Hey lovelies!

I have recently decided to get involved in a piece of viola‘s Christmas Blogger Gift Swap after she has been so successful the past two years.

I think a Christmas Gift Swap is a fantastic idea to bring the blogging community together and get to know people a little better. The whole process Viola has set up really allows you to try and buy presents (feel free to set a budget between you) that one another will enjoy and you never know – the relationship you build could be a lasting one! A blogging friend is a forever friend, eh?

What Do You Do?

  1. Fill in Viola’s Google form document found on the original post here.
  2. After she confirms a place, write a blog post (much like this) informing others of the Blogger Christmas Swap.
  3. On November 6th Viola will confirm your blogger pairing.
  4. Then you send and receive your pressies by December 17th yay!
  5. Write a blog post and include pictures of all your goodies for everyone to see.
  6. Enjoy the Christmas spirit!!

Feel free to use the hashtag #apovgiftswap on Twitter and Instagram when sharing your pressies and check out Viola’s twitter @violahelen_ to keep yourself updated on everything.

I really think Viola has come up with a lovely idea and I absolutely looove Christmas so I can’t wait to see all of you lovely people get involved and make new friends in the blogger community – I’m certainly excited to get to know more people!

Ella x




A good spaghetti bolognese
Waking up to see blue skies and a sunny day
Finding money in a jacket I haven’t worn for a while
When the song you’ve been singing comes on the radio
Hearing someone’s lawnmower – always makes me think of summer!

Getting the last size available in a pair of shoes or clothes
Homemade chocolate brownies
Discovering a great book, film or TV series
Finding a bargain online – like when something you’ve wanted for ages goes in the sale
Hearing the ice cream van – ahh childhood!

Decorating the Christmas tree
Any animal videos that have a happy ending
Hearing children laughing
Seeing someone upload a haul on YouTube
My cat Bradley (love)


Bradley’s ickle beauty spot
Packing for a holiday
Buying something you have saved ages for
Someone loving a present you have got them
Seeing it snow for the first time in months

A good cocktail – Woo Woo for me!
Having family traditions
When new people enjoy your company
A good hot chocolate
Getting shiny new coins – £1 coins never looked so good

Fixing or making something yourself, without help
Waking up next to my boyfriend after a lay in
Scented candles
Good surprises – Adam brings me flowers when I’m sad
Harry Potter being on TV – best films ever


Warming up after being out in the cold
Chocolate Fudge Cake being on the menu in a restaurant
Seeing someone after a long time of being apart – particulary my amazing boyfriend
Giving and receiving compliments
Relaxing in the bath

Good french fries
Writing in the first page of a new notebook
Having people love a new blog post
Finishing an essay after working on it for ages
Hearing someone speak French – damn it’s so elegant!

Finding a holy grail piece of makeup
Pretty scenery i.e. lots and lots of trees
Seeing Adam after a long day at work
Being successful – especially when you aren’t expecting it


Having friends you know are always there for you
When someone confides in you – I really love being trusted
Overcoming a fear
New comfy pjs
Tattoos – especially planning new ones for myself!

Well there you go, 50 things that make me happy.
I hope you liked this guys, sometimes it is very important to remember what makes you happy and appreciate the little things in life.
I would love it if you did your own version of this and posted it below!

Ella x


I recently had the absolute delight to stay in a tree house from the 2nd-5th September at Center Parcs, Longleat, with my boyfriend and his family.

I was so excited as last year was only the first time I had ever been to Center Parcs and the idea of staying in a tree house was amazing as I’m not normally able to afford such luxury!

What Do You Get?

It was a long ass journey but when we arrived we were greeted by a lovely member of staff who showed us around our home for the weekend. Prior to the visit they asked the ages of the people arriving (two of the children going received teddies with their names on tags), any recent birthdays (we received birthday cake, balloons and banners) and what paper you would prefer to be delivered.

Amazingly, they had stocked the fridge in the games room with complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as having full access to an Xbox and games without a deposit – which we hadn’t experienced in the Games Lodge the year before. The games room, that I just mentioned, was just over a little walkway from the balcony where there was also a pool table and other games provided for you. The entrance is actually the featured photo that I have used for this post.


The stairs to the master bedroom

The tree house had four bedrooms, three doubles and one twin, to which all had an en-suite and a private balcony. Now I have to mention the showers! They were honestly amazing. It had what seemed like a million different settings, a waterfall style shower head above you and four water jets that you controlled from a single panel.

We also had a private hot tub on the balcony and an infrared room (basically gets hot like a steam room/sauna and has a lot of health benefits) to use at our own leisure which was great. The only problem was that the weather in Longleat was miserable so once you got in the hot tub, you never wanted to get out!

I will admit that if you are not very ‘tech-friendly’ it is a bit of a faff. The shower, the TVs, the Xbox, the remotes and even the cooker are quite complicated to use but luckily they do provide a manual that helps explain things really well.


What We Did

Adam and I decided that this year we would do as much as we could, even if money was restricting. I feel like Center Parcs is hard to enjoy without having saved half your life beforehand – having to remortgage your home to go bowling and sign off your first-born to the Center Parcs devil for a bike isn’t my kind of fun.

Despite this, Adam and I did a lot and really loved our weekend! Our bikes were a small fortune at £29 for the weekend (and as discovered was probably a waste of money as Longleat is hilly af) making me wince slightly as I entered my pin on my poor, overused card.

However, there are things to do in Center Parcs that aren’t a lot of money. We went to the Adventure Golf which had been newly renovated and had a medieval theme that was pretty amazing! On one of the last holes there was a dragon that ‘breathed fire’ and growled and I am proud to admit that I did in fact get a hole-in-one wooo!


We also booked a badminton court for one hour which was just over £8 but admittedly you got brand new equipment and we got to keep the shuttlecocks which wasn’t too bad. We were so knackered after 40 minutes that I have to admit I got my moneys worth!

On Sunday we went for breakfast at The Pancake House and I got ruined by a stack of American pancakes with rolos, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and more goodies.


The pancakes were quite expensive and the place was so popular that I would recommend only going the once – there are only so many pancakes you can take in a weekend!

We also went bowling which is also fun. The weekend prices are often more expensive than the rest of the week, so 45 minutes of bowling was £26. Ouch. However, because we decided to just go together, we got in about 4 games and (quoting the prices of a place near me) it’s generally £4.50 per person, per game, (£9 together x 4 games = £36) meaning we got a better deal!

Luckily we got a slot midday but generally you had to book well in advance to even get one lane. I learnt early on that booking before you go is often a good idea and avoids indecisiveness on the day! They have a really useful app that I used constantly to check the availability and prices of activities and restaurants which is a great idea if you’re going yourself.


Overall, I had such a great time away with Adam and his family and I am so excited to go again soon. I feel so lucky that I had this opportunity to stay in a tree house and I am grateful to Adam’s family for providing me with this experience.

Ella x


If you wanted to read another review, I found a Daily Mail article that I really enjoyed about the experience:



I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me since I started my blog as I have now hit 50 followers!!

  • Thank you to those who comment and like my posts regularly, it means the world. I have to admit that I smile and get excited every single time I get a notification.
  • Thank you to bloggers who have given me loving advice on their posts, my posts, on Facebook etc and allowed me to quickly improve my content and style.
  • Thank you to all 50 of you for being part of my new little community!

Thank you for sticking around, I’m very excited for what’s to come.



Ella x



This is an incredibly hard post for me to make and I hope that you can all appreciate that. I am quite a creative person, in terms of writing, and I found it is a great outlet for when things seem tough. So today I thought it was time that I came out from the dark and shared my experience with depression and how it makes me feel.

My Diagnosis

I was diagnosed on the 4th February 2016 with Atypical Depression. It was actually a few hours before I did the eulogy at my Grandad’s funeral in front of about 100 people. But, that didn’t make me feel any more sad that I had been dealt such a poor set of cards that day.

In fact, I kind of felt, liberated.

Bloody weird, I know. I was just… (happy??) to get a diagnosis and actually understand why I had been acting so un-me for so long.

“Atypical depression can be overwhelming, both physically and mentally. Unlike other types of depression, people with atypical depression can be briefly cheered up by positive events, but they overreact to negative events. A severe depression can be triggered by any feeling of rejection from a friend, boss, or loved one” –

At school I was the girl who didn’t have trouble making and maintaining friendships – I actually prided myself on how many I had – so why at university, the place where I should have been making hundreds of new pals did I feel so… alone? Miserable? Abandoned? Friendless?

At school I was the girl who always smiled, laughed, spent as much time away from home and with those that I loved. So why was I now turning my university room from a sanctuary in to a cell? Why was I spending more days crying over insignificant problems and pushing those that I loved away… rather than letting them in?

I traveled from York to my hometown the night before my Grandad’s funeral, aware of my looming appointment. I was scared. Scared of being laughed at, misunderstood or given a perfect bill of health. Realistically, these thoughts were stupid. I knew I wouldn’t be considered mentally healthy at all. In fact, I had completed an online consultation with my surgery in York that deemed me too severe to see a GP and advised me contacting emergency help.

My GP in my hometown was kind. He listened, he asked questions and at the end of our time he diagnosed me. (I am fully aware that it isn’t this easy for everyone.) After feeling so lost in my undiagnosed state, hearing the words ‘atypical depression’ made me feel found.

I had an illness. It wasn’t made up. I wasn’t ok and in fact it was ok to not be ok. It was ok because it meant I had found my footing on the steps that I had been stumbling down and now I could figure out my steep ascent ahead.

I was prescribed Citalopram that I immediately had a poor relationship with and came off the first chance I had.


You’re probably wondering what medication I took next? Who I spoke to? Whether I am feeling hunky-dory now?

Well… nope.

Like I said, in March I stopped my medication cold turkey. My exams were coming up and the effects were so detrimental to my studies that I actually felt worse. I slept for 12+ hours a day and had no opportunity to study. I lost even more friends, stopped going in to university and it killed me that there was no magic wand to repair it all.

You may think that it has been a while since March and it may have changed. Which is slightly true. University ended in a very ugly and tense atmosphere that I was struggling with after coming off my medication and not seeking further help, so returning home felt amazing. My boyfriend is honestly my knight in shining armour (80% of the time!!) and his presence definitely saved me from myself several times.

know I cannot rely on him for happiness. I have to find it myself. I had a few months which seemed to brighten up my life but now I have hit a bump in the road and I would be lying if I said it didn’t terrify me. Because it does. It scares me to my core. I knew my worst and I don’t want to return. I want to recover and rediscover Ella. I want to feel the real liberation, not just the liberation of finally being diagnosed. I want real feeling.

I know it will come. I know it takes time.

But I am determined, I am strong and I am not just my illness.

I am Ella, and I will meet her again soon.

Ella x
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If you wish to speak to anyone about mental health please contact Mind: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.