Friday, 31 July 2015

Italy's Secret Beaches

As I sit here writing this in the middle of a heat wave in Toronto, I can't help but think of the refreshing "Mediterraneo" (Mediterranean Sea).  As some of you may know, August is vacation time in Italy. As the cities become unbearably hot, many locals flock to the seasides or mountains for some relief.  If you happen to be visiting in Italy or on your way there (lucky you!), or perhaps you are planning a future summer vacation, you will definitely want to check out the list below of Italy's best hidden beaches!  This list is sure to come in handy, as you will want to avoid the tourist crowds around this time of year. 


Spiaggia di Sansone, Tuscany 






This stunning beach is located on Isola d'Elba (Island of Elba), which is a short ride from the Tuscan mainland.  A lush background of Mediterranean shrub and limestone cliffs lines the quiet beach, which is frequented by only a handful of locals.  


Punta della Penna Beach, Abruzzo

This Blue Flag status beach is located just north of Vasto, in the province of Chieti.  You won't find any rented chairs on this sandy, pristine beach, so be sure to come equipped! 


Spiaggia delle Velare (Spiaggia delle "Due Sorelle"), Le Marche




This white pebbled beach, characterized by two twin rocks ("two sisters") just off the shore, is located on the Adriatic coast in Le Marche's Conero Natural Reserve.  This free beach is only accessible by boat, or you can take the challenging mountain path known as "Wolf's Pass."  It's worth the trek however, as this scheduled beach offers unspoilt silvery sand and cool clear waters for your pleasure.


Spiaggia di Caminia, Calabria





This beach is located near Soverato, on the Ionian coast of the Gulf of Squillace.  This quiet spot, nestled between two steep cliffs, is a local secret and virtually tourist free!


Cala Luna, Sardinia






This is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.  Located in the Gulf of Orosei, it's crystal clear waters classify it as one of the best snorkelling beaches on the island.  It is located approximately three kilometres away from the Blue Marino Caves, and is only accessible by a 4 kilometre hike from Cala Fuili beach or by boat from Cala Gonone.

photos via 1/2/3/4/5


Hope these selections help you in deciding your next European getaway!  

A presto ragazzi ...

Saturday, 11 July 2015

VLD Italian 101 - Proverb 3


The third instalment in the Viva la Dolce language series expresses one of my all-time favourite quotes!  This is just one of many inspiring quotes by Italian author, Giuseppe Donadei.  

I love the rawness of this quote.  It blankly states the hard-to-swallow, ultimate truth, that life isn't easy.  However, Donadei nicely juxtaposes this idea with the uplifting thought that, "nothing is impossible."  It is a reminder that while things may not always be easily attainable or may not always run smoothly, there is always hope as anything is possible.

On the language side, Donadei uses the negative indefinite pronouns, "niente" and "nulla." Both mean the same thing, "nothing," and can almost always be used interchangeably.  However, be aware of the following rule when when using these words: when "niente" and "nulla" are placed in front of the verb, for example, "Niente mi piace" (I don't like anything or Nothing is pleasing to me) or "Nulla è cambiato (Nothing has changed)," they create a negative connotation without having to add anything to the sentence.  However, when either of these two words are placed after the verb, you need to add the double negative, "non," to create the negative significance. For example, "Non mi piace niente," and "non è cambiato nulla."


A presto!

Friday, 3 July 2015

10 TIME SAVING TIPS


Annnnd we're back!

After an incredibly busy month of June and far too much time away from Viva la Dolce, I am happy to return to my desk and write.

While dealing with a hectic schedule, I was inspired to come up with a list of time-saving tips.  Here are my top 10 time savers to help you during those busy days/weeks/months. 

Enjoy!

*   *   *

1  WRITE IT DOWN - create lists! colour code! write it multiple times if you have to!  The 
    point is, write down what you need to get done or most likely you will forget.  No 
    matter how great your memory is, when you are overwhelmed with an abundance of 
    tasks at hand, your brain simply cannot remember it all.  Especially if you have just 
    gone through a pregnancy - "mommy brain" is real and you will forget.  

2  TOP 3 FIRST - get your top three tasks done first.  If you get the most important things
done for the day, all the rest is bonus!  You will feel satisfied and accomplished - and   
    yes, you can reward yourself with that sundae! ;)

3  DO LESS - instead of writing down everything you need to get done for the next  
    week, focus on one day at a time and be realistic with how much you can accomplish in 
    a day.  Write down a few tasks for the day that you know you can dedicate enough time 
    to get done.  While it's tempting to multitask, it doesn't always save as much time as 
    you think.  Instead, focus on one task at a time, do it right the first time, and cross it 
    off the list.



4  GET ORGANIZED - create a spot for everything and put things back in their proper place 
    after you use them.  Although this tip may sound somewhat elementary, I feel it is 
    often overlooked.  Most of the time while rushing we think, 'I don't have time now, I 
    will put that away later.'  Then the next time we need to use said item, it is nowhere 
    to be found which causes us to waste time looking for it. This tip helps to keep things 
    neat and tidy (which cuts down on your cleaning time), and earns you precious 
    minutes, as you won't have to go and search for items when you need them.

5  DO IT NOW - procrastination is nobody's friend.  If you put it off until later, 
tomorrow, the next day...your workload will pile up.  Get it done now.

6  MAKE USE OF THE WORD "NO" - often times, we take on too much.  Whether you're 
   overwhelmed from being the superwoman/man type or the helpful type, it is time you 
   'take a break from taking it on' and learn to use the word 'no'.  It will be a huge help,as    
    you can properly focus on the few tasks on your list.

7  DELEGATE - if you're taking on less, but things still need to get done, you're going to 
    need some help.  Don't be shy or proud about this.  Ask those around you for a hand, 
   and remember to be open-minded.  Although they may not do things exactly as you 
   would, remember, they are doing their best to help you in your time of need.



8  TAKE A NAP - although this may sound counter-productive, it can actually help you save 
    time in getting things done.  If you are tired, you are most likely taking longer 
    than usual to complete a task and may be making mistakes in the process.  If you have 
    the opportunity, take a 20 minute 're-charge' nap - it can do wonders on your   
    productivity for the rest of the day! 

9  BREATHE - yes, you are probably freaking out because you have so much to do in so 
    little time, however this is not the time to break down.  Being level-headed and 
    focused is most important during stressful times.  To avoid making mistakes or rash 
    decisions, take a few moments to yourself and breathe.  Sometimes a five minute walk   
    to clear your mind, or even just stepping away from your desk and grabbing a drink of 
    water, can make a huge difference in perspective.

10 WAKE UP EARLIER - while this is not always easy to do, it really does wonders for your 
    schedule. Waking up 10-15 minutes, or even 1/2 hour, earlier can allow you the time 
    to get small tasks out of the way, while the rest of the world is still sleeping. Especially 
    if you have little ones, you will relish this time of getting things done with some focus
    and silence.   


pics via 1 // 2 // 3
 

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