28 Things I Celebrated in February

Books Read: Sugar | The Bone Gap | Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated) (a book with pictures) | Night Music (a book that has been left unread for far too long – 13 MONTHS!!) | The Museum of Extraordinary Things | Lily and the Octopus | The Time of My Life | The Time of Our Lives | Sofia Khan is Not Obliged | The List | Reckless | This Raging Light | Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (a book that has a movie adaptation) | Adorkable | Asylum | Darkmere | The Woman in White (a book with a strong female lead… even though Marian TECHNICALLY isn’t the main character, she’s probably the strongest female I’ve come across in Victorian fiction… She’s my woman crush.)|

1. Pink Lush baths. Slightly sad that I’ve used up my Comforter bubble bar already though…

2. Watching Friday Night Dinner AGAIN. It’s simple but amusing and oh so comforting.

3. Finished work early so I could spend more time with my boyfriend!!

4. Flowery, stripey tops from the pop-up Joules shop. Love love love.

5. We’ve started to plan out the garden. Started being the operative word…

6. Rediscovered bacon and avocado salad… it’s so simple, but tastes delicious. I think this is going to be one of those dinners that I repeat again and again until I get fed up.

7. Re-reading Harry Potter. In my Harry Potter Pyjamas. Sitting in my Harry Potter-themed book nook.

8. Went on a run and then treated myself to an hour in Costa – cup of hot chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie and a book. Perfect.

9. Got my hair cut! It’s a lot shorter than I would normally like, but it’s in good condition now and actually makes me feel like I look more sophisticated, you know?

10. MY BOY CAME HOME AGAIN!!! This one was an unscheduled visit, which made it feel even more special.

11. We had brunch in a local cafe. It’s pretty popular with his family, so we ended up bumping in to everyone there too, which was nice.

12. Valentine’s chocolates. I don’t know why, but chocolates in pretty little boxes just taste so much better…


14. Ummm… to be honest I didn’t do anything Valentines-y… I cleaned the house instead. Oh, and I went for a run because I’m trying to convince everyone that I’m healthy.

15. Our new internet wasn’t fitted, so I took myself off to the late night shops to buy a few extra presents for my Mum and ended up finding a pinafore in the sale. Now I have 4 nearly identical pinafores in my wardrobe.

16. Hanging out with my Mummy. She’s good at perking me up after a looooong day at work!

17. I bought Friday night treats and did not eat them all in one night. That is a big step for me.


19. My Nana made Sunday lunch with CHEESEY LEEKS! I haven’t had cheesey leeks for FOREVER. *Drools*

20. I made flapjacks with nuts and fruit and DARK chocolate, instead of my usual Nutella/milk chocolate/white chocolate combination. They were good, and made me feel KIND OF healthy! (Also I now have about 6 bars in my freezer…)

21. I wrote a love letter to my boy. It was awkward, but nice.

22. PYJAMA DAY at nursery!! I wore my sausage dog pyjamas and dressing gown… just what you need when you have a cold!

23. Was feeling a bit miserable when an car crash meant I couldn’t get to my Mum’s street, and then PB rang to tell me his leave had been cancelled… but then he told me he was coming home for a day this weekend instead. Yay!!

24. Dominoes with my boy! Also, the military discount is almost worth the distress of him being away for weeks and weeks… Yeah, not really.

25. A midday Lush bath. I used Lover Lamp for the first time, and it was okay. Not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed… white water is boring!

26. Sunday lunch with PB’s parents. They bought my favourite ice cream and are going to help me set up the garden next week. EXCITING!!



Not Just Ticking Off the Days

So this post (or something along the lines of this post, anyway) was kind of inevitable for me. The issue with having such an… energetic?… theme for the year is that they pretty much feel impossible when you’re going through a massive lifestyle change. Having Celebrate as my word of 2017 was supposed to help me see the little everyday joys and moments and occasions. It was supposed to make me live; to savour every day.

But then my boyfriend went away and I suddenly didn’t want to savour every day. I wanted to rush through them until I could see my boy again. To be honest, although I DID celebrate lots of things in January, most of them were half-hearted celebrations. I was in countdown mode – counting down the days left until PB went away, then counting down the days until he returned to me. I was just mindlessly ticking the days off the calendar.

And it was hard. I’d expected it to be – on the one hand I felt guilty for wasting my time pining for him, and on the other I felt guilty on days when I was busier. I eventually sat down and re-read my first post of 2017 (I think that’s something I’ll do each month, actually – it’s a good way to keep your goals fresh!) and realised that I wasn’t loving fiercely. Or exploring. Or documenting. Or, indeed, investing. It felt like I’d managed to get through nearly a whole month by wishing my time away, and that kind of broke my heart.

So, basically, now I don’t have a calendar… Except I do. BUT THIS ONE IS BETTER AND NEW AND I LOVE IT.

It was almost serendipitous: the day I’d freed myself from one form of calendar was the day I happened to find another. It was the weekend of the great garden centre escapade (you know, that time I visited three garden centres in 24 hours and realised I AM A GROWN UP) and I was browsing the sale section when I spotted this little beauty, for half price.

Yes, it’s a calendar. Yes, I could get sucked in to ticking of the days again… but as a daily colouring calendar, I find it forces me to do the opposite. I put aside half an hour a day – sometimes at breakfast, sometimes in my lunch break, most often in the evening – to just colour in a little picture and reflect on my day – usually at the same time as watching The Great Interior Design Challenge. (Yay!!) By the time I’ve finished colouring, I’ve usually thought of something I’ve celebrated/been grateful for/that made me happy, which I then note down next to the picture. PB pointed out that we could frame some of the more significant dates on our photo wall, which is one of my most favourite ideas of all time!


Soooo… where do you stand on calendars? Are you a ‘tick the days off’ person or a ‘don’t waste precious time’ person? Maybe you’re a ‘only used as a tool to remember important events’ person (I never could understand those… in my mind things that are important are remembered, and things that aren’t are forgotten…) Share your thoughts!!!


Blog Thoughts

YES. I am back from another unscheduled absence. To be honest, we’re having problems with our internet provider at the moment and I wasn’t sure when the internet would cut out, but so far it hasn’t so… I guess I’m back.

Anyway, my hiatus gave me time to reflect on my blog and my life and all of that. Aaaand as usual, it turns out that I’m not impressed. I know, I know… I am forever changing the direction of TQP. It was a lifestyle blog, then a book blog, then a bookish lifestyle blog, then a lifestyle blog, then a positive lifestyle blog, and now… I don’t even know. I’m actually finding that I resent TQP at the moment. It’s not the blog I dislike, but the… curated-ness of it? I mean, I’m guilty of a last minute, cobbled together post, but generally I’m a scheduler. I have an editorial planner. And I fucking hate it.

I know I’m not the only one to say this, but I miss the spontaneous side of blogging. I miss the ‘Oh I went out today and thought I’d share some pics with you’ posts. I miss the ‘I bought stuff and I’m super excited about it’ posts. I miss the ‘here’s what I had for dinner last night’ posts.

I think where I’ve started using Instagram as a micro-blogging/online diary platform it’s made me realise that I don’t feel like TQP is MY blog anymore. I don’t really share what I want to share. I share what I think I SHOULD share. But… I don’t even know if anyone likes that. I’m pretty sure I don’t.

So I’m going to stop. I’m NOT going to write an editorial plan. The first time I tried daily blogging, I ADORED it. It absolutely re-ignited my love of blogging. I wrote posts I wanted to, posts that crossed a variety of genres. Book posts. Food posts. Outfit posts. Travel posts. I planned and re-planned, and then went off plan. And that’s what I’m going to do now.

So yes. TQP will continue. Yes, I’ll still share recipes and whatnot. Yes, I’m bringing back the book posts. Yes, I’ll still be celebrating… but maybe there’ll be more of that on Instagram instead. I’m not sure yet, but I’m actually starting to feel excited about blogging again.


Over to you: Are there any posts you’d like to see on TQP? Any series you’d like me to bring back? Anything you’d like to never see again?

The Second Hand Book Challenge

So at the end of last year I finished my second four-month-long book buying ban. Not gonna lie, it was hard, guys.

BUT I think I have now learned that actually, I DON’T LIKE buying books. I mean, on the one hand yes I LOVE the buzz I get when I buy books and come home and arrange a bagful of books on my TBR shelf, but within hours that buzz turns in to guilt.

I don’t know whether it’s because I now have an official bookshelf – one with colour order and rules and stuff – or just because I’m growing up and becoming less materialistic (in theory), but I just don’t feel the need to keep hold of every book I read. The vast, vast majority of my books get sent to charity shops – in fact I only keep books/series that I KNOW I’ll re-read. Which is fine, and I’m all for charity shops and book unhauling, but I hate the wasteful feeling that goes hand in hand with it.

At the end of the day, to buy a brand new book in a British bookshop you’re looking at around £8 per book. Most YA books take me 2-3 hours to read, and then go straight in my charity pile.

And here’s the worst part… I’m just not sure it’s worth it. I mean, OBVIOUSLY I’m a huge proponent of reading. I’m actually setting up a scheme at work to get parents to model reading for pleasure to their children because literacy levels have been proven to be one of the major factors in a child’s achievement. Reading is huge, and I am behind that 100%. BUT… I have a mortgage. I don’t want to spend so much money on books that I’ never going to read again.

Anyway, to cut a waaaaaaaaay long story short, I went book shopping last week. But instead of popping in to Waterstones (okay, fine… I may have made a cheeky visit there too…), my sister and I found our way to an Oxfam book shop. And it was delightful.

I set myself a £10 budget, and came away with a brand new TBR. Here’s what’s new on my shelf:

The Silver Linings Playbook | Matthew Quick
Not going to lie, I bought this for my sister. I know that there’s a film version, and I think it’s about mental health, but aside from that… no idea. I probably will give this a go at some point, but it’s not the top of my TBR yet.

When God was a Rabbit | Sarah Winman
I HAVE NO IDEA what this is about. But on the back it says it’s ‘about a brother and sister’, and I’m kind of interested in reading about families at the moment, so… yes. I am excited for this.

blueeyedboy | Joanne Harris
Oooh, I saw this on Michelle’s blog and desperately wanted to read it. The funny thing is that I’d actually been looking for blueeyedboy in Waterstones before we visited the seconf hand bookshop but they didn’t have it… and then I spotted this on Oxfam’s dusty shelves and fell in love. Yay!!

Burial Rites | Hannah Kent
I’ve been interested in reading Burial Rights for years now – ever since I spotted it as a hardback, I think – but never plucked up the courage to buy it. I mean, I hate wasting money and it is about a convicted murderer in Iceland, and that’s not necessarily my cup of tea. But Oxfam had it and it was time to bite the bullet and give it a go… I’m excited!!

The Light Between Oceans | M L Stedman
Okay, so this one is a total cheat… I didn’t buy it at all, I just scavenged it from my Mum’s charity shop pile. BUT it was intended for a charity shop and I would probably have picked it up and given it a go if I’d seen it, so… yeah. I’m including it.


So what did I get for my £10? Five new-to me books, all in different genres, settings, and time periods. And not one of them is YA or a Classic – talk about pushing me out of my comfort zone!! Oh, and 4p change. Yay!!

Did I mention how much I LOVE second hand books?


Have you read any of these? Or do you have any thoughts/recommendations on second hand book shops? PLEASE SHARE THEM WITH ME!!!

Celebrating | World Nutella Day!

If you look through my recipe archives, you maaaaay notice that I have a little thing for Nutella. As in, it’s my favourite food in the entire world and I will happily eat jars of it in one sitting if someone let me.

There’s Nutella hot chocolate, Nutella palmiers, Nutella stuffed cookies (OMG you need to make these though. Like, right now!), a Nutella-inspired gateau

So, you know, I’m a little tiiiiiiiny bit excited for World Nutella Day tomorrow. Like, a day when all my favourite food blogs post Nutella recipes and the world becomes a happier place temporarily. A happier, chocolate-ier, nuttier place.

That’s my kind of Heaven.

Anyway, in case you fancy getting in on the Nutella action, I figured I’d share a cake recipe with you. Yay!

This cake. It’s one you’re going to want to make, guys. It’s actually pretty understated, if you ask me – just a simple cinnamon sponge swirled through with Nutella, and a bit more of the chocolate stuff drizzled on top. I decided not to go FULL OUT Nutella-y today in respect for my rapidly expanding waist, and actually, I kind of love the fact that it’s not so sugary my teeth hurt with each mouthful. This is a cake that you can whip up on a lazy Sunday morning, or a rainy Tuesday evening. There’s not three thousand steps to it. You really just need a bowl, a whisk (a spoon would do at a push though), a tin and an oven. Nothing fancy.

BUT THE CAKE. Urgh. That sponge is the softest, crumbliest sponge I’ve ever made. It’s delicately spiced, the cinnamon offering just the vaguest hint of warmth and cosiness. The Nutella swirl brings the decadence – the chocolate spread sinks into layers of unctuousness (good word, right???) that are just delightful.

Now here’s a treat, if ever you saw one.

Nutella and Cinnamon Cake – from Primrose Bakery
Serves 8 -10

175g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
175g Caster Sugar
3 large Eggs
200g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
4 tbsp Milk
1 jar Nutella

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a cake tin – I chose a bundt tin, but a loaf tin or regular round cake pan should be fine too.

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well in between each addition. Don’t panic if the mixture seems to split, just add some of the flour and mix well and it should come back together just fine. Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and stir until you have a thick mixture. Mix through the milk to loosen the batter, then pour into your pre-greased cake tin.

Put about 100g of the Nutella into a microwavable bowl and warm up for about 30 seconds, until melted (you’re looking for something drizzle-able!). Take spoonfuls of the Nutella and dot them over the sponge mix, then take a fork/skewer and gently swirl and fold the mixtures together – you’re looking for a ripple effect.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool.

When cool, remove from the tin. Heat up another 50g of the Nutella and drizzle over the cake. Serve with a cup of coffee and a good book – perfect for a rainy afternoon!


How do you like your Nutella? PLEASE link me your favourite Nutella recipe!

Things to Look Forward to in February!

Ahh, February. Month of not-quite-Spring, overpriced chocolate, and too many pancakes.


World Nutella Day (5th Feb) | National Library Day 6th Feb) | National Pizza Day (9th Feb) | Valentine’s Day (14th Feb) | Random Acts of Kindness Day (17th Feb) | Pancake Day (28th Feb) | 

So February is literally RAMMED full of celebrations, and they are ALL pretty awesome. I mean, lots of them are food related, so yay – how can days dedicated to Nutella, Pizza and Pancakes be bad?? (Unless you’re on a diet… or have allergies. Then they’d be bad, I guess…) There’s also a love theme to the month – not only do we have Valentine’s Day, there’s also Random Acts of Kindness Day too, which makes my heart smile. And let’s not even get started on how excited I am for National Library Day…!


Uhhhh… the only vaguely exciting celebration that affects me in February is my blogiversary! Yes, on some unspecific date TQP will turn two years old. My blog is older than some of the children in my nursery… how creepy is that??? *Shudders*

Last year I wrote all about things things I’d learned blogging for one year. I PROBABLY won’t be doing anything like that this year – not because I don’t think it’s worth celebrating, but because I can’t schedule it in…! So yeah. I’ll take this moment to say thanks for reading and sticking with me over the months… it’s been fun. TQP gives me an outlet to be KIND OF creative, and it’s lovely that nearly 550 of you seem to enjoy it too. So… yeah… cake for everyone!!!


This post felt far too short, so I decided to not down a couple of goals for February too. Now that I’ve started to get used to this living-on-my-own thing, I’d really like to start making our house feel more homely. In February, I want to finish up my spare room (curtains, bedside table, lampshade… that sort of thing), make a plan and start decorating our bedroom and set up my vegetable garden ready for planting in the spring.

Wish me luck!!

What are you looking forward to most in February?


31 Things I Celebrated in January!

BOOKS READ: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (A collection of stories) | Silence is Goldfish | A Quiet Kind of Thunder (A recent purchase) | Our Chemical Hearts |  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (A book you got as a gift) | Nightbird |

1. A lie in, a bacon ciabatta and a Sunday Roast to kick start the new year.

2. A free day off! (Yay for weekend bank holidays!) We got our chores done early and then spent the rest of the morning watching old DVDs in bed, before reading Sherlock and cracking on with our jigsaw. Hygge at it’s finest!!

3. First day back at work… I’m not sure whether I was more pleased that the children all missed me, or that I got to show off my new keyring…!

4. Not having to start work until 9:30. Sleeping in until 8 o’clock? Don’t mind if I do!

5. I’ve been using a new blemish-zapping balm for the last week or so, and it’s starting to show some results. Yay for relatively good skin days!

6. It’s Friday, I have a clean kitchen and I found an amazing new recipe to add to my repertoire.

7. Our friends announced that they’re having another baby – we’re honorary Godparents for the second time around!!

8. FINALLY watched the first episode of Sherlock season 4.

9. PB stocked up the fridge with chicken nuggets for me because he’s worried I’ll starve without him. How sweet.

10. Met up with my Dad BY MYSELF and it wasn’t all horrible.

11. MY SISTER TURNED 20! Happy birthday, Len-Len. We celebrated with Chinese take away, as per the tradition.

12. Our fifth anniversary.

13. Lunch dates with my boy. Such a lovely way to break up my work day! AND IT SNOWED!!

14. Romantic dates. I love my boy. Also: I bought a new glasses. Love, love, love.

15. My Mummy, for looking after me after that horrible goodbye.

16. The sense of relief when I got home after the shittiest day. Oh, also I can sort of play Happy Birthday on my violin now. Achievement unlocked!!

17. Baking cookies for our cake sale – they always seem to go down a treat, and I love how home-baked goods give people something to smile about!

18. Watching Winnie the Pooh when I got home late after a staff meeting. Still celebrating, in my own quiet way!

19. Finally finishing my first book of 2017!

20. Crisp, cold, sunny Winter’s mornings. Even better when you have that Friday feeling!

21. Teeny tiny batches of muffins and cafes with daffodils on the table.

22. Visiting three garden centres in two days… yes, I am an old person!

23. The beautiful sunset as I was driving home from work. Also: the fact that it’s still light when I’m driving home from work!

24. Discovering the Great Interior Design Challenge on iplayer. SOOOOO COMFORTING!

25. Home cooked meals at my Mummy’s house… especially when I leave with a tin of rice pudding!

26. Getting all my chores done on Friday night. It’s boring, but it leaves me a free weekend which is lovely.

27. Found my first five star read of the year! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was JUST as all-consuming as I’d expected… it’s poignant and heartbreaking and (dare I say it…) kinda romantic *shudders*. Urgh, I just loved it.

28. Even though I said I wouldn’t celebrate Chinese New Year, in the end we kinda did – in the most low key way possible. My sister bought us takeaway, which was lovely. Thanks, Len-Len!

29. I had a really, really, really lovely bath. It was THE PERFECT way to end a weekend…

30. Tried a new recipe, and it was quick, cheap, easy and pretty tasty. Thai-inspired tuna and sweet potato fishcakes are worth a try!

31. I’ve been trying to eat my 5-a-day, and today I managed SEVEN portions. Oooh, I’m so healthy and glowy…


Oh, and just a heads up: for the next few days… weeks… (idk!) my posting schedule will be out of the window because we’re changing internet providers. Yay!!

4 Good Ways I’m Starting My Days

I have this love affair with routine. I’m a creature of habit – probably a side effect of an overly anxious mind – and routines make me feel safe. However, I’m also notoriously bad at sticking to them.

Mornings are particularly difficult… I COULD get up and go about my morning routine for an hour, or I COULD stay in my nice warm bed and snuggle my boyfriend for a little longer. It’s not exactly a hard choice!!

But now that the boy has left (I’M ALL ALONE AND ABANDONED *SOB*), I think it’s important that I establish daily routines – more for my sanity than anything else! At the moment I’m trying to be kind to myself, so my new morning routine isn’t particularly rigorous or exciting. It’s comforting, vaguely healthy and also kind of indulgent, in a self-care kind of way.


Wake Up and Move
I find if I exercise as soon as I’m out of bed, I’m less likely to make up excuses! As part of my ‘being kind’ mindset, I’m trying really hard to listen to my body and do what it wants – whether that’s a little run or some stretching, or something in between. I aim to workout for 30 minutes every day, but I do try to mix things up a little bit each time. And every exercise session counts as a victory for me!

Slow Down
After exercising I take twenty minutes to indulge a little. I’ll shower, wash and condition my hair (obviously), and slow down to apply a moisturiser. I’ll cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise my face before taking five minutes to apply a tiny bit of make up. I know that this is probably already part of most women’s routines, but it’s brand new for me, and so far I am loving investing that little bit of time into my physical appearance.

Then it’s time for breakfast! Again, this is a pretty new step for me – I rarely eat in the mornings, which isn’t exactly the healthiest mindset! Most days I’ll have a bowl of yogurt and fruit or some avocado on toast, but if I’m feeling a little more indulgent I’ll make some overnight oats.

While I’m eating I try to do a bit of journalling… I know, half of you will tell me off for not eating mindfully, but right now I need to not be alone with my thoughts too much! At the moment I like using A Year From Now (absolutely cannot find a link for it…), which I bought for my birthday last year and then ignored. It’s a reflective guided-journal thing, which I really love – the prompts are pretty quick to fill out, but they make me think a bit which is good.

When life is tough and times are hard it’s these slowed down, quiet little steps that help to put a smile on my face. And that’s all a routine should do, really, isn’t it?


Do you have a morning routine? And what do you eat for breakfast?? My repertoire of breakfast foods is non-existent!!

A Little Garden Centre Haul

Not going to lie, this post was a pretty last minute, cobbled-together type thing. Today I WAS supposed to be celebrating Chinese New Year as part of my Celebrate 2017 project, but when it came to writing about it… I don’t know. It felt inauthentic, for some reason. So instead I decided to write an ode to the garden centre.

I LIKE garden centres. When I was growing up, I lived in a teeny-tiny hamlet that boasted two pubs, twenty five houses, and a garden centre. Instead of trips to the local shop for Coke and sweets, we went to the garden centre for ice lollies and overpriced Haribo. I guess part of the reason I love them is the nostalgia factor…

… The other part is because LOOOK AT THE COOL STUFF!!!

(I’m using ‘cool’ in the ironic sense. Obviously.) (Except I’m not, because I genuinely think all of this IS COOL. Yaaaay!)

So last weekend – my first weekend ALONE – I spent my days off with my Mum and Nana, hanging around not one, not two, but THREE garden centres. IT WAS GLORIOUS, and obviously I couldn’t leave empty handed, so…

First up, I picked up some plants. To be honest I’m not really the biggest plant person – if I’m going to grow/care for something, I’d rather it be a herb or a vegetable so I can eat it, you know? – but we’ve been doing up the spare room and I just wanted some plants. I… have no idea what these are, other than two are succulents and one is a flowering cactus. I think. Who knows. I’m going to trial looking after these before I go ahead with my great garden renovation… fingers crossed!!

(P.S. how cute do they look poking out of my Potter pots??? SO CUTE!!!)

I also bought a BRIGHT yellow mini watering can thing, which is such a sunshiney colour that I fell in love with it. Aaaand then I picked up The Rurbanite, which is essentially a book about how to grow things in small spaces. I don’t actually live in the city (our house is kind of in the ‘burbs, I guess), but our garden isn’t huge and I’d like to make the most out of it.

That’s it for gardening stuff, but I did also find some foodie pieces that I just fell in love with. Sadly the strawberry cables are looooooooong gone now, but I got some more flavoured coffee so yay! This one is maple walnut flavour, which smells DIVINE and is making my early mornings so much more manageable!

I also picked up a new calendar, but more on that in a later post!



Celebrating | Burns’ Night


So. We’re on edition… #4(?) of my Celebrate 2017 project. You know what I’ve noticed? I’m super-good at celebrating things through food. Comfort food for Blue Monday. Smoothies for Winnie the Pooh Day. Chocolate Muffins providing a tenuous link to Squirrel Appreciation Day. And now… breakfast Cranachan for Burns’ Night.

I’m not really sure when ‘special food’ became synonymous with ‘celebrations’ for me, but I do have a theory. In my nursery we try to celebrate cultural events as often as possible – making flags, trying national dishes, trying our hand at x/y/z national activity.A lot of the time, the food is the most exciting part of the celebration. For children, food is often linked with love and care – the more care we put into mealtimes, the more they seem to enjoy it! Anyway, for Burns’ Night our children are having a Scottish-inspired meal of haggis, neeps and tatties.

Poor souls.

I, on the other hand, will be avoiding the stuffed sheep’s stomach today, because…. I just don’t fancy it. Instead, I’ve already had my Burns-inspired dish: porridge oats topped with raspberries, yogurt and a wee dram of whiskey.

Except for the whiskey part because a) I had to drive to work and b) I am actually a responsible adult who cares for small people. Other than that minor difference, my cranachan and the Scotch version are practically the same, and OH SO GOOD.

As in, this is my new favourite breakfast for forever. It takes five minutes to make; tastes delicious; and can even be put together the night before. Love love love.

(Oh, and if you fancy getting festive for Burn’s night by making this for dessert tonight, I’d totally recommend going full Scotch and including the whiskey. Just be sensible, kay?)

Breakfast Cranachan
Makes 1 BIG serving (probs enough for two though, if you particularly wanted to share…)

Put some porridge oats in a frying pan and toast over a looooow heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the oats start to brown, add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp honey, and stir until the oats are covered. Leave to cool. While cooling, mix a couple of dollops of Greek yogurt with some honey.

When the oats have cooled begin assembling the cranachan. Place a layer of fresh raspberries in the bottom of a glass (you probably can’t tell, but I stole my boyfriend’s whiskey glass and used that for authenticity!), then top with a few spoonfuls of yogurt. Sprinkle over some oats, then repeat until the glass is full. To finish, top with any remaining oats and raspberries, then drizzle with some honey.

Eat immediately, before the oats become soggy.

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