Friday, 1 January 2021

Happy New Year! Welcome 2021!

This past year was no doubt difficult for all!  The year 2020 was "unprecedented" as we heard many say multiple times, and it definitely taught us a lot about ourselves, our community and the world as a whole.

While there were difficult moments throughout the year, there were also countless fantastic ones!  In fact, if I had to sum up 2020 in three words, they would be CREATIVITY, LOVE and PEACE.

Creativity - The creativity that came out of this year was amazing. Starting with the beautiful ingenuity that we saw at the beginning of the pandemic with all of the special ways people found to communicate and connect while being on lockdown - from balcony dances to IG live concerts, to coffees being transferred from balcony to balcony on a string, these are the beautiful moments I will hold dear from 2020. In addition, I am so grateful for all the fun creative projects I had the opportunity to do - from my Dolce Vita Mercato events (and the amazing community I discovered through them), to TV appearances, to fun musical moments ...these brought me back to my roots and gave me light in this dark year.


Love - It is no doubt we have all been stretched to the max. We all have dealt with hardships this year in a variety of ways...each knows their own story. Through tears, frustration, grief and panic, it is love that has helped us to survive. Through the love and support of others, and most importantly through the love and respect of ourselves, we have made it through. 


Patience - lol...is this not THE word of the year? From patience with lockdown schedules, changes in the education system, suddenly wearing ALL of the hats as a parent (a mat leave plus home schooling was interesting to say least...), and many more difficult situations, we have had no choice but to endure it all and patiently wait for it to pass. 


As I look to 2021, I pray for this dreadful pandemic to resolve and for brighter days ahead, but I also hope that all of the positivity and beauty that has come out of 2020 will not be lost but instead continue and flourish into bigger and better things in the new year! 


Cheers / Cin Cin to an amazing 2021! 

Buon anno a tutti! Happy New Year everyone! 







Friday, 27 November 2020

Dolce Christmas Gift Sets have arrived!

It's finally time to unveil our Dolce Christmas Gift Sets and we are so excited!  

Each gift set has been hand selected with unique items that are sure to help bring some "dolce vita" vibes to you and yours this Christmas!  What's more, each basket contains item(s) from local vendors, as we believe it's important to work together in helping to support the community during these unprecedented times.  Moreover, proceeds from each gift set sold will be donated to the Red Door Family Shelter.

Our gifts sets are organized based on various themes.  Check out the options below, so you can find the perfect fit for that special someone this Christmas - or maybe even yourself! ;)

For a closer look at the items in each set - including video of each - check out our Instagram @vldolce 

Enjoy and happy shopping! 


*Please note - All gift sets come wrapped in the boxes seen with each set (including gold bow accessory) .  Local GTA (Greater Toronto Area) pickup/drop off for all gift sets only.



For all the coffee lovers in your life!






For all the fashionistas, cooks, or home decor enthusiasts in your life! This Dolce & Gabbana inspired set is sure to please.

(*differences in sets include oval or rectangular dish and lavender or sweet orange soap scent)






For all the travel enthusiasts in your life - especially those who love Capri, Italy!



Friday, 9 October 2020

Lavazza inspired Pumpkin Tiramisu

 


In Canada we are getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday!  In anticipation of the event, I have partnered with Lavazza Canada (AD) to bring you a fun twist on the classic tiramisu! With its rich flavours and individual portion sizes, this recipe is perfect, and safe, for your Thanksgiving meal! 


 See the full recipe below, as well as a video with step by step instructions: 


•Combine the following in a bowl:

1/3 cup of sugar

1 cup of whipping cream

Mix on high until well blended and peaks form.


•In a separate bowl combine:

1 cup of mascarpone

2/3 cup of pumpkin puree

1 egg yolk

1/8 of cinnamon

1/8 of nutmeg

Mix on high until well blended. 


•Combine the two mixtures and put aside.

•Cut 10-15 ladyfinger biscuits in half 

•Prepare about two cups of @lavazzaca Espresso Italiano, and allow to cool

•Lightly dip one half of the ladyfinger cookie into the espresso, then place into the cup

•Place a dollop of the mixture into the cup

onto the cookie. 

•Repeat this process one or two more times, until the cup is filled to your liking. 

•Top with cocoa powder and serve! 





Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Dolce Vita Mercato - Fall Edition

 



After a successful mercato this past summer, Viva la Dolce is proud to present the Dolce Vita Mercato - Fall Edition!  Join us on October 29th - 31st for a unique wine tasting with celebrity wine expert, Angela Aiello (@superwinegirl); fun shopping with Italian imported or inspired items; breathtaking virtual tours of Italy and more!

With travel plans still on hold, this is one of the best ways to experience Italian culture and indulge in "la dolce vita"!  Don't miss it!

Follow along on Instagram @dolcevitamercato and visit www.dolcevitamercato.com for further details!

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

 


So excited to announce this new series created by Jenny Arena from Fables and Focaccia and I!

Throughout the month of August, Jenny and I will be highlighting Tuscan cuisine and language through out "Language and Linguini" virtual classes! Each Wednesday, Jenny will be teaching how to make an authentic dish from the Toscana region, while I will be teaching cuisine related aspects of the Italian language.  Each week will cover a specific part of the meal (ie. primo, secondo, etc.), so that at the end of the month, you will be able to cook a full Tuscan dinner, and of course, speak to your dinner guests in Italian!

Class offering are flexible - you can join in on one class or all four! Each class includes an e-booklet complete with language activities and the recipe being featured.

Follow along on Instgram @vldolce or @foodfables for further details! 

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Take the kids on a "Trip Around the World"


With the summer upon us, and no travel plans in sight, it's time to get a little creative regarding ways to travel!

I recently had the pleasure of sharing a few ideas on City TV's Breakfast Television Toronto on how to "travel" with kids using various activities.  These ideas offer a great way to explore new languages, foods and landmarks while remaining in the safety and comfort of your home!

Check out the list below for more details on these fun and educational ideas:

1. "Ticket to Ride Board" Game - This game teaches about various landmarks in a certain country or continent (depending on the version bought) while players try to claim train routes around the board.  

2. Sticker Books - The books featured on the show included a "Flags Around the World" book and a "Travel Activity Book."  These books offer opportunities to learn about language, cultural customs and flags of different counties, all the while having fun with stickers - something that many kids love!

3. Languages and Movies - Many children love their screen time; while screen time is ok in limited doses, it's always best to try and make it as educational as possible.  One idea is to change the language settings of your child's favourite movie as a way to introduce new words and phrases in your language of choice.  By choosing a favourite film, your child will be familiar with the storyline and can concentrate morso on the language being learned.

4. Food - A great way to introduce culture is through food!  Have children learn from grandparents, or other family and friends, who can offer lessons on new dishes.  As they make the dish together, they can discuss it's origins, and the role it plays in the culture being studied.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

DOLCE VITA MERCATO



This Italian Heritage Month, on June 27th and 28th, I had the pleasure of organizing and hosting the Dolce Vita Mercato - the first ever virtual Italian-inspired market!  

Due to the pandemic, many Italian heritage celebrations had to unfortunately be cancelled.  Thus, I figured, why not bring the celebration online? Seeing as many were also going to miss their beloved Italian summer vacations due to travel restrictions, I asked myself, "how we can bring Italy to us?," and so the Dolce Vita Mercato was born!

The event included various aspects including: Italian-inspired shopping; live music from local Italian artists; cultural workshops that explored Italian cuisine, language and speciality cocktail; virtual tours of the Amalfi Coast and Sicily; and a Fashion show for the latest in European children's wear.

It was a delightful "dolce vita" weekend! It was truly an honour to organize something that I am passionate about, but more importantly, to pay tribute to my Italian heritage in a fun and creative way. I was very pleased to receive positive feedback from many, and look forward to creating more Italian-inspired events for you all in the future!

Lastly, but not least, I recognize the privilege of being able to celebrate my culture and receive such a positive response.  I believe that all races and ethnicities are equally valuable and that they should all be respected and celebrated.  As such, I decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the event to the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society, which helps to promote inclusivity, respect and understanding of all groups.

For a full list of all the vendors, artists, and organizations involved in the event, please visit www.dolcevitamercato.com.

Check out the videos below for a closer look at the event, along with a delicious lemon granita recipe!




 

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