to around £12.99 (if I remember correctly) for a Pizza, it's super cheap. Great value and yummy food - what's not to like?! They also usually give you '2 for 1' discount cards cards at the end of your meal - definitely another good excuse to go out for more pizza! Wait, who am I kidding?.. when does pizza ever need an excuse?

Where's your favourite place to go for pizza?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Autumn Vibes At Topshop | Capsule Wardrobe Goals



Even though it's still August and we still have a fair chunk of Summer left, I'm already feeling those Autumnal vibes. English weather never gets that warm anyway! I can't wait to be able to wear my thick coat, jumpers and boots again. Not to mention all the dark colours and plum lipsticks! eeee plum lipstick. Why am I this excited about lipstick?

I have recently had a major sort out of my wardrobe as I had somehow managed to build up a hoard of things that i'm nev-er going to wear...(acid wash denim hot pants anyone?.. didn't think so). I probably have about 4 outfits in total that I actually like wearing *queue shopping spree*.

I'm hoping that the change of season will mean lots more clothes that I like. I've already noticed that Topshop have definitely got more 'me' kinda clothes at the moment (and the cutest pizza iPhone case) so I may have to have a little splurge and see what I think. I dream of having the perfect capsule wardrobe of monochrome clothes that I can mix and match with. Something along the lines of the wardrobe below. #WardrobeGoals.




Are you a capsule wardrobe kind of person or more of a giant-hoarder-wardrobe kind of person?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

MTV X Ampfly Phone Case




You know those times when you're playing music from your phone but it's just not quite loud enough? (this problem usually arises when I'm in the shower)... WELL MTV have recently released the MTV X Ampfly iPhone cases which will solve all of your quiet music problems! The case is designed specially to amplify the sound of your music so it's actually 3 X louder than it usually would be without the case. It's got to be loud music or no music, wouldn't you agree? 

The cases come in different colours and I opted for white just because it goes with everything. I also had it personalised with the words 'Coffee Queen' down the sides.. because, well, coffee. The case is pretty bulky so I don't use it all the time (A naked iPhone is a beautiful thing after all..) but it's so useful for keeping your phone completely protected when you're on the go. It's super sturdy!




* The MTV phone case was gifted however all opinions are completely my own *

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The London Student Experience With Unite Students



Just a little pre warning that this is quite a lengthy post! Grab yourself a coffee (or whatever beverage floats your boat) and enjoy.

As you may have already read, on the 3rd-6th August I visited London to work with Unite Students and take part in a 24-hour challenge. 12 bloggers/vloggers with an interest in marketing, journalism and photography were chosen.. (I can't believe how lucky I was to be chosen out of all the thousands of bloggers out there..!). In our teams we had to create a '24 hour student guide to London' aiming to keep within budget and find hidden gems 'off the beaten track'.  

Anyway.. let's start from the beginning. On the 3rd of August I hopped on the train from Darlington station to Kings Cross. I was excited but also incredibly nervous! I'm quite a shy person so meeting 11 people I had never met before and spending 3 days with them was a pretty daunting prospect. I was also worried about finding my way to the right place. It turns out I really had nothing to worry about at all! I managed to get the tube to the right place (haaaaallelujah). We then travelled to the Stratford ONE student accommodation where we would be staying for the three days. 

After the boring stuff AKA filling in some forms and signing papers, we all started to get to know each other. I honestly don't know why I was so worried because everyone was SO lovely. No one made me feel awkward/shy and the fact that we're bloggers meant that we had lots of stuff to talk about. On the first night I even had a conversation with some of the girls about how good the film Notting Hill is.. from then I really knew we would get on juuuuust fine. 



We were shown to our lovely rooms which I would describe as very luxury student accommodation.. definitely nothing like the typical scruffy dives that a lot of students live in. There was a goody bag left on each of our beds containing the likes of a portable phone charger, a USB stick and even our favourite snack (I chose chocolate chip cookies). 


Once we had settled in to our rooms, we all headed up to the Stratford ONE 'Sky Room' on the top floor (the view can be seen in the picture below). We all enjoyed a few drinks and got to know each other a bit more. 


I was just sat there sipping procesecco with the most incredible view, thinking to myself.. yep. I could get used to this. Just when I thought things couldn't get much better, we were told we were going out for dinner and bowling at All Stars in Westfield shopping centre! 


We chowed down on delicious burgers and fries and then bowled. It was SO much fun and I'm pretty sure I spent the majority of the evening laughing. 

* * *

PLANNING DAY


The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast of fruit, pastries and yoghurt in the sky room. The almond croissants were delicious (it had lots of the squidgy almond filling) and now I'm craving one just thinking about it. MmmMMmMm. 


The morning was spent learning some interesting stuff about marketing and photography thanks to the guys from STEAK and Tim the photographer. This was followed by snack time and an amazing feast for lunch - they certainly kept us very well fed. 



After lunch we were put into our teams of four for the #UStudents24 challenge. I was with Jade, Nammie and Lewis. I would have been more than happy with anyone in the whole group but I was pleased with my team as we came to realise how similar we are and how much we just wanted to have fun during the challenge. 

We decided on the team name TEAM BUELLER - thanks to Lewis who had the genius idea of theming our guide as a 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' style day. As I said before, I can be quite nervous with new people but it was absolutely fine because they are beyond lovely and we got on so well (Thank you so much guys <3). We spent the rest of the day planning our itinerary and the places we wanted to include in our day out. 

In the evening we ate pizza. This was actually my first Domino's experience! Thoughts? it was good but not as good as Pizza Express. We then went to bed in attempt to get an early night for the challenge ahead of us.


* * *

CHALLENGE DAY

At 4am my alarm went off. I had a pretty good sleep so getting up wasn't too bad..(the challenge was yet to come though). Everyone met in the Sky room at 5am to watch the sunrise before embarking on the challenge at 6am. We were also given a budget of £60 each for the day (£30 for food and £30 for activities and entries). Our first stop was Jonestown for coffee in Bethnal Green. I had the most incredible iced caramel latté.. and let me tell you, it was very much needed after the early start. It's such a cute little café and was the perfect place to start the day.


Once we had been nicely fuelled with Jonestown coffee, we mooched down Brick Lane. I don't think I had ever walked down Brick Lane before (not that I can remember anyway) but the street art is absolutely incredible. 



Next stop was the Cereal Killer café in Shoreditch and this was probably the place I was most excited to visit.. I mean it's a cafe that sells every cereal variety you could ever imagine (even ones you don't know exist) plus toppings and all different milk varieties. I had peanut butter Jif cereal topped with peanut butter chips and it was HEAVENLY. I must add that it was very difficult to choose what to have. I reckon I need around 31538178 more trips just so I can try every cereal that I feel I must experience. 



Next we headed to the Sky Garden on Fenchurch street which is at the top of the 'Walkie Talkie building'. The view was quite incredible! It's actually completely free to visit the Sky Garden, you just have to book beforehand! Cool huh!


After that, we perused Borough market and its mouth watering food offerings. I'm a complete foodie so I felt a bit like I was in food heaven. We had a quick game of 'find the freebie'.. it's amazing what you can get for free if you just ask! 


We also went to Tate Modern for a browse and of course we had to take a Ferris Bueller art gallery esque picture (if you haven't seen the film, this will make no sense and if you haven't seen the film - why on earth have you not seen the film?!) I really like Tate Modern because it's full of super quirky art which I actually find really interesting to look at. There's even a piece that is simply just a square mirror.. which sounds weird but it has a great description (it's all to do with how self obsessed and superficial people have become).

                                        

By this time it was around 1pm and we needed energy after a full on morning. Pie Minister  in Southbank was our lunch spot as Unite Students had secured us a free lunch there. I can honestly say that it did not disappoint. I went for the 'Free Ranger' pie which was chicken and leek in a creamy sauce. YUM.


After our delicious lunch we continued to stroll along Southbank. I really like this area as there was a nice balance of busy city vibes but also greenery and trees. We came across a 'Snog' fro yo party bus which meant fro yo simply had to be purchased. We had SUCH a good food day.


Next was Covent garden where we had a quick look round the Moomin store (SO CUTE) and spent a bit of time chilling in the sun watching street performers. Then we got a Rickshaw to Leicester Square which was brilliant! There's something about travelling by rickshaw that feels so classy. It was also quite a relief not to be walking somewhere for the first time in the day! This was followed by a browse in Forbidden Planet (a sci-fi shop) which was totally not my thing but hey, we wanted our guide to appeal to all different types of student!



And then we bought some American candy because who can resist Reeses pieces? (not me).


We had a very quick stop at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. I've actually been there a few times before but it's one of those things that's always cool to do in London because it's free and interesting to look around * queue dinosaur pose *.


We walked to Hyde Park which is absolutely beautiful. It was really nice to get a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unfortunately by this time the weather had taken a turn for the worst and it was also at this point that the very early start was beginning to take its toll. We were all exhausted and everything ached! I completely underestimated how difficult going round London all day would be! After our walk and a quick go on the pedalo's, it was definitely food time. 


Our dinner spot was Maggie Jones's, a little cosy and rustic restaurant in Kensington. It was very different to any restaurant I've ever been to before and the food was deeeeelish. For a restaurant in Kensington, it was surprisingly not too expensive. I opted for a lamb rump with garlic and rosemary sauce (£24.95) with a side of new potato's. The lamb was cooked to perfection and deliciously crispy * dreams about food *. Also the waiter who served us was dreamy.. definitely heart eye emoji worthy. 

After our refuel we felt a lot better and ready to take on the rest of the evening!


Our next stop was the outdoor Luna cinema in the grounds of Kensington Palace to watch the 80's classic, 'The Lost Boys'. On our way there we walked through the Kensington Palace gardens which are so picturesque and peaceful. Definitely the perfect spot for a mid evening walk. 


Because Jade is so brilliant, she managed to secure us premium seating at the Luna cinema which included free drinks and a cookie.. oh and we also got a lanyard which was cool because we felt very VIP * super cool sunglasses emoji *. My first experience of an outdoor cinema was a good one!


It was coming to the end of the day and our last stop was The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields for cocktails. Unlike any place I have been to before, if you go up to a member of staff and ask to see 'The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town' they will lead you to the fridge and open the door to which leads you to a secret underground bar. Seriously how cool is that?! 

After finishing our cocktails we decided to call it a night and slowly begin our trek back to base camp. On our way back we managed to fit in a bit of sight seeing including some very quirky late night art and the 'gherkin' all lit up. The tiredness was really kicking in by this point so we got an Uber back to Stratford ONE.


To end the day on a high, we decided to chill out with Netflix and sweets before collapsing into bed. We didn't manage 24 hours but we did manage 22 which I think is pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I don't think I've ever packed so many things into one day before! It was a challenge but I had such a brilliant time seeing parts of London that I had never seen. 



* * *

PRESENTATION DAY

The next day we were up bright and early to start compiling our footage from the challenge day. We had to create a 15 minute presentation ready to present back to the whole group.

After lunch, all three groups went up to the Sky Room ready to present what we had put together. I loved getting to see what the other two teams had done. Both of the other teams (Team RAIR and the Dream Team) had put together brilliant days out and I honestly had no idea who was going to win. While the judges were deliberating over the result, we all made our way downstairs to eagerly wait.. 

And guess what?! TEAM BUELLER WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ACTUALLY WON!!!!!!!!!!!


I was so over excited when they announced that Team Bueller had won. It was just brilliant! (Feeling kinda emosh just reminiscing over it now). Oh and we each won an iPad mini! Eeeeeek!


After a quick interview, it was time to say goodbye and head back home. I had only known everyone for three days but it honestly felt like I had been friends with these people for years.. such an odd feeling! It made saying goodbye quite emotional and I really didn't want to go. I could have quite happily stayed for a few more weeks!


I still can't quite believe how lucky I was to take part in this amazing opportunity. I thought it would be good but I really had no idea how much of an amazing time I was going to have. It was an experience I will never forget! I went to London, did amazing things and met amazing people. I really don't think it could have been any better! 

I want to say a huge thank you to the people from Unite Students and STEAK for making this happen and inviting me to take part! 

I also want to say thank you to the whole group for just being awesome people and making this trip so much fun. I hope we can all reunite at some point in the future! 

And thank you Tim for being a brilliant camera man! 


#TEAMBUELLER


* All expenses were paid by Unite Students however all opinions are totally my own because lying is not cool *