Monday, 15 January 2018

MUSIC MONDAYS ~ N.18

If my last post wasn't enough to convince you why it is worth considering learning a second language, perhaps this Music Monday's feature will do it!

This week, VLD is excited to present Betta Lemme and her debut single, "Bambola."  This song features Lemme singing not only Italian, but English and French too!  Can we say, impressive?  If that wasn't enough to catch your attention, this song has such a unique sound combining classical instruments with a euro-dance vibe. 

While this is the first track to be released from her 4-track EP (released this year), this triple-threat singer has been using her musical talents since the wee age of two.  "When I was two, I started playing classical piano, I was unable to take lessons because I just couldn't read music notes. Rather, I would just listen to the sounds others would make and play it back," the singer explains, in an inteview with David Sikorski from Earmilk.com  (read fill interview here).

A Montreal native, Lemme grew up in an Italian immigrant family, with much of her musical influence stemming from her heritage. While she dabbled in modelling for a little while, the singer quickly realized she was a music artist at heart, and switched over.
Today this singer, songwriter and producer is taking the world by storm, with her song quickly rising on the charts!

Check out her debut hit below!



Friday, 12 January 2018

WHY LEARN A LANGUAGE?

A new year brings new projects!  

One project that is worth considering is learning a new language.  There are a multitude of reasons why learning a language is beneficial.  Rather than me listing them off, I thought it would be fun to present the information in a creative and eye catching format using infographics!  I've found some great ones below that explain why it's important to consider learning a second language, and more specifically, why it's worthwhile to learn Italian, because after all Viva la Dolce! ;) 


Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics




Wednesday, 10 January 2018

RECIPE: SNOWBALL CAKE

You know that saying, "If you can't beat'em, join'em!"? Well, since the weather is forecasting a major snowfall in the next couple of days, I figured, perfect timing for a snowball cake!  

This was always one of my favourite winter-time desserts growing up.  It's simple and delicious and definitely helps one get into the "winter spirit"! :)

While the lemon coconut version of this cake is my favourite, there are a few other ways it can be made as well.  You can find links to the variations below.  Choose your favourite snowball, bake and indulge! :)

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Lemon Coconut Snowball Cake - Sugerhero.com 



Chocolate Snowball Cake with Cream Cheese Filling - kraftrecipes.com



Snowball Cake with crushed pineapple - Allrecipes.com

image from tasetmade.co.uk

Strawberry Snowball Cake - Salad-in-a-jar.com


Chocolate Snowball Cake (made with white Chocolate) - Purdys Chocolates

Monday, 8 January 2018

MUSIC MONDAY ~ N.17

This is the first music Monday of 2018, and it is a special favourite of mine!  

This Music Monday, Viva la Dolce is featuring Ed Sheeran's latest hit, "Perfect," featuring Andrea Bocelli.  This version is actually titled, "Perfect Symphony." Although the original version was released in September 2017, the song recently received a big boost on the charts, thanks to two new releases featuring collaborations with Andrea Bocelli and Beyonce.  

While the original song, as well as the duet with Beyonce are equally fantastic, there is just something so enchanting about the version with Bocelli.   Elements such as the inclusion of the Italian language in the song, the instruments used, and hearing Sheeran sing in Italian, make this version all the more special.  

I equally enjoy the music video, as it offers a "behind the scene" glimpse into the recording of the song, including natural reactions to the amazing talent (note: you need to see Ed Sheeran's look of awe as Bocelli sings!  It pretty much sums up how many of us feel).  In addition to the music video,  you will also find below translated lyrics.  I've also included an additional video featuring an interview with Bocelli and Sheeran regarding their collaboration.

Hope you enjoy this song as much as I do!




               Lyrics from lyricstranslate.com

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

JANUARY DOLCE TO-DO LIST!


Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome 2018!  

The holidays have wrapped up (no pun intended, heh heh), and everyone is probably feeling a little tired.  However, there is a freshness in the air - and it's not just due to the -25 degree temperatures we've been experiencing here in Toronto - it's the new year.  

A new year brings new opportunities, the chance for a fresh new perspective, and the opportunity to be your best self in the next 365 days.  If you're feeling a little bit of pressure - don't.  Instead, embrace the start of the new year, and take it step by step.  Take some time during these first couple of weeks, to ease into the new year, and think about what it is that you truly want to accomplish in the coming months.  Perhaps you want to write these goals down?  Go ahead.  Try doing that, and a few other things listed below, to help get your year off to a great start!

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1. Reflect -  Take some time to sit quietly with your thoughts, and think about your goals for the year ahead.  Do you want to embark on a new career?  Go back to school? Change houses?  Whatever it is, don't just dream it, make a plan on how to do it.  Especially if it is something you have been thinking about for a while.  The time is now - make this your year!

2. Re-organize, Purge, Delcutter - It's a fresh new year, so in with the new and out with the old!  This is the best time to take a look at all the stuff you never, or hardly, used last year, and put it in a "to-go" pile!  Consider if you truly need the item; if not, then think about donating it to someone who does.

3. Photo/Document Clean Up - Speaking of cleaning up, consider saving some storage space on your hard drive and delete old photos or documents you no longer need.  Finding it hard to let go?  Save everything to an external hard drive, and you won't have to worry about any missing files.

4. Plan out more dolce time - Make it a point to carve out more "me" time this year.  Whether you enroll in a favourite class, plan a monthly night with friends, or log some reading hours each evening, it's important to set out such expectations for yourself early on in the year, before work, family, and other such responsibilities takes over.

5. Fitness Goals - This isn't meant to pressure you into joining a gym, instead, it is a simple reminder to take care of your body.  Often times, we get so tired and overwhelmed from our day to day, that we relish in the comfort of relaxing on the coach, with social media in hand.  While there is no harm in taking a time out here and there, what's worrisome is if you begin to neglect your fitness needs entirely. If you're not the gym type, take some time to think about how you are going to incorporate healthy activities into your life this year.  Perhaps a stroll after dinner each day, or power walking around the mall?  Whatever you decide, just make a plan and stick to it.  If you already have a fitness routine, challenge yourself to take on a totally new activity - perhaps mixed martial arts or rowing classes?  Find something new to further your fitness engagement.

6. Be extra kind - What better way to start off the year, than by sharing some extra cheer? ?!  January can be an especially difficult month for some.  Individuals may be suffering from a lonely holiday season, stressing about their bank accounts after all the gift giving, or feeling depressed due to the cold and bitter winter weather (here in Toronto anyway).  Try to lift someone's spirits with a simple smile, or perhaps even buy someone's coffee one morning.  One positive action can totally transform someone's day and make it that much brighter!

7. Bake some cookies - With the cold winter weather upon us, there is nothing better than to cozy up inside somewhere warm with a cup of hot coco, and some treats!  Whether it be cookies or whatever other dessert that delights your taste buds, take some time to bake a special treat this month. Consider doing this activity with friends and/or loved ones, to make it that much more fun!

8. Find inspiration - Where is your inspiration coming from this year?  Perhaps you can read a few great books, watch some amazing TED speakers, or pair up with a mentor; make it a point this month, to find a source that speaks to you, and helps get you motivated to accomplish your goals for the year!

9. Make soup - They say soup is good for the soul.  This seems to be especially true during these cold winter months!  Whether or not you're the best cook, try your hand at some new recipes this month.

10.  Play in the snow - Although as adults we tend to develop a hateful relationship with snow, we need not forget the joys it can bring.  Remember as a child how thrilling it was to go tobogganing, build a snowman, or make snow angels?  Have some fun again and play in the snow!  You'd be surprised how much you actually enjoy it!

Friday, 29 December 2017

5 LAST MINUTE NYE OUTFIT IDEAS!

New Year's Eve is just around the corner, and you're still not sure what to wear?  

Don't fret!  VLD has handpicked the following outfit inspirations for the big "ball drop" night!  These outfits are sure to catch that special someone's attention, and have you partying all night long! The best part is... they're all on sale!

Cheers to a great New Year's Eve look, and a very merry New Year!









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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

PANETTONE RECIPES


It's the most wonderful time of the year...time to break out the panettone!

Panettone is at the top of the Christmas "must-haves" list in an Italian home.  If you have company coming over, you can bet that panettone will make an appearance on the table.; or if you are visiting someone for the holidays, most likely you will be carrying a panettone in hand to offer your gracious host.

Panettone comes in all shapes and flavours nowadays, but the original recipe, which hails from Milan, translated into a simple sweet bread sprinkled with raisins or candid fruit.  The legend of this bread dates back to the 15th century. While there are various versions of it's origins, one story involves the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, and his cook. One day, the Duke had asked his cook to prepare a banquet for the himself and a small number of nobles. While the cook delivered a wonderful meal, he unfortunately forgot about the dessert in the oven, which ultimately burnt.  
The cook was devastated, so when the kitchen boy, Toni, suggested to use the sweet cake he had made, the cook agreed.  The cake, which was made from flour, butter, eggs, lime zest and raisins, was a great success.  When the Duke asked the cook for the name of the cake, he stated, "Pan de Toni," meaning, "the bread of Toni;" this eventually transitioned into the word we know today - Panettone.

Panettone can be enjoyed in many different ways.  For instance, I love to toast a slice of panettone and then spread either some butter or Nutella on it! Mmm...so delicious!  Others like to dip their panettone in wine, or simply enjoy it alongside their coffee.  Any way you have it, panettone is a delicious, traditional, Italian treat!

How will you enjoy your panettone this Christmas?  If you're not sure and need some ideas, check out the links below for some great recipes!


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1. Panettone Truffles ~ L'antro Dell'alchimista



4. Panettone French Toast ~ Nigella 

5. Creamy Festive Panettone Trifle  ~ Massimo Capra

 

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