Monday, 16 April 2018

Music Monday ~ N.28

This week's Music Monday spotlights 31-year-old Italian rapper, Shade, with his hit song, "Irraggiungibile."  The song, which also features Amici16 finalist, Federica Carta, is a fast-paced pop song, which deals with the painful heartache of loving someone who is unattainable.

The song's album cover, video and storyline are recognized for parodying the Oscar-winning film, "La La Land."  Both the song and film are based on the idea of the dream, with the characters being lost in their fantasies, leaving them sometimes out of touch with reality.  Shade's delivery of bitter, quick-paced lyrics, contrasted with Carta's sweet, angelic voice makes for a catchy song, definitely worth listening to!

Check out the video and lyrics below:



Translation from Lyricstranslate.com with some revisions by Viva la Dolce
*Note: This is not a word-for-word translation as many colloquial phrases are used

Friday, 13 April 2018

A Perfect Day in Italy


The topic for this month's Dolce Vita Boggers link up is, "A perfect day in Italy." While it is hard to narrow down all my Italian favourites to one day, I will try my best! As always, thanks to Italian at Heart, Mamma Prada and Questa Dolce Vita for organizing this writing group! 

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I start my perfect day by waking up on the Amalfi coast.  As I rise from my bed, I catch a waft of the fresh cappuccinos and cornetti, waiting on the balcony of my hotel room in Positano. I take a seat in the sunshine beside my beau, and begin to indulge in a scrumptious breakfast, while marveling over a breathtaking view of the water.

Breakfast is followed by a boat ride, which takes us to some of the most beautiful grottos, as well as around the famous rocks in Capri's waters, "I Faraglioni."  
After our relaxing boat ride, we head toward Rome to be energized by the buzz of the city.  After a quick zip around the famous sites on a vespa (√† la Audrey Hepburn style in "Roman Holiday"), we grab some pizza and suppl√¨ (fried rice balls) and head north towards Tuscany.

Once arrived in the golden fields of Tuscany, we make our way to Siena for some amazing gelato.  With my fragola (strawberry) and cioccolato (chocolate) gelato in hand, I sit on the ground in the Piazza del Campo and watch the passersby.  I take in the historic buildings circled around me and can't help but feel that I'm on a movie set.  The perfection of the buildings is so picturesque, and quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.

From Siena we move on to Florence where we do a little afternoon shopping. With a Nutella crepe in hand, we head to the famous San Lorenzo Market. We also visit all the chic little shops, and of course take a stroll on Ponte Vecchio to eye all the gorgeous jewels!


After our exhaustion from shopping, we head up north to Lake Como and settle in on a beautiful boat ride across the water.  We are taken to the village of Bellagio, just off the lake, and enjoy a romantic dinner outdoors. With live music playing and a sky full of stars, we enjoy some delicious food and wine, as we recount our favourite moments from our wonderful day!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Dolce To-Do ~ April List!


Spring has sprung and it's time to celebrate the season of warmer weather!  Although you may get caught in some rain puddles, April is a great month to start heading outdoors and enjoying some great activities!  It's also the perfect time to refresh your home after the long winter!  Read on below for some fun ideas on how to make the most of this month!

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1. Spring Cleaning ~ After a long, gruelling winter, it's time to freshen up your home!  Air out your space, get those windows squeaky clean, wash the blinds, flip the mattresses...you get the idea!

2. Buy fresh flowers ~ Fresh flowers help to brighten up any home!  Get a head start on flower season and fill your home with beautiful blooms!

3. Pack away winter clothes ~ There may be some crazy weather moments left over from March, but it's pretty safe to say that you can pack away those winter clothes for now. Don't forget to donate all those items you don't really wear anymore (you know you have some!). 

4. Invest in some cute rain gear ~ As they say, "April showers, bring May flowers."  Invest in some cute pieces to brighten up those rainy days, and have fun dancing in the rain! 

5. Go to a baseball game ~ Embrace the start of baseball season and spend an afternoon at the ball park!

6. Get outside! ~ After a long season indoors, it can be hard to break the habit of lounging around in your home.  It's time to get moving, and start enjoying the fresh outdoors!  Go for a walk, play a sport, wash the car...there are so many options!

7. Get a pedicure ~ With the warmer weather comes sandal season.  Be sure your little toes are ready for their debut!

8. Have a rainy day movie marathon! ~ Although it's fun to dance in the rain, sometimes you would rather stay dry and cozy indoors :)  Grab some blankets and popcorn and make it a movie marathon day!

9. Celebrate Earth Day ~ Give some extra love to the planet on April 22nd, as we celebrate Earth Day.  Perhaps you can plant a tree, pick up garbage in your neighbourhood, walk/ride/carpool...the list goes on!

10. Attend the The PheMOMenal Show ~ Calling all women - especially moms - mark your calendars for The PheMOMenal Show on April 29th! Viva la Dolce, along with Travels with Tots and The Momme Tree, is proud to present The PheMOMenal Show - an event celebrating the woman behind the mom! The show will be held at The Living Arts Centre in Mississauga from 10am-1pm.  This event is a place where women can have a little "me-time," and get pampered, shop great products, discover unique services, and learn a wealth of information to help them be their best self!  Come and join us - your phenomenal self deserves it! ;) For more information on the event follow us @bephemomenal on social media and visit us at www.thephemomenalshow.com

Monday, 26 March 2018

MUSIC MONDAY ~ N.27

This week's Music Monday track is a fun, upbeat tempo song, with some interesting, food-for-thought lyrics.  

The song, "Una Vita in Vacanza," by Lo Stato Sociale, was this year's 2nd place winner at Italy's famous Sanremo Festival.  This is not surprising, as it's a catchy song, with a "who cares, let's enjoy life" kind of vibe - something very familiar to Italian culture!  The song's popularity was boosted with the inclusion of a performance by 83-year-old dancer, Paddy Jones, during the group's Sanremo presentation.  Jones was there to represent the lyric, "la vecchia che balla" ("the old lady that dances"), found in the song's chorus.  It is definitely a sight to see!

Check out the fun video and lyrics below:



           *translation by lyricstranslate.com with some edits by Viva la Dolce

Friday, 23 March 2018

Take your passion and make it happen!

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with The GG Sisters, otherwise known as Laura and Josie.  These two women not only founded The GG Sisters brand, but are also the creators of Glama Gals - a tween spa for girls, with various locations across Ontario.  Oh, and did I mention they are moms too?  With bold determination, and a zest for creating family memories, these ladies use social media to invite everyone along with them on their business and family adventures, as they inspire and demonstrate, that pursuing your dreams, even while being a mom, is possible!
See below to read all about their advice on entrepreneurship, spending quality time with family on a busy schedule, and how their Italian heritage has shaped how they do business!


*   *   *   *   *

1.  Tell me a little bit about who The GG Sisters are and what you do:
Laura: Originally, the "GG Sisters" stood for "Glama Gals Sisters," as it was associated with our tween spa business, but we recently changed it to represent the "Goal Getter Sisters," as we feel that, that more accurately represents us now - we are all about reaching and attaining our goals, and inspiring others to do the same.  Through social media, we show the ups and downs of entrepreneurship while being moms.  We also like to showcase the people, places and things we love.  We also show that since we work hard, we play harder! We like to show our kids that we are "mommy memory makers;" every moment with our kids we want to make memories, because we are constantly feeding this mommy guilt, because we are always working so hard.  

Josie: We like to stress that it's not about the quantity of time, it's about the quality of time we spend with our kids.  We try to do as much as we can when we are with them.

Laura: We also like to inspire those around us.  Our platform is based on a lot of mom entrepreneurs, busy working moms, stay-at-home moms that are looking for a goal or direction, and we find our feed is the platform for that.


2. How did The GG Sisters begin?
Josie: Technically we began as sisters a long time ago...(lol), we opened our business together, and then two years ago we started with the social media.

Laura:  We would meet moms that would ask, 'you guys own your own business and you're moms, how do you do it all?' 'How can I start my own business?' So we thought, we have all these questions and we can't meet with everyone, so might as well put ourselves out there and open up the line!  We also wanted to show people the truth behind owning your own business - it's not as glamorous as it looks; it's the whole 'iceburg effect' - people just see the success part.

Josie: We wanted to show the real rawness of how it is to own your business, and we also did this because it was helping people who were going through similar things, or thinking of taking the leap to own their own business. Since we found it was giving individuals motivation we decided to start our 'momspiration' series which features local businesses, or moms doing interesting projects.


3. Both your brands, are aligned with a message of fostering positivity and being one's best self.  Why did you choose this message?
Laura:  We've been through some difficult times, and when you're faced with adversity the only thing you can do is dig deep and focus on the positive.  You really have no choice.  We just wanted to focus on positive vibrations and keep raising them.

Josie: Exactly, and then when we had kids, we wanted to shield them from some of the negativity and just allow them to focus on the positive.  When you're faced with many challenges throughout your life, you can either decide to go the positive route or the negative - we chose the positive!  The more positivity you give out, the better it is!  What you give out, is what you get back.


4. Your message of having fun and living life to the fullest, aligns with Viva la Dolce's message of creating and enjoying a sweet life!  While this is amazing, you do have children and run multiple businesses.  What advice do you have for other mothers who want to pursue their passions, but just don't know how to get it done?
Laura: The first step is doing - just do it. When you're starting a business, the first steps are registering for a website and setting up your email.  If you can do that - you're ready.

Josie: Don't doubt yourself; you need to have confidence.

Laura: Make your passion your pay check!  My favourite song is, "What a feeling" from Flashdance - "take your passion and make it happen!"




5. Tell me about your Italian heritage.
Laura: My mom is from Veroli, in the region of Lazio, Italy, and my father was from Bari.

Josie: They were born in Italy, but came here in their early teens.


6. How has your heritage influenced your work life and family life?
Laura:  Our heritage has influenced our core values of being positive, valuing family, and being respectful.

Josie: When we were young, our father worked three jobs, our mom was a stay-at-home mother, so we learned respect, gratitude, and humbleness.
We try very hard to instil those values in our kids.  We try to teach them it's not about the tangible stuff - it's about the memories we create together.

Laura: It's a very difficult balance based on the world we live; you want to give your children everything, but you know that's not good. So it's a struggle, but we try very hard to instil those important values.  We're very open with them about the fact that our father has passed, so we try to teach them about the value of life as well.


7.  Speaking of your father, how do you think he has influenced your work ethic?
Josie: Our parents definitely have had a big influence on how we are, and how we do things.

Laura: Yes, but our dad was the biggest influence - he really believed in us.  He was always so positive and encouraging.  Whenever we doubted ourselves, and hesitated on doing something, he would always say, "No do it, or else when are you going to do it?"

Josie: He had the attitude of making the best of every minute.  He was also a risk taker, so he encouraged us to take chances.

(what do you think he would say of all that you have achieved?)

Josie: He would definitely be proud of us.

Laura: He would probably say, 'keep going, don't stop, aim higher.'  


8. As you may know, Viva la Dolce is all about celebrating what makes you happy in life.  What's your "dolce" in life?

Laura:  My dolce is being together with my family on a Sunday afternoon, with my mom cooking us pasta and meatballs, with the nice Italian sugo (sauce).  I also have to say, my Nonna Pina's stuffed pasta shells!

Josie:  I would have to say, my family trip to Tuscany, when we visited Cortona and had a relaxing evening - it was still, and quiet and we enjoyed a beautiful dinner.  Also, another moment from another trip to Italy, when I was in Capri, enjoying a cappuccino while watching the water.  Moments like those are my dolce!



Thanks for a wonderful chat ladies!  Check out more from the GG sisters at www.theggsisters.com and on social media @theggsisters 

Monday, 19 March 2018

MUSIC MONDAY ~ N.26

Another week has begun! 

With the official start of Spring just days away, I was reminded of this beautiful tune by Elisa, entitled, "Una poesia anche per te."  This beautiful ballad speaks of new beginnings, and the video that accompanies it hints at the fresh start of spring with it's flower backgrounds, and yellowish-green grass.

You will also note in the video, that Elisa is much younger than the singer you see today.  This is due to the fact that this song is actually just over 10 years old, as it was released in 2005.  The song became the fourth best selling single in Italy that year. In fact, I was in Italy during the summer of 2005 and was lucky enough to see Elisa perform this live!  It was an incredible experience to say the least.

Check out the video below, and as always, you can find the lyrics after the video, to help with your language learning! 

Buon ascolto! ~ Happy listening! 




Friday, 16 March 2018

Weekend Reading


1. Top Fashion for Spring 2018: Check out the biggest trends from designer runways for Spring 2018!

2. Spring Decor Ideas: Tired of winter?  Me too.  Spruce up your home for the upcoming season with these great ideas!

3. Sunday Brunch: Break out the eggs, bacon and... ricotta?  Check out this unique twist on the classic omelet!

4. Happiest Country in the World: We may not be the 1st on the list, but Canada made it to the top 10 for happiest countries in the world!  Check out how we ranked!

5. Difference between Canadian men and Italian men:  Join blogger, Jasmine (a Canadian living in Italy), from Questa Dolce Vita, as she comically describes the "subtle" differences between Canadian and Italian men. 

Happy Reading!
 

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