March 2015through these gray eyes...: March 2015

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A Favourite #1...Vintage Tea Room

I thought I would begin a series of some of my favourite places... You might like to visit them yourself after my 'glowing' review and it gives me an excuse to go back to them so that I can share them with you! We're all winners here!

First up is this Vintage Tea Room in Welshpool. There is definitely something wrong with that sentence and it isn't the Vintage Tea Room bit. It's the Welshpool bit. When I lived in Welshpool I would never have put it down as a place that would one day be sporting Vintage Barbers, Sweet Shops, Tea Shops, Clothes Shops etc but things change, it still doesn't quite fit in my head but that Tea Shop is the best I've found. And, I really am a sucker for Vintage & Tea, Scones, Cake etc.

On your approach you are greeted by a bicycle with a sign for the Baytree Tea Room and a pannier of flowers. I love this bike, I don't know why I find it so appealing but there you have it... I know I'm biased but the sign draws me in before I even get a look at the front of it! 

The windows are dressed with all things vintage... bunting, chandeliers and tables laid for afternoon tea. The entrance is flanked by two bay trees and two tables are set up for those who would like to sit outside.

Once inside the vintage atmosphere continues through the three seating areas downstairs. Bunting lines the walls, with vintage adverts, quotes and bicycles. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The juke box plays a great mix of era appropriate music. Beautiful cushions add comfort to the seats. Vintage 'artifacts' are dotted about on display such as a Singer sewing machine. 


In the three seating areas downstairs there are also welsh dressers and book cases with vintage style/shabby chic items for sale.

Upstairs there is a lounge type area with plush leather sofas,the walls decorated with vinyls and a beautiful gramophone and camera either side of a 'you can't beat the good old days' sign.

The whole vintage affect is rounded off nicely with a slightly rudimentary loo which is full of signs and adverts that make you giggle while you are 'freshening up'.

On all the occasions I have been there I have found the service and food excellent. I usually stick to tea and cake or an afternoon tea while Tom tends to branch out and have breakfast type meals so we can recommend both. Also, nothing beats coke in a glass bottle!


The atmosphere is perfect and I really look forward to going there whether it's for a date, brainstorming ideas with my bridesmaid for my wedding or just a quick stop on the way somewhere.

If you do visit... don't miss the tea set in the ceiling.

Do you know of a Vintage Tea Room that I should visit?

Alice

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

New Goal - Striving to write...


Apologies for the late post. Tuesday's events were not really conducive to post writing and being able to publish on Wednesday. So here I am a day late in my schedule only the second week of trying this schedule malarkey out! However, I guess it's just about being realistic rather than beating myself up about already having failed... Some weeks life will happen and be more important than the blogging schedule.

I have been doing alot of thinking about my corner of the internet recently. It's content, it's reason and it's future (Sounds way, way deeper than it is). Hence the changes here and there. 

This post 'What makes you read a blog?' on The Life of Bon had me thinking even more about my content. She brought up the reality that some bloggers now only post and this has caused her to stop reading their blogs.

I don't want to be a blogger that just posts because they need to get something published that day or leaves their life and soul out of it because it's too difficult to write about (I realise how ironic it is that I am saying this and have not explained anything of Tuesday's events - I guess there are moments for sharing the difficult bits and this isn't the right one).

However, I don't mean that I don't think writing is what I already do (rightly or wrongly). Or that I will be super serious and never do hauls or anything else like that! That's not me either, I will write about whatever is happening in my life, making me happy or any small things that are getting me overly excited but, I will strive to always write and not fall into the 'post only' trap.

I want to be a Lifestyle blogger that readers can relate to and lets face it, my photography skills are never going to be good enough to be able to throw a 'Pinterest perfect' glow on my life. I do really enjoy the excuse to take more photos to go alongside my posts but unless it is when I am out and about I struggle to 'stage' a photo.

As much as I like to take pictures it's more that I like to store my memories so that I can revisit them later. I am a real sucker for scrapbooking and photo albuming my life. This blog is another extension of that which I guess makes it even more important that I stay true to my goal of writing.

So there you have it, my new goal of striving to write!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Mishaps and Misadventures...


Last week had more moments of wife mishaps in our house. I didn't come close to burning the house down or anything that drastic, but still I had moments of "Are you for real???!!!" (you being me) and "Oh, For Goodness Sake"(when the moment has gone past expletives).

On one of these occasions, Tom was on nights and I had an hour to get tea on the table for him to be fed and ready to head out. I thought I had food all planned out even though the cupboards, fridge and freezer were ready for another big shop. Fish fingers (our back up food), curly fries (which I had to pick up from the shop on my way home from work) and peas. Simple! I'd even double checked there was a box of fish fingers in the freezer at lunch so I knew I didn't need to get anything but fries.

However, when I came to actually cook the fish fingers. I discovered a measly 3 in the box. Ideally, we needed 12!

Teach me to ever think I'm on the case! There will always be something to remind me I'm Alice  and not Bree Hodge!

There was no time for me to run back to the shop to top up our fish finger supply but somehow it worked out and neither of us starved!

I used my slow cooker for the first time on Thursday! Wow!! How easy is that thing to use! I really don't know why I've been slaving/burning myself over a hot oven all this time when I had that bad boy waiting in the cupboard! Stupidly, it was all the preemptive prep that was putting me off! My logic is so skewed!

I made a casserole for my first attempt, turned out pretty good. Tom did however turn to me half way through eating it and say "what actually is this?" In fairness to him I had been calling it a stew since Sunday... In fairness to me I didn't even know there was a real difference! Meat and veg cooked in a pot!

So long as I turned the slow cooker on I don't think there was enough Alice input into the slow cooker for it to not have turned out ok really! The rice however, with Alice input was not the best but I'm going to blame the fact it was cheaper rice!

Anyway, after the food was given the right name he did enjoy it (even the rice)

Our misadventure last week happened on our drive to my parents house on Friday. Zoubi is not at all keen on being in a car and throws on her anchors as soon as she sees that we are approaching a car! Whether it's ours or not! 

The journey to my parents is 120 miles of exceedingly wiggly roads and she doesn't seem to understand that if she lies down she won't get thrown about quite so much!

After 4 stops because she was whining or ended up with her bed upside down, she was allowed to sit in the passenger footwell at my feet. Sit was slightly optimistic! I arrived at my parents essentially wearing a dog!

Good job she's so cute is all I can say!
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Weekend Reading: 5 Blogs I'm Loving...


IT'S FRIDAY and Spring is definitely on it's way!

Here are my weekend reading suggestions!

Newbie Blog
Paris by Friday - This is a massively new blog that I would really recommend checking out! It's beautiful!

Daily Giggle/Chill Read (they may not post quite daily but you get what I mean)
The Life of Bon - Bonnie's blog is awesome I just love her writing, she really makes me feel like I know her! She is a blogger who inspired me to start blogging myself. (I mentioned her way back in my post 1 month in the blogging world)

I found these next two blogs via The Life of Bon so it's only fair to give credit where it's due! Both award me serious giggles especially for their outspokenness!


The Daily Tay 

Bit of Advice
The Nectar Collective - Melyssa covers a lot of different topics on her blog but she has a lot of helpful information and advice.

Anastasia Amour - Anastasia's blog is dedicated to helping women raise their self esteem and reduce their insecurities. She also writes for A Little Opulent


Alice

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Little of Everything...


So, this is the first week where I am trying out posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It definitely seems to be positive in some respects. I have more time to do the other things for my blog -  replying to comments, having more presence on social media and generally improving and moving  it forward!

Today, however, there seems to be a negative - I thought having a little creative breathing space would be good... turns out, it isn't necessarily such a good thing. I think I am actually suffering from a sort of writers block... I have plenty to say but forming the post is just not happening! I'm going to let myself off the hook a little with creating a masterpiece and just share a little of everything:

Life:
I seem to be beginning a trend in my 2015: starting each month at the beach! On Sunday, we introduced the puppy to sand, sea and being allowed to roam free. It was definitely successful although, she was nearly chased off the beach by 3 large Pomeranian looking dogs in a 'new kid on the block fashion'... To that dog owner I would like to shake my fist at them and say "Where the hell were you!!!" A spec on the horizon, that's where they were!


I am excited to tell you that I will be starting a copy editing and proof reading course soon! I weirdly enjoy proof reading essays etc and I read relatively quickly. We will see if I can turn whatever this is into a potential job of sorts. I am not certain where it will realistically take me but I am aiming to do it freelance one day so I guess that's the top in this situation! With any luck my mistakes on here will start to leap out at me too!!

Stuff:
I spent alot of time playing with our new camera this weekend... I'm getting my head around it now I think... I did have a total fail moment where I wanted to focus on the background and not the foreground and ended up with a beautifully focused branch and a blurry Zoubi.

I treated myself to a bit of a haul yesterday... I am feeling VERY summery now that the sun has come out! A little ahead of the weather I know, the frosts have not yet gone  and I'm ready to swap my winter woollies for shorts and summer dresses! To feed the summery feel without getting hypothermia, I majorly binged on nail varnish! I went for the new Barry M Speedy quick dry nail varnish. I'm not sure how many I actually bought but the £3.99 price tag was too much of a lure to stop at one or two!

I also loved the idea of the ring on Ally's blog in her post Once In a While so I've got one of them on the way to me with my personalised quote! I didn't know Jewel Street  existed but now that I do, it may leave a substantial hole in my purse!

Oh dear... spend, spend, spend!

Again with the spending, I purchased Kelly Clarkson's new album 'Piece by Piece', and I am loving it!

Blog:
This post 'What would it take to make your life happier' on Hannah's blog really hits the spot for me today. Since the sun has begun to shine (as well as wanting to replace my winter woollies) I have become waaaaay more positive, I am trying to be happy with what I have and I am making a concerted effort to worry less! I am a great one for worrying and then worrying about worrying. I agree with her opinion on money and happiness - I am a firm believer that the pursuit of more and more money does not result in happiness. Nor that if it is actually achieved, it will have ANY impact on happiness at all!

Finally and on a much lighter note (sorry)... please check out my new 'About Me' page and let me know what you think! Thank you for bearing with the entirely random post in my hour(s)/day(s) of writers block!!


Alice

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Monday, 2 March 2015

10 things that have made me smile - February


2. An extra weekend off with Tom...Courtesy of his unplanned excursion out of the country! Every cloud has a silver lining!

3. Blue sky and sun! I really didn't know I was such a sucker for the sun! Looking out of the office window ant blue sky makes me so happy and ridiculously excited for summer...I even had an ice cream (that clearly was an odd thing to do in February as I had to buy a pack of three because the shop hadn't got their individual freezer out of winter storage)

4. Finally got my 'hair did'! All fresh and lovely! Its been waaaaaay too long, I had really got to the point where my relationship with my hair was pure hate.

5. Catching up with Lucie! I hadn't seen her since before Christmas! Was lovely to see her and as they say a friend is cheaper than a shrink! (Why are they called shrink? I have literally just this minute wondered!)

6. New Camera...Though I have yet to show you the fruits of my labour using this baby I am loving it and it will definitely be making an appearance soon!

7. Starbucks Hot Chocolate...I treated myself to a Starbucks breakfast on my way to get my new desk. This used to be an at least weekly occurrence when there was a Starbucks on my way to and from work, now its much more of a blue moon thing! Seems silly but it really did feel like a treat!

8. Argos flat pack...Successfully built on my own, who would not smile about that!

9. Holiday all paid off! I can officially start planning and getting excited!

10. March Challenges...I have found myself 2 challenges for March which I am really looking forward to, one is a 30 day squat challenge... I have done these several times but never made it to the end! March will be the month! And also '30 days to domestic bliss - the challenge' which I found on The Decorista. Hopefully at the end of March I will be telling you that I managed to complete them both!

What made you smile in February?


Alice

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