Friday, 29 January 2016
I wouldn't say we planned our wedding on a whim (though it makes for a nice title), but we've had a very fuss-free approach to it all! Now the registry office and reception venue have been booked, I'm feeling quite chilled; for me, everything else is just a bonus. I've had an Ideas & Inspo Pinterest board going for a few years now. It's not a wedding board at all - though there are some snippets in there - but looking at it now I feel like I know the general direction we're going in, so I thought I'd pull some inspiration from there for the end of a rather grey and rainy week!

{all images from my Ideas & Inspo board}

I'm excited to get back in the kitchen this weekend and get some recipes ready for next week. Creativity breeds creativity; I've got a long list of recipes to try and I know once I get back into the swing of things this place is going to brighten up quite a lot!


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Hello! I had a spare 10 minutes and just felt the need to blog; it's been a little while and I just wanted to drop in with a little life update.

JANUARY RESOLUTIONS // I never really have that feeling that some people get of feeling excited and productive on January 1st. In reality, I just feel sluggish after Christmas and in a weird what day even is it!? fug. Who needs the pressure of a new year's resolution when Christmas is hardly even over? Not me. I like to take care of myself and give myself a little leeway at the start of the year. That said, my two niggles for January were to stop cancelling plans at the last minute - which actually means making fewer plans so I don't exhaust myself by Wednesday night - and complain less about other people. I've found myself becoming increasingly irritated by little things that people do and that is not a nice way to be, so I roped in my work buddy to keep me in check and I think I’m on track!

WEDDING // Darren and I have always wanted a low key wedding; as long as there’s food and booze and our family and friends, nothing else really matters. We knew we wanted our reception to be in a pub, preferably in London, so we scheduled a wedding planning pub crawl last Saturday and ended up going with the first place we saw! Then we booked the local Town Hall blind and that’s that. I’m sure I’ll post things here and there over the next few months, but I have zero interest in trawling Pinterest or buying bridal magazines at the minute. It turns out that the girl who loves to plan isn’t actually too fussed! The venue is pretty enough by itself, so there’s not much to do décor wise, and they are SO flexible, we can have any food we want (Mexican/pizza/barbeque party anyone?), so there’s not really much to do at all except find the dress!

BLOG // I was expecting to spend January worrying about finding a wedding venue, but now that that’s done I have more time to spend on this little space. I’ve got a long list of posts to write when I have a spare weekend (this weekend!), but recipes have taken a back seat as we have a couple friends staying with us, so taking over the kitchen isn’t an option and their room has the best light for taking photos! I had all intentions of switching things up, a new schedule for posting and all that jazz, but I think I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on. I’m happy with what I’m doing and already had a few people reach out to me in the new year, so I feel excited for Sprunting! in 2016. I’m thinking – less worrying about getting three posts out a week and putting more effort into perfecting and promoting the content I’m really happy with, whether that’s five posts a week or one post a month!

TRAVEL // We had every intention of spending time at home this year, saving money and getting a dog! But now we’re getting married in September, we want to visit my family in Malaysia afterwards and it looks like I might be able to get a whole month off work! We’re thinking Thailand or Vietnam for a honeymoon; any thoughts? I’ve been following Ala’s amazing travelling adventures and thinking we should just stalk her route for a few weeks!

How have you started 2016? Do you have any resolutions or did you make a resolution not to make a resolution ;) I want to hear everyone’s news! 


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Ugh. I know. I'm that person. I don't think January has to be all about dieting, clean eating hashtags and Veganuary (though I did Vegan Before 6 last year and loved it!), but it's definitely important for me to hit refresh on my food habits at the start of every year. To me, Christmas is all about friends and family and for me that means enjoying food together; it wouldn't be such a minefield if it was just a week out of the month, but of course the whole of December was spent going out for drinks and mince pies in the office, looking forward to Christmas dinner. And once those things start to add up, everything else goes out the window and you're sat on the sofa eating chocolate, lebkuchen and leftover sausages for breakfast (don't judge).

I just spent a really nice half hour going through my blog posts from the past year and this little round up proves that healthy food is definitely not boring; these might be some of my most colourful recipes, so if you're looking for a little #fitspo (ugh), then this post is for you!

1. Picnic food that's perfect for a quick lunch, or even to take to work for breakfast al desko.
2. A super-hydrating fresh Virgin Mary for weekend reviving.
3. Yoghurt-marinated kebabs for when you're craving a takeaway.
4. Cosy, comforting homemade sausage and beans for when you need carbs.
5. Quick and easy green curry when you need to flush out a cold.
6. A chicken serving suggestion when you realise you haven't had a roast since Christmas.
7. Fresh summer rolls for when you just can't be bothered.
8. A food philosophy for when you can't remember why you stopped eating McDonalds. 
9. A Vietnamese dinner party showstopper because healthy doesn't mean boring.

10. Deliciously Ella's lentil bolognese for when winter finally gets here.
11. A cucumber and elderflower cooler if you've given up boozing.
12. Courgetti, because it's actually good when you have the right tool.
13. A frittata addition to jazz up your eggs.
14. Simple Japanese goodness to make you dream of travel.
15. Breakfast burritos with homemade tortillas - you'll never go back.
16. Garnishes that make a vegetable dish sing for when you're stuck for ideas.
17. Nigel Slater's aubergines and chickpeas, because aubergines are my OTL. 
18. Ratatouille for when you're dreaming of summer.

But of course, sometimes only cake will do. Everything in moderation and all that ;)

HELLO 2016!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy new year! I say it every year, but the new year really snuck up on me this time. The last few weeks of December were a whirlwind; Darren and I got engaged (!!), work was hectic and I enjoyed an amazing family Christmas with my parents, then it was back to work and all of a sudden it was New Year's Eve! I don't really go in for all the celebrations and ended up going to sleep at 12:01 after one too many proseccos.

I know you're going to see a million of these reflective posts today, so I'll save on all the gratitude and intentions, but 2015 was such a great year. I feel like I got really into the swing of things with my blog, I did some amazing travel, we made a big life decision and I was on TV**. I did one of those #2015bestnine posts on my instagram and I'm happy to see such a nice mix of food, travel and personal photos in there. 

2016 is going to be amazing! I have two school friends getting married (one of whom I'm a bridesmaid for), my beaut housemate from uni is having an Indian wedding (I get to wear a sari!), my brother is getting married - this is starting to get ridiculous - and then I'm getting married! In between all that, we're hoping to finally get a dog, I'm planning a weekend in New York with my mum and despite Darren and I deciding not to go on holiday this year to save money, we'll be heading to Malaysia to celebrate our marriage with family and have a honeymoon on the beach. (This would be the perfect moment for a YOLO, but I would legit get dumped if I did it. Boo.)

In true blogger new year reflection style, I've also been thinking about my blog. I love this space, I love creating recipes and looking back over my posts from the year, it's amazing to see the improvement since 2014. Saying that, I put a lot of work into Sprunting! in 2015...the pressure I put on myself to push out perfect content got in the way of the fact that it's supposed to be fun and it's not my job, it's not my livelihood, so I can chill TFO! I spent a weekend at the end of November putting together all my December content and it felt so good to have every single weekend in December free to just enjoy hanging out and making plans that didn't revolve around when I could be home to get the best light to photograph my cake! In light of that, I only want to create posts I love and I'm proud to share (grainy photos, I'm lookin' at you!) so I'm thinking of dropping a certain number of posts on the same day at the beginning of the month, like a magazine; I feel like that requires a new layout though, so watch this space!

Thank you for reading Sprunting! in 2015 and I hope you'll stick around to see what I eat, where I go and what I see in 2016. 

p.s. here are links to some of the posts featured in the montage above: ramen in Tokyo, almond, polenta and rum plum cake, sausages + beans, (vegan) Cointreau coconut ice, flower arranging with the Flower Appreciation Society, making peace with courgetti, Humble Pie!

p.p.s. anything you'd like to see on the blog??

**The TV company sent me a DVD of the show and while it would be awesome for you all to see it, a few screenshots may have to suffice. There were some pretty lol moments!