This is such an exciting post to be writing, after what seems like, or was, years and years of saving. Sam and I have finally bought our own home. I’m so excited to be sharing the news with you as I’ve been going on and on about owning a home. The whole process has been near enough impossible, mortgage companies were awful and we were forever not being taken seriously. Sam and I are both self-employed which made buying our home so difficult. Although we’ve got 3 years of accounts, they apparently weren’t good enough because we invested more back into the company than we were taking out. How else do you expect a small business to grow? Anyway, this post isn’t to moan about how difficult it is for young adults to get on the housing ladder, it’s to tell you we did it.

We were looking for a project all along. Something we could make our own. We are both so picky when it comes to how we want something. We knew a perfect house wouldn’t be perfect to us. And with Sam being in the building trade, we had his expertise to help us. But we didn’t realise a project was going to be our only option, so I’m glad we were ready for it.

The house we’ve bought used to belong to my Uncle, or I feel still does in some way. He sadly lost his battle with Cancer late last year, and during his illness told Sam and I how perfect his house would be for us. He was terminal at this point so we’d got used to talking about when the inevitable happened. I feel a little better about the situation knowing that my Uncle knew Sam and I were going to buy it. And it was going to be that first step on the property ladder that we needed. Especially as he’d owned the house for 26 years.  My Uncle restored Classic Cars for a living and always joked that his house was only for eating and sleeping in, but he was happy, that’s all that mattered. But you can imagine what 26 years of no decorating does to a house?

The house is a 3 Bed Terraced House in a town outside of Bristol. It has 2 double Bedrooms and one smaller Bedroom which I can happily say is going to be my Blog/Beauty Room. It has an Upstairs Shower Room and a Main Bathroom. Downstairs is the Living Room and Kitchen. And a massive room that isn’t being used for anything whatsoever. We’re going to turn this room into a Kitchen/Diner and have the Kitchen as the Utility Room with a Downstairs Cloakroom. Outside we have Front and Back Gardens, a Double Garage and a Car Port/Driveway.

This is a massive project for us so I wanted to take this opportunity to share the ‘before’ photos with you. We’ve already got quite far into the renovation process. The house didn’t have any form of heating so a full heating system was the first thing on our list. And definitely one of the most expensive. Then it was onto the stripping of the chipboard wallpaper in the entire house. And ripping up the carpets, that had been laid on-top of the old carpets (don’t ask). It took us a while but we finally got it to a starting point.

I’m going to do individual before and after posts of each room as we finish them. But for now… he’re the before photos. We’ve got a lot of work on our plate haven’t we…

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

The House Renovation - Before Photos

What do you think? I can’t wait to show you the after photos, we’ve done so much already.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!

Now the summer is upon us, the only place I want to be is in my kitchen. Or the beach, I’m not going to say no to the beach. But call me crazy, you have to drag me out of the kitchen kicking and screaming in the Spring/Summer months. I can’t get enough of cooking and baking. Which is obviously difficult right now considering I don’t even have a kitchen…

As you may know, Sam and I have recently bought a renovation project, the full post on that will be coming after this one. We have been working flat out on it, every single day after work, and Saturdays/Sundays for around 2 months now. I’d be lying if I wasn’t to say I’m getting slightly fed up and impatient now. In order to do the kitchen, we’ve had to wait for the electrician to do his business, as we’re moving the kitchen into a completely different room. Now we’re waiting for the plasterer who’s starting Tuesday, then we need to paint, and finally build the kitchen. We’re working towards a completion date of 14th May and the closer that’s getting, the more excited I am to get my arse back in the kitchen.

Obviously, a new kitchen calls for new appliances right? So it’s only right to make a Kitchen Wishlist. I’ve already spent way more than I should and we’ve still got so much to buy. Le Creuset just calls my name far too often…

The first on my Kitchen Wishlist is a fridge, probably one of the most important parts of a kitchen as it’s where the chocolate goes… (I know 99% of you will disagree with that statement). Although I say this is on my Wishlist, Sam and I have already bought this as it was in the Curry’s Sale. We’ve gone for the Samsung RS53K4400SA which was reduced to £649. Crazy for a fridge, but Sam wanted an ice machine, and I suppose it is a novelty. This is still in it’s packaging in the Garage so I can’t tell you what I think about it yet. But I can tell you it will fit a lot of food in, and it has an ice machine…

I’ve been looking for a juicer to make smoothies/soups and I’m impressed with the Panasonic Juicers. MX-ZX1800SXC looks like it’ll do everything I need and more. I have soup for lunch at work almost every day, it’s either that or cous cous/grains with salad. I really want to start batch making my soups as it’ll save me a fortune and I’ll know exactly what goes into it. Leek and Potato is my favourite, or a simple vegetable. I would love some soup recipes if anyone has any favourites they’d like to share?

A microwave is another important appliance that’s high up on our Kitchen Wishlist. I know some people don’t use a microwave whatsoever but I’m not one of those people, I always chose the easy option. I even make pasta in the microwave as it means I don’t have to stand over a pan for 10-15 minutes. I’m want to restart my 5 Minute Mug Cakes series too as the first one of these was really popular. I spotted a Samsung Microwave Grill for £69 at Tesco which I thought was a good price.

Why is this turning into such an adult list? Time for some silly things I think… I’d like some form of Novelty Cookie Jar, Tesco were doing a Robot one but I think it’s since been discontinued. I can always remember going to my Mum’s friends houses and them having silly cookie jars that you couldn’t wait to be offered a biscuit from. I want my Godchildren/Niece to feel like this with me. OK I’ve even made Robot Cookie Jars seem adult… [a little addition, I had a dream about said Robot Cookie Jar last night].

Next is absolutely anything to do with baking. I went through a point when I was really organised with my blog (and life) and I was managing to get a Baking/Food post live every Wednesday. Everything has been up in the air with the house renovation at the moment but I cannot wait to get to this state of mind again. Obviously a Kitchen Aid is on the top of my list but I’ll have to win the lottery first for that one. As that’s definitely not something we can spend our money on any time soon. Then I’m lusting after lots of different cookie cutters, cake cakes and decorations on Amazon, which is great for baking equipment.

I think that’s it, for now anyway. Although I’ve probably forgotten something important. I’d love to hear what your must have kitchen appliances are? Keep a look out for my before and after Kitchen post. I can’t wait to show you.

Do you have any recommendations for things you can’t live without? What’s on your Kitchen Wishlist?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!
in collaboration with Panasonic. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

Another month, another Degustabox. This month’s is the Easter Box. I expected it to be filled with sweet treats and chocolate, but that’s just my mind being naughty. Although I am excited for the chocolate festivities to commence, I am going to fill my fridge with chocolate, and not feel guilty about it whatsoever. I should probably be glad that this month’s Degustabox was filled with some healthier treats to balance that out a little, like the Super Cacao Raw bar and the Weetabix On The Go Protein Drinks. I was looking forward to trying the Mylk too.

Easter Degustabox feat. Mylk, Dairy Milk Oreo and Pipers Crisps

Easter Degustabox feat. Mylk, Dairy Milk Oreo and Pipers Crisps

The Mylk is a Dairy Free version of Milk. I’m not sure on the reason it’s spelt Mylk, hopefully someone can fill me in on that. Maybe one of the ingredients? The one in this month’s Degustabox is from Rebel Kitchen and is a Coconut Milk with Cacao Drink. Lots of Cacao in this month’s box. I’m not too keen on chocolate flavoured things but I’ll give it a go. That sounds like such a lie when I’ve just said I’m going to fill my fridge with chocolate. I love solid chocolate, but can’t stand anything like chocolate ice cream, milkshake, hot chocolate etc etc.

There were quite a few drinks in this month’s box. It also included two Weetabix On The Go drinks, the Vanilla flavour that I’ve tried before. And a NEW Blueberry and Blackberry flavour that I can’t wait to try. Also included were two Weston’s Ciders that Sam quite happily enjoyed. He wasn’t that keen on the Pure Hopped Cider though. A Gusto Organic Lemon Energy Drink that I’m yet to try and a Naturelly Jelly Juice. This is aimed at children but of course I’m going to enjoy it just as much. This is Gelatine Free too.

I think I was looking forward to trying the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Oreo the most. Well the Mint one definitely, and it didn’t disappoint, yum. Writing this is making me realise that I have the rest in my fridge and I’m trying to stop myself eating the rest. Also included was the Peanut Butter version which I’m yet to open, I think this one will be Sam’s though as I don’t like peanut butter, but I’ll give it a try.

Another sweet treat in the box is The Jelly Bean Factory Gourmet Jelly Beans. Which I have been quite happily eating daily at my desk. Oh and let’s not forget the Chocolate Eclairs. One of Sam’s favourites. Writing this is making me realise just how fussy I am… I don’t like Eclairs because I don’t like chocolate covered in toffee, I like toffee covered in chocolate though. What a weirdo… Anyone else with me?

I mentioned the Super Cacao Raw Bar above, this is filled with almonds, coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa and acai.  I really didn’t think I’d like this but it was probably one of the nicest things I’ve tried in a while. This is suitable for vegetarians but I’m not sure if it’s vegan.

The last few items in this month’s Degustabox were the Maldon Smoked Sea Salt Flakes. I haven’t bought salt and pepper grinders yet but these will be going straight in when I do. I’ve been keeping so many things out of the Degustabox ready for when we move into our house. Lastly is the Heinz Seriously Good Creamy Pepper Sauce. This will be another a keep until we move into our house. This is ready to eat which is good considering we’re not going to have a kitchen when we move in.

Oh and I’m forgetting the family size pack of Pipers Salt and Vinegar Crisps that I ate, all by myself, the day this month’s box arrived. How bad is that? They were SO good and once I started eating them, I just couldn’t stop. Tut tut Ami.

Have you tried Mylk, Oreo Dairy Milk or any of the other items from this Degustabox? Don’t forget my code (UFDHB) for £7 off your Degustabox.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!

This post contains gifted items. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

As you would have read in my Countryside Spa Retreat at The Vale Resort post, I couldn’t keep everything in one feature. I’m awful at babbling (see I’m doing it again now) but I’d written 1000 words on my Spa Weekend and hadn’t even gone into depth about the gorgeous food. I just had to write another post on The Vale Grill. The Vale Grill is an award-winning a la carte restaurant within The Vale Resort, Cardiff. They serve simple and classic recipes with fresh and quality ingredients. Included in our Dinner, Bed and Breakfast stay was a 3 course meal at The Vale Grill. We couldn’t wait to dig in.

There was quite a lot to chose from on the menu, four Starters, five Main Courses and five Dessert options. The only thing I would have changed about the menu was the fact that the Vegetarian options for the Starter and Main Course were both based around Butternut Squash. And I didn’t think I liked Butternut Squash. I still eat fish though which gave me a few more options. I went for the Butternut Squash Soup to start and Sam had Five Spiced Pork and Apple Roulade.

Butternut Squash Soup at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

Pork and Apple Roulade at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

Oh my the Butternut Squash was absolutely gorgeous. Coming from someone that wouldn’t touch the stuff prior to my visit. I bet I won’t be able to make it taste anywhere near the same though. Much to my dismay. The Toasted Pumpkin Seeds really added to the flavour and it was nice to have some bread to dip in it too. Sam thoroughly enjoyed his started to, and love the Black Cherries that accompanied it. I forgot we still had two courses after eating this, it was such a generous portion for a starter.

Lightly Spiced Cod Loin at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

8oz Sirloin Steak at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

I chose the Lightly Spiced and Roasted Cod Loin for my Main. The was served with Lemon Spring Onion and Herb Crushed Potatoes, Buttered Asparagus and Pan Fried Chorizo. I obviously asked for it to be served without the Chorizo to make it Pescatarian friendly. I started tucking into it the second it reached the table, then realised I hadn’t taken photos so had to put it back together again. Oops. I ordered a side of chips with it but I really didn’t need them and only managed a few. I loved the Herb Crushed Potatoes, the flavours worked so well together.

Sam went for the 8oz Sirloin Steak. He wouldn’t usually order Steak but he felt like ordering something a little different than he’d usually go for. He finished off every last bit so he must have enjoyed it. This was served with Twice Cooked Chips, Roasted Plum Tomato and Peppercorn Sauce. I dipped one of my chips in his Peppercorn Sauce and it was absolutely divine.

Raspberry and Blueberry Mille Feuille at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

Blackcurrant Cheesecake at The Vale Grill, Cardiff

We both fancied the Raspberry and Blueberry Mille Feuille for dessert but thought we should probably order two different desserts to try. We decided on the Blackcurrant Cheesecake and had half of each dessert. If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be the Cheesecake. But only because Cheesecake is my all time favourite guilty pleasure. Although I could have eaten the Mini Meringues served with the Mille Feuille all day, another guilty pleasure of mine.

We had such a lovely meal and didn’t leave a single crumb on any of the three courses. That has to say something. And The Vale Grill has introduced me to a love of Butternut Squash, or the way The Vale Grill cook Butternut Squash anyway. I’d say my favourite of the three courses was the Lightly Spiced Cod Loin. Sam’s was the Blackcurrant Cheesecake which is surprising considering he’s not really one for sweet things.

Have you eaten at The Vale Grill before? What would you chose out of this selection?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been using the new releases from the Garnier Skin Active range. And I’ve been loving them so much I just had to tell you all about them. I’ve always got to try skincare for quite a while before I can even give you my first impressions as I have strange [read as: awful] skin. But from the moment I received this selection, something told me I was going to love it. Maybe because I’m already an avid user of the Garnier Skin Active Micellar Waters, which have been transformed into a Gel Wash as part of the new collection.

Garnier Skin Active #SkinActivist Micellar Gel Wash

So I’ll go straight in with the Gel Washes I’ve just mentioned. Garnier have introduced the Micellar Gel, available in Sensitive Skin and Combination/Sensitive Skin. My skin is definitely combination, but not the usual oily t-zone and dry patches; it’s more ‘oily for a month, then really dry, then oily again’. So frustrating. Both of these have seemed perfect for my skin type so far. One thing I do find with these however is they sting my eyes a little, which I don’t find with the Micellar Waters. To overcome this I’ve been sticking with my trusty Nivea Cleanser and Toner for my eye area and then going in with the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash as a second cleanse.

The next product that has been introduced into the Garnier Skin Active range is the Moisture Bomb Hydrating Mist. I’ve finally given in and gone make-up free in the office as my skin has reached a new low. I cannot keep clogging my pores with make-up each and every day as it really won’t improve. Fingers crossed for better skin this summer. My morning skincare routine currently consists of washing with the Micellar Gel Wash, then massaging in Bio Oil to hopefully help with acne scarring and finally a spritz of the Hydrating Mist. I’ve also been taking this into work with me so I can apply it to my skin throughout the day (when I remember).

I finally got around to trying the Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask last night. You can find a slightly questionable photo of me using it on my Twitter if you’d like. I always giggle at how I look when trying new face masks. I loved this one right away. It’s relativity easy to apply then it needs to be left on for 15 minutes, although I think I left it on for slightly longer than this. Then you simply remove it and massage in any excess serum. I found I had quite a lot of excess serum so removed a little with a cotton pad before massaging the rest in. I noticed an immediate different in the tone and feel of my skin. I’ll definitely be picking up some more of these when I’m next in Boots.

Garnier has also released the Pure Active Sensitive range. Aiming at sensitive, blemish prone skin, highlighting that it’s not just a teenage problem, thank you Garnier. The Sensitive Collection includes an Anti-Blemish Soap Free Gel, an Anti-Blemish Care-In Toner and an Anti-Blemish Soothing Moisturiser. All of these I haven’t had the chance to try yet, as I’m using up my similar items first. I’m sure I mention all the time that I hate opening new products before finishing old ones. I’m so funny about leaving products open and going back to them. I always try and finish a products within 3-6 months of opening it then usually throw it away if it’s left open longer than that. Especially with facial skincare products as I have such sensitive, acne-prone skin. I may start to use the Anti-Blemish Soap Free Gel Wash in the mornings instead of my Micellar Gel Wash.

I’ll be sure to let you know what I think about these products once I’ve been trying them for a little longer. You may even spot them in a monthly favourite post as I’m starting them again as of next month.

Have you tried any of these Garnier Skin Active products? What do you think?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!

I was kindly gifted the new Garnier Skin Active range to try. As always, opinions are 100% honest.