I’m baaaaaaaack (Updates + October Inspiration)

Okay, wow. I have seriously have been so caught up in moving to Sydney and settling in the past month.. but I think I can say I’m officially back in my blogging mode! I’m so happy with our apartment, my job and overall.. LIFE. IS. GREAT.

Heading into October already and boy, oh boy, it is getting hot here. I need to completely update my summer wardrobe – here are some pics there to inspire me in the next month xx p.s totally obsessed with Mexican food lately. If you know of any awesome Mexican food joints in Sydney, hit me up because I could eat soft tacos and quesadillas aaaaaaaaall daaaay.

Recent obsessions : more denim, mexican food, finding the perfect backpack and dreaming of future travels..

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Stepping into Blue Cactus

Can you believe that I had not stepped into a salon for over 4 years? I’ve been hacking at my own hair doing terrible home jobs this whole time and my friend kindly suggested for me to visit Blue Cactus on Lambton Quay, Wellington, to sort out my hair (Thank goodness! I needed an intervention). What can I say.. they are just so wonderful!! Every single one of their girls was so warm and friendly and the whole experience was a pleasant one. Note: This is big deal for me because I have not even tried to go to a salon in all these years, and finally my friend Kim (who is the marketing coordinator at Blue Cactus) suggested I should try them.

What I loved most was that there wasn’t an awkward waiting area, you are led straight into a comfortable space where they offer something to drink and also a nice place to sit where you fill in your consultation form if you are a new client. My stylist, Jasmin came to me straight away for a consultation where she really listened to me and got familiar with what I really wanted. I really recommend Jasmin (if you decide to go there for your hair, ask for her!) her skills and warm friendly nature made me want to always book with her from now on. I’m very fond of the products she used which are specifically for my dry hair, Kérastase nutri-thermique for heat protector and Kérastase Elixir Ultime for silky feel and shine – seriously, these are miracle products! Something I also loved was how the salon owner, Carol, walked around the whole salon area just to see how everyone was and was really amongst it all. I’m such a fan of Blue Cactus Salon and am so pleased with my hair – too bad I’m moving away soon just as I had found a hair salon where I felt comfortable! Their values of “Empowerment. Trust. Creativity. Honesty. Relationships” really shine through and you can be confident of receiving professional and personal attention each and every visit  - Super glad I chose to go to Blue Cactus.

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( just sneaking in a little “in action” shot by Kim hehe )

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(how do you like it? picture posted on instagram @ericallorico)

check out their website on http://www.bluecactus.co.nz/

The also post updates and do giveaways now and then so “like” on facebook

They have just started an instagram too – so “follow” @bluecactushairdressing

xx

Adjusting to changes.. Dairy-free living

I went to the doctors this morning and have been advised that I should have a dairy-free diet. I think I should have already been adhering to this advice since I was a child, but only really thought I’d take it seriously now. It’s for my skin – well, my eczema and allergies to be exact. Every time I have too much dairy in my diet, my eczema flares up and for me to avoid my eczema from playing up, I need to stick to this. I’m not used to being strict with my diet so may take some time getting used to dairy-free living. I’ve been shown some awesome recipes and products to use as alternatives and it’s looking like an exciting way to experiment with different recipes. N=So, no more ice-cream, cheesy foods, yogurt, cows milk and other products with hidden dairy.

I’ve been on the internet today looking up recipes, tips and also talking with colleagues who have food allergies. There’s so many options and alternatives for a dairy-free diet that it makes me excited to try these new recipes and I know that if I do not want to aggravate my eczema, I need to be a good girl and listen to my body.

First recipe I’m going to try is from “Gluten Free Vegan Girl” and it’s a “Vegan Pasta Alfredo” - My friend, Emma showed this to me because even though I’m not on a gluten-free diet (or vegan) she knows that I love creamy sauces on my pasta. This recipe with cashews and plant-based milk seems like a great alternative to the usual creaminess with dairy products! Can not WAIT to try this!

Creamy Vegan Pasta Alfredo

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makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (or pine kernels)
  • 1/2 + cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • a pinch of maldon salt
  • a dash of black pepper

miscellaneous:

  • 200 grams brown rice pasta (preferably fettuccine or spaghetti)
  • finely chopped fresh Italian herbs (such as oregano, basil or thyme)

Directions:

  1. Start by placing the pasta in a pot with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Let this cook while making the sauce.
  2. The sauce is made simply by placing all the ingredients together in a small food processor (or use a hand blender) and run until completely small. Start by using 1/2 cup plant-based milk and add more for the sauce to reach the right consistency. It should be about as thick as pancake batter.
  3. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and place back into the pot. Pour in the sauce and some finely chopped herbs (I used basil leaves) and stir well. You can use dried herbs if you must. Add in additional black pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately while warm.

[Credits: Recipe and photos all from Gluten Free Vegan Girl post: Creamy Vegan Pasta Alfredo ]

Do you have any food allergies or needing to go on a dairy-free diet too? If you know of any awesome blogs / resources comment below! Would love to hear from you xx

My Picks: Lazy Sunday Songs

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I wish my lazy sunday looked like that picture.. but no, i am currently in fluffy slippers, matching sweats with my hood up while lying in bed listening to my lazy sunday songs. I listen to all sorts of music – from rap to acoustic love songs, I have a wide range of music in my music library. I hardly post about music here, but today I thought I’d share some lazy sunday sounds. If you go through the list you’ll notice that it’s quite mixed-bag and there’s plenty of “oldies”. I love listening to old favourites and easy listening songs on a Sunday, especially after a hard night (haha!) xx Enjoy

1) Justin Nozuka – “After Tonight”

2) Aaliyah – “Rock the Boat”

3) Tracy Chapman – “Give me one reason”

4) Craig David – “7 Days”

5) Lenny Kravitz – “It Ain’t Over till it’s Over”

6) Eric Clapton – “Change the World”

7) Jodeci – “Good Luv”

8) Teedra – “Be Your Girl”

9) City High – “Caramel”

10) Sade – “By Your Side (Neptunes Remix)

11) Lauryn Hill – “Tell Him”

12) Amy Winehouse – “October Song”

13) Incubus – “Drive”

14) Blink 182 – “I Miss You”

15) Lifehouse – “You and Me”

Let’s Talk: Skin care Essentials

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Left to Right : Clinique ‘Liquid Soap’ – Tailor Skincare ‘Tailor Masque’ – Simple ‘Moisturising Facial Wash’ – Olay ‘Moisturising Cream Sensitive Skin’ – Skinfood NZ ‘Exfoliating Scrub Aloe & Sweet Almond’ – Loreal ‘Revitalift Smoothing Toner’ – Loreal ‘Revitalift Rich Make-Up Removing Milk’

I have quite dry and sensitive skin so I use a lot of products that are moisturising so they may not be great for those who have more oily skin. These are just some products on rotation at the moment, I’m trying to move to more natural products such as Tailor Skincare made in New Zealand and also brands I used to use like Antipodes. I bounce around with different products because I feel with my skin, certain products tend to not work after while when my skin gets too used to it (weird? i dunno.. does it happen for you too?) Hope you enjoyed this post, it was requested some time ago but I never got round to taking a picture with all my products together – I may even do one for acne prone skin since I used to get acne. What are some of your Skin care essentials? xx

What’s been happening?!

Hey peeps! It’s the last day of May so I thought I’d drop in and do an update post..

BIGGEST UPDATE: Finally booked the one way tickets to Sydney. Tipo and I are finally moving over.. so Sydney will be my new home. I’m so nervous but excited at the same time.. it’s not long until it’s August!! New job. New place. New everything! I’ll be sure to share all my favourite spots with you all once I settle in, so incredibly thankful that I have a few good girlfriends there since they’ll be able to show me the way.

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I also graduated in May! 4 long years and I finally have my bachelors degree.. met some awesome friends along the way and I really wouldn’t have been able to do it without friends and great teachers.

 Below: Me in my ‘Goodbye, Massey University!’ gears before the ceremony

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Just got this in the mail! Take a look at these cute packets of tea made by Informal Tea Co. All their tea is organic, grown by passionate tea masters and hand blended in Tauranga, New Zealand. Have a look at their website www.informaltea.co.nz - I’ll be doing a post featuring all the goodness about it soon xx stay tuned!

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P.S before I go.. take a look at my “home made’ business card organiser I made for my desk today! I was pretty tired of all the business cards on my desk just floating around with no home (and for someone who loves to organise, pretty much everything has its own home hehe) I even have my colleague asking me to make one for her too! What a productive Friday its been! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. It’s long weekend for us as it’s Queen’s birthday weekend and I can’t wait to kick my feet up!

Toodaloo xx

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