Friday, June 23

Las Iguanas Review | BH2 Leisure Complex, Bournemouth

Last night, I was very kindly invited to the new Las Iguanas in Bournemouth. We have an awesome new complex called BH2, filled with many of my favourite chain restaurants. I've never been to Las Iguanas before, so took my best friend Megan to give our honest verdict, and discover the flavours of Latin America.

On arrival, we were greeted by the friendliest faces, and ordered a drink at the bar. To our surprise, it's 2 for 1 all day, EVERY DAY! Brilliant. £8.75 cocktails, £18.95 pitchers. Buy one glass or pitcher, get the same one free. We tried our hand at making our own Caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian cocktail made with cacha├ža, sugar and lime. As I was driving, I sadly couldn't enjoy the alcohol, so ordered from the non-alcoholic menu and was extremely impressed with the choice! Normally at restaurants it's just a fizzy soft drink or juice to pick from, but Las Iguanas had a great selection. I tried a Tropical Cooler and a Raspberry Cooler, both gorgeous AND 2 for 1 too. Bonus!

We shared nachos to start which was a good shout, as I wouldn't have finished a whole plate to myself, they're huge! They were such good nachos that I had to photograph our empty plate, I think that speaks volumes in how much we enjoyed them.

I was torn on what to have for my main, and almost wish I'd gone for fajitas as I'd heard great things however, wanted to try something with plenty of flavour. I chose the Bahian Coconut Chicken, which doesn't look very good as a photo, but honestly was so tasty! Chicken breast strips pan-fried in cumin, coriander and cayenne, cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, tomatoes and coriander, and served with spring onion rice & shredded spinach. I have to admit, it was the kind of dish I think I could make at home, but I still enjoyed it. Megan opted for a Burrito, a wheat tortilla stuffed with chipotle rice, refried beans, crunchy slaw and cheese with salad, soured cream, guacamole and roasted tomato salsa. The only gripe? It's all served on the side! I personally prefer my burrito stuffed full of the extras.

It was a no brainer for dessert, we love churros and were not disappointed. They were very well cooked and the caramel sauce was heavenly. We shared a plate of 6 and it was the perfect treat to finish the evening.

I really enjoyed our meal. It's very well priced, and the atmosphere is fantastic. The music was a little loud at times, but otherwise, I can't fault it. Our waitress was vibrant and knowledgeable on the menu. We discussed her favourite dishes and as a vegetarian, she said how well catered it is for vegans and vegetarians, with gluten-free options too. On the website, you can even tick a box for 'nut-free' and it shows all the options available! There are so many options that even if you fancy something a little lighter, there's plenty of tapas dishes and salads to choose from.

We'll definitely be coming back, Las Iguanas is a new favourite for me and has something for everyone. Huge thanks to the team for having us, until next time!

*Complimentary meal. I was not asked to write a review, I just genuinely really enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, June 21

Our First Holiday Together | Tenerife, Costa Adeje

At the beginning of June, my boyfriend Benji and I headed to Tenerife for our first holiday abroad together. We wanted something fairly inexpensive, sunny and relaxing. We chose Tenerife for ease, and booked an adults-only, all inclusive holiday via First Choice. We stayed at Hovima Costa Adeje, a short distance from the Airport after a 4 hour flight from Gatwick.

The handy thing about booking with a travel agent, is the ease of having your transport booked for you too. We stepped off the plane, onto a coach, and arrived at our hotel with no problems.

The Hovima Hotel was everything we needed. It's not my favourite all-inclusive resort I've stayed in, but it certainly ticked all our boxes. With two pools, two restaurants, daily day and evening entertainment, walking distance to the beach and close proximity to Siam Park, we had everything we needed.

Wednesday, June 14

Emetophobia | My Phobia Of Sick

This is something I've wanted to talk about so I feel less alone, but as it makes me so uncomfortable, I don't generally like talking about it. Hence the post today instead of a video. I've always thought I was a bit odd having a fear of something which is generally quite normal, but over a period of time, I've realised I'm not alone. So today, I'd like to tell you what it's like having Emetophobia, what my friends and family think, and my inner thoughts and feelings around sick.

I don't generally research Emetophobia, even though I've known I've had it almost my whole life. According to Anxiety UK, "those with emetophobia have a fear of vomiting or seeing others being sick. They may also fear the feeling of being out of control while they are being sick or fear being sick in public which can trigger avoidance behaviours."

I've only been sick once. It was when I was around 10 years old and had an illness called gastroenteritis. It was a pathetic amount really, and I generally don't remember having much control of it when I was that age. I was obviously sick as a baby too, but nothing I remember. So, let's start by discussing me being sick....

Me & My Body
My first anxieties around being sick is from food poisoning, which leads to fears around cooking and eating. I'm lazy with cooking anyway, I don't enjoy it and like to stick to what I know. The idea of touching raw meat makes me want to wash my hands 5000 times, in case I get ill. My body avoids being sick so much that even if I do get a bug or I'm poorly, let's just say it comes out 'the other end'. Gross. Since living alone, I'm definitely better with being more experimental with food, but I just like to know its 100% cooked.

My next issue is alcohol. I didn't experiment with getting drunk until I was 18, and even then I was adamant to not mix my drinks, in fear of being sick. I think this has honestly gone in my favour, because over the years I've built up quite a nice balance of knowing my limits. I push them every time I want to get drunk, and if I'm not sick? Result. I've never been sick from alcohol and although I get hangovers, I'm now comfortable mixing different alcoholic beverages during an evening, I know exactly when to stop or slow down.

Uncontrollable Situations
My biggest (and by far, the worst) issue is seeing others be sick. I was watching Baywatch at the cinema recently and it happened a few times. The main character is nicknamed 'Vomit Comit', excellent. If I see it in movies or on TV, I have to cover my eyes and take a moment to forget it's happening. I block it out and try and continue to focus on the rest of the show, but sometimes I play the image back in my head and it makes me want to cry. I recently wanted to start watching The Crown on Netflix, but the opening scene was a man at the sink coughing on the edge of sickness, and I had to turn it off.

The worst recently was at Christmas seeing a kid on the street in New York. I was having a happy holiday with my family, and then I burst into tears. I was physically shaking and my palms were sweating. Thank god I had my mum with me, because she was really good at knowing I needed an instant distraction, and totally understood why I reacted that way.

If I'm travelling on public transport, I often have to keep my mind distracted from worrying I'm going to see/hear/smell someone be sick. I love travelling and I love flying, but I try to position myself on an isle (so I can get up and walk away). I always check there are sick bags in the pouch in front of me, so I can quickly give it to another person. I have a jacket/scarf with me to be able to cover my nose from the smell if necessary. My flight back from Benidorm recently gave me major anxiety. There was a girl who was clearly very unwell and sadly wasn't able to fly, but I was stuck in a middle seat and watched every passenger walk past, praying it wasn't that girl. I cannot tell you the sigh of relief I let out when an older lady sat down next to me. Long car journeys and boats are another ball game too.

I love going on a night out with my friends and boyfriend, but I generally like to leave around 1am, before you start seeing people be sick on the streets. (I know, crazy, people can be sick on the street at any time but generally my chances are slimmer around this time). My absolute biggest fear, is someone being sick ON me. I honestly pray that it never happens. Speaking of a night out, I'm obviously not going to be the friend to help you or hold your hair in the toilets. Absolutely, no way.

Babies. I'm not very maternal right now and not many of my friends have babies yet, but if I'm going to hold them, I'd rather do it when they're sleeping. I've never been able to hold a baby on my shoulders, even with a muslin cloth there, in fear they'll be sick down my back. Just typing this probably sounds crazy to some, and yes, I know I might have a baby one day and yes, I know I'll have to deal with it then but for now, I'd rather avoid it.

Finally, Facebook. With so many memes and videos popping up, and with a job in social media where I check the site every single day, I often see the odd thing and it'll put me off for a while. Similarly to TV and film, as it's not in person, I have much better control over what I do and don't see, but it's another element of daily life that my Emetophobia effects.

The only situation I can think of where I don't feel uncomfortable, but I know other people with emetophobia suffer with, is Theme Parks. I like Thorpe Park & Disney Parks, and generally my happiness in both places is a large distraction.

Where did this come from?
I'm not 100% sure, really. I have bad memories of my brother being terribly travel sick as a kid, so I'm not sure if it's stem from there. I read somewhere about the fear of having no control. This is of course another topic, but I guess I do like to have control over most (if not) everything in my life. I wish I knew the cause, and I wish I was better at being more relaxed over something so normal, but all I really know is that I've had it for a long, long time.

Friends & Family
I thank my lucky stars that my friends and family are very forgiving and understanding. My boyfriend was poorly recently and selflessly told me to stay at home and had his mum pick him up instead of me, knowing full well I'd struggle to cope and look after him. I won't want to kiss him, or be around him if he's unwell. Similarly, if anyone has been sick in a loo I need to use, I need it 100% clean (with bleach) and no smell, before I even consider using the same loo.

He's really good at telling me to look away during a film, and he'll tell me when it's over too.

When I travel in cars for a long distance, and I need to be in the back, I like to sit on the left, because I can get out the car quickest on this side. A habit I've formed for so many years, many of my friends and family don't question it.

What's next?
Honestly, I don't know. My emetophobia doesn't affect my daily life; most of the time I go by my day absolutely fine and if it is triggered, I'm getting better at coping. Mainly distraction is the key. Sometimes it's worse than others, and sometimes I hold back tears in fear of looking absolutely crazy that I'd cry over something so trivial, but it's an emotion I don't know how to stop.

I've consider hypnotherapy, but I'm not sure how bad I need to get before that's necessary, and I'd rather just cope alone. For now.

I'm fully aware that with any phobia, it affects people in different ways and on different levels, but if you can relate, do reach out to me, because I totally understand how it feels.

For now, screw you Emetophobia. I might not be able to cure you but at least finally writing this is another step closer to being in better control.
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