THE BREWHOUSE & KITCHEN | SUTTON COLDFIELD

The other day as Tom and I drove into Sutton Coldfield to have a wonder around the shops and grab some lunch. As we were driving in we drove past The Brewhouse & Kitchen and I said to Tom how we needed to try this cool place soon. A week or so later and I get an email from them inviting us to come along for their launch event, cool huh?

It's really beautiful inside, very cosy and welcoming. After a cold walk from the car we obviously headed straight for the seats that were by the log fire.

As soon as you walk in you're surrounded and inspired by local and independent brewing, they even have their own micro brewery where they make their own beers and then name them after local surroundings and events.

We were given a free drink of our choice, I went for a cider (which I cannot remember the name of) and Tom went for the 004 Oaks, which he liked. As the evening went on they brought out samples of food which were accompanied by beers which compliments each dish. We had samples of fish goujons, onion rings, jerk chicken (best jerk chicken I've ever had) and brownies. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of beer but I must say, I was really enjoying the samples along with the food, they all went really well together.

The staff seemed to know their stuff, so if you do go don't be afraid to ask questions.The food on the menu was your classic 'beer' food, nothing adventurous but did sound delicious, reasonably priced as well. We were talking to a couple who had visited before and they said the portions were big so well worth the money.

Tom and I immediately said that we need to come back with or friends and try out the food. I'd highly recommend checking The Brewhouse & Kitchen out if you're around the Birmingham area.


PLACES WE VISITED IN 2015.


The other day Tom and I were talking about all the things we managed to do and see in 2015. Next month we will be celebrating one year of being together (n'aawww) and I feel like we've achieved so much in one year. We wanted to back to York for our anniversary but with the recent floods we're thinking of putting that on hold for the time being and head to Liverpool for the weekend instead.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, 2015 was such a great year for me and it's one that I'll look back on with great memories. We've already started planning some of the places we want to visit in 2016 and I thought I'd look back on some of the places we'd visited in 2015.

York
We spent 2 nights in York last year for Tom's birthday and we both fell in love with the beautiful city. 2 nights just wasn't long enough! On our way back we said that we'd have to return again soon and for a while now we've been saying we'll go for our anniversary. It was the first weekend away that we'd had together just the two of us (we'd been to Dublin in January with a large group of our friends - sadly I have no photos of that) so it holds quite a special place in our hearts.

Harry Potter Studios
Next up is the Harry Potter Studios (I wrote a blog post here). We went with my Mom and it was such a great day out. As we're all huge fans of the films we were geeking out the whole time!
Cambridge
We were lucky enough to stay in Cambridge for 2 nights courtesy of Travelodge. Although there were some beautiful sights, it was a little crowded as it was really sunny and I don't think we saw everything this city has to offer.

Stratford
One weekend in the summer, Tom absolutley amazed me by saying that he'd not been to Stratford or at least had not been the centre. I was shocked. Growing up my Dad would take us to Stratford every year in the summer, so it's somewhere I'm so familiar with. I absolutely love it there, I love the park, crazy golf, the butterfly farm, the activities, the pubs... the list goes on. So obvisouly, as soon as he said this we just had to go. We went for drinks by the canal, went for a boat ride and drank cider.

Egypt
Egypt was obviously our biggest adventure of 2015. The hotel we stayed in was beautiful and it was such a perfect "first holiday". I look back on this holiday with such fond memories, it was perfect.

Ludlow
Finally, we went camping with my family for a long weekend in Ludlow. I went camping every year when I was younger, it's one of my favourite things to do for a holiday. It's so fun, I love it so much! This was definitely one my highlights of 2015. My parents had the chance to get to know Tom a little better (it was so cute!), my Brother and Tom spent hours fishing together whilst us girls and my dad went around the shops. We went for a walk to the pub, walked around the river, spent the night under stars playing board games and getting merry. It was really nostalgic being away with my Dad and his wife camping and then to share and introduce that with Tom was just perfect.

We've also been to Dublin at the beginning of 2015 with a large number of our friends, we spent pretty much the whole time drunk in the bar of our hotel (we didn't even make it out) so I didn't get any pictures of that trip. We've been to other places around the West Midlands but don't have many pictures.

There are so many places we want to visit in 2016, we're currently looking at Spain for our summer holiday. I'd also like to Tom to Amsterdam as I loved it there when I went with my brother a few years ago. We have a list of places we're looking at going this year which is getting longer and longer by the day. First on our list is Liverpool. If you have any suggestions of where to visit, things to see, where to eat in Liverpool please let me know :)

GETTING ORGANISED | BLOGGING

One of the things I really need to improve on in 2016 is getting organised with my blog. I'm pretty okay with being organised in my everyday life, don't get me wrong there is still room for improvement. But whilst I'm living at my Mom's with things in boxes here, there and everywhere, it's a little hard to be organised at the moment. Wait untill I have my own house, EVERYTHING will have it's own place. Just me that's get excited about storage and organising drawers? Yep? okay, lets move on.

I've been looking for a blogger planner for a while now, there is this one that I've seen everywhere at the moment and I really like it.  I don't however want to spend that much money on it. I've wanted a planner that was specifically for blogging, although a diary is good, I wanted something that had everything in one and was tailored for a blog. 

I somehow managed to stumble across this blog post by Hayley the other day and I found really interesting. It was interesting to see how another blogger plans and organises themselves. There are so many "how to..." posts around these days at the moment and they are helpful however, what I liked about Hayley's was it wasn't "do this and do that and you'll be brilliant', it was her sharing what she does to help others.

Then... there was this post... which has some awesome printable planners and a downloadable spreadsheet! I love a good spreadsheet and the thought of putting a little folder together to plan and track my blog's progress just makes me all giddy with excitement - Some people like football, some people like doing yoga, me... I like spreadsheets and stationary!

I've started filling out the spreadsheet, putting it in different colours to make it more personalised to me and I'm really excited to get started on a planner folder. I'd recommend having a look at her printouts and the spreadsheets if you can, even just for ideas on what you can do to keep organised with your blog. 

This may sound like a sponsored post, but it isn't. I just genuinely thought Hayley's blog posts were interesting and wanted to share them with you.

FINDING LOVE AGAIN.

UPDATE: Added image
I've been blogging for nearly six years now. Yep, this little blog has been around since May 2010!! I think it's no secret that me and this blog have had a little love/hate dislike relationship for a while now. There have been a few months where I've just gone MIA and towards Christmas and the end of last year, I spent some time debating deleting the whole blog or at least setting it to private. I felt like I just needed to start from scratch. I obviously didn't do it and being honest, I really couldn't bring myself to do it.

Tea an Toast is just so, well, me. It always has been, it's been somewhere where I blabber on about crap, moan, share my interests with others and it's enabled me to meet some truly wonderful people along the way. Granted, I don't really get to see anyone from the blogging community any more and I do feel very much an outsider. But that's my own fault and I'm still grateful for the opportunities that I've had over the past few years.

Instead of deleting my blog or hiding it from the world, I decided to go through previous posts and delete a couple of things. I removed posts that didn't have pictures and I removed the posts from when I was in college and sharing college work ect. It felt like a spring clean. 

I've been thinking long and hard about what content I used to write compared to what content I have been writing recently. The thing is, my blog used to do well and I was I think that over the past year or so I've fallen out of love with it because I was in a mindset of having to write about things that others were writing about and having to keep relevant. But that's not why I fell in love with blogging in the first place. I used to love the fact that I could create a voice for myself, that this little spot on the internet was mine to voice whatever it is I want. And I did just that. I would open my heart out on here and talk about things I was struggling with in real life and I would stack my camera on top books and boxes and stand in front of it to take photos of my new favourite outfits or the super cool earrings I'd brought.

It was from thinking of the reasons as to why I loved blogging that made me realise, I don't do any of those things any more. And that's not because I've now got a tripod and a super cool camera. It's because I wasn't putting myself into the blog, there isn't the emotion that there used to be or the love. One thing I was always proud of, is when close friends and family would say that when they read my blog they felt like it was just me talking to them. I don't think that has been the case with this blog for a long time now. It's from realising that, that I've realised the problem hasn't been with my blog or the fact that the blogging community is now so big, but it's because the blog lost me. Because I haven't been putting my emotion and heart into it, it's just not been the same to me. Therefore, I fell out of love with it.

In my last post I said how I wanted to blog more in 2016 and I've been thinking about this so much over the past few weeks. I look at what I've achieved with my blog and I'm proud. This baby has done me well, why the hell do I want to delete this? I couldn't press that delete button and I'm so glad that I didn't.

I'm obviously not that teenage girl anymore who sat at her laptop in 2010 and started Tea an Toast. I've grown up, my problems and my struggles are A LOT different to what they were back then. My interests are different as to what they were back then. Content has to change, content has to develop and grow along with me as I grow. I talk about work, mortgages, wanting babies, food shopping, boring but interesting stuff with friends. So why on earth am I still blogging about things that aren't relevant to 24 year old Sian?

Don't get me wrong, I do have an obsession with buying beauty products and most of my money is spent on Asos! But I need to put my personality back into this blog! I'm so excited for 2016 for so many reasons and knowing that I'm excited to start writing on Tea an Toast again makes for one very happy Sian.

2016

2015 has definitely been the best year it can be for me. I grew in myself as person, I am the most comfortable in my own skin as I ever have been before, I fell in love, I've laughed a lot, I went to York, Dublin, Egypt, Ludlow, Nottingham, Cambridge with my amazing boyfriend, I was surrounded by the most incredible friends and I'm learning that what will be will be.

I am so proud of where I am today and how happy I am with my life and myself. I think it's rare that we praise ourselves for our accomplishments and achievements but when I look back at how I was in 2014 compared to how much I have grown in 2015, I can't help but feel proud of myself.

I want 2016 to carry on exactly this way, it's started on such a high. No doubt it will bring it low points, but those are make us stronger. The following is just a few of the things I want to do more of and achieve in 2016...

  • See more sights
  • Drink more water
  • Fall back in love with blogging
  • Write more blog posts, more often (not twice a month)
  • Dress better - be more adventurous with style. Don't just wear jeans and get to know what suits my body shape
  • Don't hide under oversized jumpers
  • Get fitter and feel confident with my body
  • See friends more often
  • Save for a mortgage
  • Have more datenights
  • Not take things personally
  • Continue to be kind and do not stop or change.
They may seem a little cliché but they're my goals for 2016.