Simple and healthy banana pancakes!

I know that I speak for many other people when I say that it is very exciting to find a healthy substitute for naughty, yummy foods! So when my friend introduced me to these tasty little pancakes I was very happy! They are extremely quick and easy to make with minimal ingredients which is a huge positive. If they took any longer to make, I would probably leave them to the weekend  because in all honesty, sleep comes first for me! That shows how quick they are.

Unlike the simple yet classic pancakes that I would usually make, these pancakes do not contain flour which makes them great for those people with intolerances. These little beauties contain two simple ingredients: eggs and bananas. I like to add some little extra flavours to spice things up a bit when I have them in the cupboard, however these pancakes are still tasty with the base ingredients- but you can add what you like as toppings to add more flavours!

So basically, it works like this: each person you are feeding has an egg and a banana. (My 1 egg: 1banana ratio mix made 9 small pancakes.) You throw it all into a bowl and blend until you have a fairly smooth consistency. I hand mashed/whisked the mixture the first time I made these pancakes and used an electric whisk the second time I made them. Both ways are really easy, however I think a smoother mixture can be achieved using the electronic tool. I then throw in a tiny dash and sprinkle of vanilla extract and cinnamon powder to add a little oomph (optional).

I then melt about a teaspoon of coconut oil into the pan to use for frying the pancakes. Once the oil is hot enough (you can test this by dropping a dot of mixture into the pan and if it sizzles a little it is ready) then pour the mixture into the pan to make your desired sized pancakes. I have heard good things about coconut oil so I prefer to use this, however any other cooking oil can be used.

Cook them like normal pancakes on a medium to high heat, turning occasionally. They are delicate pancakes and can burn fairly easy so be aware of this and be ready to turn down the heat if they brown too fast. I imagine them as scrambled eggs and judge the cooking time similarly to that- if you like your eggs soft or slightly more bouncy, cook your pancakes accordingly to that (but don't scramble them!).

Once cooked, I throw on whatever I fancy or whatever I've got laying around in the cupboards. This time I used sultanas, milled flaxseed and a drizzle of honey to keep it healthy. If you want, you can add chocolate drops, ice cream, fruit or anything else you like! Mixed nuts are also very nice for an extra crunch.

Will you be trying this amazingly simple yet healthy recipe? Let me know how you get on and enjoy!

A presto!
Olivia x

University life: studying, partying, making memories.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of bright eyed students flock to University in order to start their degrees, have a load of fun and make some great friends. Last September, that person was me leaving my teary- eyed mother as she handed me over to my new, excited flatmates as we began our university lives.... with a trusty pint of snakebite!

When choosing my accommodation for University I had a lot of choice about where to stay and how much money I wanted to spend on it. I think that most people, like me, automatically wanted  to live in Halls with their own en-suite bathroom, however these are usually the most expensive ones. After weighing up all the options, I decided to choose accommodation that I never thought I would go for, however I am so happy with my choice now. My flat housed 26 people and 7 bathrooms which I was dubious about at first but very early on it proved to be absolutely fine! 

The great thing, (and also the downfall) about this accommodation was that I was catered for, which meant that I had all of my meals cooked for me. This is very handy when you have lots of work to do, you are really hungover, or if you simply can't be bothered! It can also be very bad if you are trying to watch what you eat, or just if you want a bit more variety in your food choices. Overall, I would highly recommend accommodation like this because it really brings you and your flatmates together. Most of my flatmates and I ate dinner together every day which was lovely, even if they did sing happy birthday to me every day for the whole of first year as a joke!

Freshers week/fortnight provides a great few days of partying for all freshers. It is a brilliant way to meet new people and bond with your flatmates. I have found that many of the friends that I made during freshers were my friends for the rest of the year and hopefully in the future too. Everyone is more forgiving and open during freshers so do not be afraid to really open yourself up to new people during this time.

After freshers you have to do a little bit of studying though. How unfortunate! Remember the real reason you are at University, but at the same time as long as it isn't getting in the way of your studies, go and have some fun! First year was created for this reason- so that crazy young people can get it out of their system- and seriously, it works! I think that without first year and its perk of not counting towards your final degree grade, so many more people would be in big trouble. Or is that just me? Damn those £1 Jagerbombs....

I have just completed my first year and even though I am happy with my good grade, I would advise others not to bust a gut in first year and to have a good balance between work and play because I can already feel the pressure of the coming years mounting! The grade you achieve during first year does not contribute to your overall grade, so go and have fun and make up for those nights in second and third year that you can't make out!

Some of my flatmates and I playing dress-up

Good luck to all you freshers for the upcoming term! I hope I have been of some help.

Disclaimer: above is all my views and I am not to blame if you party too hard.

A presto!
Olivia x


The 'low down' of Olivia.

My three siblings on the left, my Dad and I on the right.

As you may learn, I can sometimes be a little scattered with my thoughts and direction. However, I know a few things for sure about myself and my life, so here's a little bit about me.

I am 20 years old and I am loving life as a student whilst studying BA Italian and Management Studies at The University of Reading. I am from a little town in the South West of England and have lived in the same house my whole life- which I absolutely love going home to when I need some loving (and food) from my great family.

I have a huge love for travelling, food, my family and also most things Italian. I might have a small addiction to LUSH products too, but I will try to contain that one.... Some of these topics are likely to crop up here, along with other exciting added extras to keep you on your toes!

I am writing this blog simply to express my thoughts on every day topics that interest me, which maybe somebody out there will enjoy or benefit from. :)

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it, (which some days, might not be very much if I'm in a mound of books attempting to translate an Italian novel, or something similarly exhilarating, so sorry about that one). Jokes. Not

A Presto! 

Olivia x

My first post! Holidaying in Greece.

As this is my first post, I thought I would write about something fun and exciting that is fresh in my mind. Two days ago I arrived home from a lovely 11 day break on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu.

It was my third visit to Paleokastritsa and it certainly did not disappoint, yet again. This area of Corfu has been long known to be one of the most beautiful places on the island, and I completely agree! During my past two visits however, I did not fully appreciate the beauty that the village holds so it was a pleasant realisation for me this time round.

Paleokastritsa is about forty minutes away from the airport which is located in Corfu Town where the main shopping amenities, small bars and restaurants can also be found. Away from the hustle and bustle of town, little old Paleo holds several hidden gems of restaurants, beaches and beautiful sights to visit.

As already mentioned, I have been to Paleo twice before so I went there this time with the intention to lay in the sun for the majority of the time, only to go to the bar every now and again for another cocktail. I visited a few beautiful beaches including Agia Triada beach, Paradise beach and La Grotta, just to name a few.

My friend and I were invited to a night time BBQ on Paradise beach which is a beautiful little cove which can only be reached by boat. We journeyed across the sea at about 10.30pm in the darkness, in a little boat full of Greek people happily chatting away whilst us little blonde English girls sat in the corner. We arrived at a little beach where only the flames of the BBQ and the odd little flickering lantern illuminated the happy faces of our company for the evening. We ate pork chops and sausages with our hands in the dark; it was phenomenal food. Our new Greek friends (who were all double our age or more) were extremely welcoming and couldn't be more accommodating, seeing as though we pretty much crashed their annual work party! After dinner we all chilled out and watched the stars for hours. We saw two or three shooting stars and we attempted to find some of the constellations and failed miserably! After a happy and relaxed evening, we all piled back into the boats and sang Adele songs at the top of our voices underneath the orange moon.

La Grotta

La Grotta is a beautiful little area in the rocky edge of the cliff that surrounds crystal clear waters. There is a bar there serving cocktails and snacks all day and night that pumps out music for the visitors. There are ledges in the rocks and sun beds dotted around for those wanting a break from diving off the rocks or simply to bask in the glorious Greek sun. If people-watching is your thing, then be sure to visit this place! There are ropes trailing up the rocks to aid those daredevils who want to make a big splash, and a diving board for somersault show-offs. One day that I was there, a group of olive skinned, beautiful Italian men gave us a little show on the diving board; lets just say I was thankful to the gods that day!  The friendly, family-run Michalas Boat Rentals company wait at the bottom for anyone wanting to travel to any of the other beaches or caves (trust me, walking back up La Grotta steps are a killer. Use the boat!).

Pergola bar
There are many bars in the area offering local dishes and drinks, however there is one bar which I would love to tell you about. It is called Pergola and is a little family-run bar that sells an array of tasty drinks and snacks. All the furniture is beautifully hand-made by the owners and the decoration is lovely, however the best bit (for me) about this bar is the family who dedicate their days and nights to the place. They are half English/Greek and so when feeling a little homesick or if you've gone in for your morning coffee and cake (1.50€!!) alone, you know you won't actually be alone and a welcoming smile and friendly chat awaits you. In the evenings, the chilled out daytime vibe meets swanky yet up-beat vibes. The bar stays open until you you want it to: awesome. Visiting Pergola each day, whether it was just for an espresso and freshly baked cake or a full blown night of cocktails or very reasonably priced wine, this place and the people made me happy.

Ok, so now I have told you some of my favourite places in Paleo, I will leave you to figure out the rest yourselves. I would recommend Paleo mostly to couples and any others who simply want to chill out and enjoy the sights, the sun, the sea and the food.

I will finish here with a happy photo from our trip to Paradise beach. Please let me know what you think of my first post: any comments will be appreciated! Tell me what you think.

Tara (left) Me (right)

A presto! 
Olivia x