VIVO ristorante....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We met up with some friends for dinner a while back, we were looking for something on Edmontons west side since we were dropping Jet off with my parents. Lately there are so many great places popping up in central Edmonton, and I haven't had a chance to check out many restaurants elsewhere. Ryan was in charge of picking a place and was having a hard time, so I suggested VIVO, I went threre with Dinner Club in late November of last year and remembered we all really enjoyed the food....

Ryan called and made a reservation, we had to wait until 8:30, but I think that was lucky, as the place was still packed when we left at just after 11:00PM. It is no surprise either, this family style restaurant is recognized as the best Italian restaurant in Edmonton (or so their website notes) and proved to be a great experience on both my visits.

We arrived at VIVO about an hour early and shared some drinks at the bar, the restaurant is dimly lit and the decor intigrates an art deco vibe with the use of reds, blacks, silvers and dark greys as a colour palette. Both the bar and the kitchen open into the restaurant allowing patrons a front row view of the cooks preparing the evenings treats!!

When you are choosing your meal at VIVO you need to keep in mind most meals are meant to be shared ("family-style"), the menu has 4 courses to choose from, and most things have an option for 1/2 sizes (for smaller parties) making mixing and matching to try a few things a little easier. On this particular evening we opted for both the half order caesar salad and half order Caprese Salad. Both salads were excellent and I couldn't tell you which one I like better! The Caprese salad is nice and light, the fresh tomatoes and olive oil were done just right. The Caesar had just the right amount of garlic (a lot), and is served on a platter with 2 full romaine bulbs stuffed with dressing, parmesan cheese, and triangles of polenta accompaning it as the croutons. In terms of presentation this caesar salad is like no other Caesar salad I had had, and was also very delicious!


Dinner was a Rigatoni Pasta and Gnochi with fresh herbs, the server mentioned that all pasta are made in house, you can taste the quality and passion that was put into creating these dishes, I had no complaints about either of these plates.

Pasta was followed by Beef Tenderloin (which looked delicious but I don't eat beef) and a mixture of carrots and beets. The Beef Tenderloin was meant for all 4 of us, however the peice I left behind did not go to waste, it was happily devoured by the others, I had no problem with that! The vegtables were roasted perfectly  and I really can't think of one thing that wasn't perfect about the evening!!!

Dinner was pretty filling so we opted out of dessert, however last time I visited with dinner club, we tried the fresh baked cookies dessert and were quite happy with them. The dessert does take 30 minutes to be prepared, only because they bake a full batch of cookies on the spot, but are worth the wait when you take your first bite!

If you are thinking of dining at VIVO make sure to book a reservation ahead of time, and give yourself a few hours to enjoy the experience. It is definetly not a quick dinner, eating at VIVO is a more drawn out experience, allowing you to enjoy the tastes smells and company you are with!

Have you tried VIVO? What did you think??


Daily: in the bath...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday night included a bar-be-cue and bath for these little fellas!!


Daily: everyday is a new discovery...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

...he is into everything these days.... I love watching his mind work...


Happy Friday...

Friday, May 23, 2014

We are spending lots of time outdoors these days.... hopefully these warmer temperatures carry into the weekend!

Wishing you all a great couple days ahead!


photo journey: Eat Cake

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The decision to do a cake-smash during Jets 1st birthday party really was a game day decision.... I wasn't too sure how it was going to go and I never anticipated it would be so hysterical! I am glad we got to capture it all with Jets family members present, here it is in pictures...


Happy Friday...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Long weekend is here.... thank goodness!! These last two weeks have been busy (to say the least!), maybe when I have a chance to get caught up I will post some pics of the fun stuff we did for Mothers Day weekend... don't hold your breath on that though, it might be a while! 

Lately we have been spending a little more time outside and even visited the park for the first time last week.... the swings were a hit, and same with the slides (with Jet of course!). I am getting back into the running groove, which feels great, and this weekend we are headed camping with friends! Bring on summer!!! Wishing you all a safe a happy long weekend!



Spring Whites...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Now that the white stuff on the ground is gone, I can't help but think about the white items I want to add to my closet! I bought a pair of these in blue denim a few months back before holidays, and when I recently realized they came in white I couldn't resist buying another pair ;) White jeans are pretty much a staple for me during the summer months (dare I say the S word)... I always like having some good white staples to keep things light; these are just a few of the items I am contemplating adding to `my cart`!


Happy Friday... lets eat cake!

Friday, May 9, 2014

It has been a busy week with lots of excitement around here!
 It was Jets 1st Birthday Wednesday and we had a family bar-be-cue at our house to celebrate! Jet was showered with love, and had quite the time ripping apart his cake with his cousin Dierks; together these two provided the evenings entertainment!

Thanks to all my family members and friends for their support this first week back at work, it was a success; apart from the early mornings I think we are all going to adjust just fine to these new routines!

We are tree-shopping this weekend... exciting, I know!!

Wishing you sunshine and tulips the next few days!!


PS- Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful mama's out there!! I hope you are spoiled this weekend!!

Life: and just like that he is 1!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy Birthday little Fella! 
Your entry into this world has been the single most significant thing that changed our life as a family and I count my blessings everyday that I get to be your mama...
...and so...we made it!!
 The four of us (Roxy included) navigated through this first year together successfully, there were some bumps, (especially in the beginning) but we figured them out and we are a better family for it!
We  love you so very much Jet, we will forever treasure the moments we have shared together, and look forward in delight to all the amazing adventures we have to look forward to with you!!

 We love you so much!


Mom and Dad!

Image 1 and 3 via Amy Oligny Photography

In the Kitchen: Happy Belated Cinco de Mayo...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In honour of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would share this post.... of course I am a day late, but I have had a few other things on my mind and just completely forgot!!

My neighbor is a red seal chef from Mexico, and he knows how to cook up a top notch meal; so when he asked me if I would be interested in a cooking lesson I was totally on board! Victor Hugo worked in Mexico as a chef and when he moved to Canada used his cooking skills as a chef for local YEG favourite Tres Carnales! Now adays he is cooking up a storm at Edmonton's newest food Truck Casa 12 Doce. When we met last week for our first lesson I didn't really know what to expect.... it turned into an afternoon of yummy food and some good laughs.

We started the day off with a visit to a Latin specialty store called Tienda Latina (Argyll Foods);  Carlos the owner took me for a tour and highlighted some of the unique products they carry. With the exception of a few items that are sourced locally, Tienda Latina specializes in importing food products from Central and South America and is sure to have everything you will need for a Mexican inspired meal! On this specific trip I was most intrigued with the assortment of fresh cheeses and spices...  I will definitely be heading back for their fresh tortillas and dried peppers (now that I know how to cook with them!).
When we got back to the house we got our ingredients together and started cooking; Victors wife Laura joined us to help snap pictures take part in the taste testing!! We started out with some home made guacamole and tortilla chips...
 ...and after that I learned how to make fresh sopes and salsas! If you aren't quite sure what a sope is, don't feel ashamed, I didn't either until Victor explained it to me. A sope is very similar to a tortilla but thicker and topped the same way you would top a regular taco.
We managed to make 3 different salsa verde recipes using my magic bullet and fried up some soy sausage as a topping for the sope's....
Finally biting into our delicious creations was the best part of the day, and Ryan was pretty thrilled about the authentic dinner we got to share together that night! Thanks Victor and Laura for spending the afternoon cooking with me, I can't wait to do it again!


What I Wore: hi ho, hi ho, its off to work I go...

Monday, May 5, 2014

...and just like that I am a working mama! Today was day one of work and I couldn't have asked for a better day, or transition back to routine! I know I have been talking about this topic a lot lately... getting ready for these new routines was definitely giving me a little anxiety leading up to this day, but now that its over I feel so much relief! Jet was the happiest little kid at Grammy's house, and was only slightly amused with me when I showed up to get him at the end of the day! I mean what is there not to love about playing all day and having kids to do it with! I just can't quite compete with that, and I am fine with it!

Last night I felt like a kid getting ready for my first day back to school.... I was excited to pick out my outfit and get it all ready for Monday morning....despite the snow I was excited to put on a skirt and get dressed up again (a nice change from my usual relaxed mommy attire!). I kept it simple and warmer today, spring colors just weren't calling out to me with the gloomy skies, so I opted for black, blue and golds. Pencil Skirts with tucked in t's are a staple for me when I am working, comfort if key while maintaining a professional look and this allows for both!

 Here is a similar version of what I wore for my first day back...

Cheers to a great Monday and a big week of firsts... including a much anticipated 1st Birthday party!

Wishing you all a fantastic week!


Happy Friday and a message to my "mom" friends....

Friday, May 2, 2014

Birthday celebrations for Jet kicked off yesterday! I promised myself I wouldn't go overboard with a huge party, instead I decided it might be nice to have some of Jets best playmates and their awesome moms over for an early celebration (and save his actual birthday (next Wednesday) for our immediate family).
I honestly can't quite imagine what this year would have been like without my "mom" friends these ladies really are outstanding women, and because of Jet I am privileged enough to be their friends! These ladies have heard about my sleepless nights, and all of Jets crazy diaper accidents, they have seen me at my worst and been the BEST support network I needed to get through this first year!! Week in and week out we have watched these little people grow and kept each other entertained with stories we could all relate to and laugh at!
Thanks for the picture Karine.... but I wish you were in it!
So thanks ladies, from the bottom of my heart, when I had Jet I never realized I would also acquire a group of terrific ladies to share in the adventure with, you and your babies are just terrific!!
 Today marks the end of my maternity leave.... Monday will be a fresh start and I have to admit I am feeling excited about it! 

Cheers to a terrific weekend and Happy Friday!


In the Kitchen: Apple Passion Crisp

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I received a passion fruit with my Organic Box a while back and wasn't sure what to do with it, it only took one small taste to realize the fruit was way to tart to eat on its own. One of my favourite desserts to make is Apple crisp, this is probably mostly because it is such a simple recipe and takes hardly any time.... I thought I would try throwing the passion fruit in to mix things up a bit and here is how it went...

Grocery List
6 Gala Apples
1 Passion Fruit

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup water

1 1/4 cups quick oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup melted butter

1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2)Peel and cut apples into bite-size pieces, and place in a mixing bowl
3)Cut passion fruit and spoon the pulp into the bowl with the apples
4)Using a spoon stir together until evenly dispersed
5)In a separate smaller bowl, mix the first amount of brown sugar together with the flour, cinnamon and water
6)Pour brown sugar mixture over apples and stir until the apples are evenly coated
7) Place apples in a 2Qt. baking dish, or 2 1Qt. baking dishes (like I did), making sure they cover the bottom of the dish evenly
8)In another medium bowl mix together the last 6 ingredients
9) Crumble oats mixture evenly over apples
10) Place baking dish(es) in oven and let bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on dish size) or until the oat topping has browned and the apples are tender.
11) Remove from oven and let cool,
12) Serve on its own or with my favourite vanilla ice cream!
I ended up freezing the recipe and taking it with me to the lake for our Easter Sunday dessert, I am pretty sure everyone enjoyed this tasty tart treat!

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