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Monday, April 21, 2014

Join Us for the Outdoor Extravaganza Link Parties Starting Soon!

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Hello sweet people! I hope you had a wonderful long weekend! I spent lots of time with my family and friends sharing good food and laughter. It was so fun and I had such a nice break!

I am so excited to share with you that this year I have been invited to join these ladies to help host the 2014 Outdoor Extravaganza Link Parties! We invite you to share and link up your wonderful projects for Spring...be it specially crafted planters, colourful planters, deck decorating, flower bed design, or paint projects that give your home even MORE awesome curb appeal! We are looking for ALL of your creative projects so we can have the BEST Outdoor Extravaganza party ever! And as part of the fun, we 6 lovely hostesses will be sharing our own creative projects too! So MARK YOUR CALENDARS for these 3 Wednesdays in May to share your projects and get ready for the BIG-fun- jam of outdoor projects! Each week's THEME is listed below so will have lots of time to craft projects to share!
This year’s hostesses are (left to right):
Tiffany from Living Savvy
Angie from Echoes of Laughter {That's me!}
Lucy from Craftberry Bush
Dawn from Inspired Living

I cannot wait to see ALL of your amazing projects! 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Win Delicious Chocolate with a Ferrero Rocher Giveaway

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Hello sweet friends! I hope you are well! What are your plans for the weekend? I will be hosting an Easter dinner on Sunday for my family with a few invited guests. Then I am looking forward to some time for relaxing, walking the dogs with my husband and catching a movie with a girlfriend.

I am so excited to share with you that I have partnered with Ferrero Rocher to offer an amazing chocolate gift for one lucky reader. And although it will arrive to your home after the Easter weekend, this will only mean that you will have more time to enjoy and savour it with the rush of hosting a holiday weekend over!  The gift will include an assortment of Ferrero Rocher chocolate so you and your loved ones can enjoy this perfect indulgent treat! For this Easter season, Ferrero Rocher is offering pretty gold-wrapped Ferrero Rocher® Rabbits, new Cocoa & Hazelnut Ferrero Eggs and lovely Ferrero Rocher® assortments packaged inside eggs. Ferrero Rocher products make wonderful gifts for friends and family and can add just the right amount of sparkle to your home.
And you know how I like to keep giveaways simple!

To Enter:
1. You must be 18 years of age and live in Canada to enter. One entry per person.{Except void where prohibited.}
2. Please leave a comment below with a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.
3. Giveaway ends Monday, April 21, 2014 at midnight MST. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Wishing You A Wonderful Easter Weekend!

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Ferrero Rocher. However, as always, I only partner with products/brands that I know and love and use in my own home. And we love, love, love Ferrero Rocher chocolate.


 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Poutine with the New Kraft Shredded Cheese with A Touch of Philadelphia Cheese

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On the weekends, I often take a more relaxed approach to meals by making a treat that we might not have for a regular Monday-Friday meal. The classic Canadian dish ...Poutine...is a really fun and delicious dish that we sometimes create on weekends. It's something that we enjoy on a Saturday night when we have a family movie night. And with a few ingredients, it's a very simple dish to put together and it's something that everybody loves!
This dish is flexible in so many ways. It can be created with homemade fries or store bought fries, homemade gravy or store bought gravy and it can be covered with whatever cheese you desire. This dish is really all about the crispy fries and the delicious cheese that is melted perfectly on top! Recently I had the chance to try the new Kraft Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia and it produced the most gorgeous melt on our poutine. It was absolutely heavenly! Kraft has specially blended their Kraft Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia to deliver a soft and creamy melt that will make your favourite meals even better. Available in 3 delicious kinds including:Creamy Mozza, Creamy Herb & Garlic and Creamy Mexicana, this new cheese is so good that the melt is all you'll remember! Just see how delicious our poutine looks with the new Kraft Creamy Herb & Garlic Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia.
 Here is how we make poutine at our house:

Homemade Poutine
{serves 4}

Ingredients
5-large russet potatoes, cut into fries with knife or mandolin slicer, lightly drizzled with oil, sprinkled with salt and cooked on a greased cookie sheet in 400 degree oven 20-25 minutes OR frozen french fries cooked according to package directions.
2-3 cups gravy, homemade, canned or powdered mix,  made according to package directions.
2 cups Kraft Creamy Herb & Garlic Shredded Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia.

To Make:
1. Cook fries until golden and crispy
2. Remove fries from oven and divide amongst 4 individual heat-proof dishes.
3. Spoon hot gravy over top according to taste.
4. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place back in oven for 5-7 minutes so that the cheese can melt over the fries.
5. Remove and serve immediately.

The poutine looks and tastes so good!
Everyone in my family loved this new cheese and the poutine disappeared quite quickly.
I mean seriously...look at these fries! Delish!
Kraft Canada is also hosting a 'What's Cooking' Twitter Party' on Wednesday, April 16th at 9 pm EST.
You are invited to join in at @KraftCanada on Twitter by following the hashtag #TouchofPhillyCheese
We will be chatting about lots of tasty ways that you can make meal time better by adding the new Kraft Shredded Cheese with A Touch of Philadelphia to your dishes for a great creamy melt!
And for more scrumptious, melt-in-your mouth recipe ideas, don't forget to check out the 
Thank you so much for visiting!

Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by Kraft Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Kraft Canada.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Fabulous Lunch Date with A Girlfriend to Try Out the NEW Wendy's Salads

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On Saturday, I had the wonderful chance to catch up with one of my besties...Nicole. She was one of my very first friends when I moved to this city 9 years ago from another province. We met at our children's school when her witty remarks tickled my sense of humour and I found myself laughing and chatting with her each morning as we both dropped off our kids at school. Over the years, we have laughed and cried together about lots 'o stuff, and we know that we can all each other any time we need an ear. And although we don't see each other as much as we used to...we love to hang out when we have the chance.
We like to compare the various talents of our teenagers.  Both of our daughters are graduating from high school this year and we have both been shoe-shopping with our girls to look for the perfect shoes for grad day. In comparing notes, we laughed about how we women sometimes like to cram our feet into the most uncomfortable shoes....kinda like the stepsister putting her large foot into Cinderella's dainty glass slipper...all in the name of beauty and fashion. {Then we took bets on whose daughter would last the longest in their shoes....my guess is both girls will abandon the shoes to hit the dance floor in the evening!} For our lunch date, we went to Wendy's to try out their new chef-inspired salads. Did you know that Wendy's is the leader in the salad business and was the first restaurant to introduce the salad bar to quick service more than 30 years ago?
Wendy's is offering 3 delicious NEWsalads that are bold in flavour and bright in colour with freshened-up dressings and trendy ingredients like spicy cashews and edamame. The new Asian Cashew ChickenBBQ Ranch Chicken and Taco Supremo Salads are 50% lower in fat grams, 29% lower in sodium, and 61%  lower in saturated fat.  They are prepared fresh every day and each restaurant slices their own tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers by hand. And every Wendy's store has a salad spinner where romaine and iceberg lettuce are washed, chopped and added to a triple-washed leafy spring mix made with 9 different greens. Each salad features warm chili or chicken which is 100% premium white chicken breast that is freshly grilled on site. And each salad can conveniently be ordered in either half-size or full-size...depending on whether the salad is a side or a meal.
Nicole tried the NEW BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad.
This yummy salad is like a savory backyard BBQ in a bowl with fire-roasted corn, freshly diced tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and topped with applewood smoked bacon with a honey BBQ sauce.
I tried the NEW Asian Cashew Chicken.
This salad had a spicy kick with fire-roasted edamame, fresh red peppers and cucumbers, a lettuce blend of 11 different kinds of greens...all topped with spicy cashews and a light Asian Chili Vinaigrette dressing and clocking in at only 370 calories to boot!
We both loved our salads and we soon found ourselves stabbing plastic forks into empty bowls left with only traces of salad dressing. We vowed to meet for a healthy & nutritious lunch to catch up more often! Have you tried any of Wendy's NEW salads? If you haven't already, I suggest you text one of your girlfriends right away and make a date to catch up while trying a NEW Wendy's salad! Having lunch with girlfriends is the best thing ever! And if you want to learn more about these new salads, please check out  Wendy's Youtube Channel to see more episodes of "Girlfriends At Wendy's Eating Salads and Talking About Stuff". Here's a little peek of what you will see!



Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by Wendy's, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Wendy's.

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Enter to Win $300 US Via Paypal in The #CleanSweepCash Giveaway

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Now that Spring is here, it's time to celebrate!  A group of Canadian blogging friends and I have gotten together to create a fabulous $300 US cash giveaway for one lucky reader to help them celebrate Spring. Just think of some of the wonderful things that you can could with $300 cash, such as a new outfit, new patio furniture, a mani/pedi treat or tuck it away for a rainy purchase!
{Organized by Downshifting Pro}
Winter is finally winding down and its time to do some Spring Cleaning and Sweeping.  We are feeling very energized and want to motivate you.  DownshiftingPRO and a group of Canadian Bloggers want to help you celebrate
SPRING.
We have come together to give away
$300 USD
Cash via Paypal
Enter below
There are some awesome Canadian Bloggers that you can Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
They have some great blogs about everything from fashion, social media, parenting, homeschooling, travel, cooking, lifestyle, organizing and so much more.  Make sure and follow the #CleanSweepCash hashtag.
Remember: You can’t Win if You don’t Enter!

Contest Rules: To enter, just use the Giveaway Tools form above.  In order to win, you must have a Paypal account (no other form of payment will be issued).  If it doesn’t load after a minute or so, refresh your browser.  Contest is void where prohibited (Quebec is excluded).  Only one IP address per household is eligible to win. This giveaway is open to World Wide to Paypal account holders, aged 13 and older.  Giveaway ends April 30, 2014 at 11:59pm ET.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize otherwise a new winner will be chosen.  No exceptions to this rule. .  Good luck!


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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Pretty Easter Wreath With DIY Ribbon Flowers

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Hello sweet readers!
Today I cannot wait to share this pretty pastel Easter wreath with you! 
I had so much fun making the DIY ribbon flowers and I love how it turned out.
Now if someone could just get rid of this snow!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Flowers & Chicks Easter Baskets {Craft}

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Hello sweet friends! 
If you visited me yesterday, you  know that I shared this tutorial on how you can easily make colourful & pretty flower lollipops for Spring
Today, I want to show a cute little craft project that can be created with a recycled yogurt container, flower lollipops, green paper grass and some cute dollar store chickadees...these adorable little Flowers & Chicks Easter Baskets.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Make Flower Lollipops for Spring

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I love colourful projects and these flower lollipops for Spring just make my heart happy! I first made these with my daughter 8 years ago when she was in Grade 4 and since then, they have always been one of my favourite things to make for Easter and Spring. And despite their pretty sculptured look, they are surprisingly simple to make with a few supplies.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Fresh Bedroom Look For Spring

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Aaah! Spring! Did we think it would ever arrive? I love when the days become filled with longer hours of bright sunlight and windows can be opened for crisp envelopes of fresh air. 
After months of winter...it feels so good to re-fresh the house some spring cleaning and fresh looks.
One of the things I turned my attention to recently was our bedroom. Completely ready to throw off the browns of winter, I wanted to go for something new for Spring. There is nothing like new soft bedding to crawl into at night in bright new colours. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Veggie & Cheese Flatbread Wedges with Creamy Coconut & Pineapple Sauce #PataksMom

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With a a busy family, I often find it so helpful to have a few large size flatbreads in the freezer that can be quickly and easily turned into either appetizers, lunch or dinner. And with the help of different toppings and ingredients, a multitude of different flavours can be created. Recently when making a flatbread to serve as an appetizer, I decided it would be fun to mix in a little India and with the help of one of Patak's cooking sauces, I was able to create a flatbread with the wonderful layers of flavours of India, vegetables and cheese. And best of all....not only was it so tasty, but it only took 20 minutes from start to serving time.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I am Guest Posting on Tatertots and Jello...

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I am so absolutely thrilled to be guest-posting on Tatertots and Jello this week! I have been reading TT&J for at least 6 years and I adore all of Jen's projects. She has recently been renovating a 1905 Cottage and it is fabulous! Hop on over and say 'hi' and check out my project of Bunny Mocktails, along with all of her amazing projects!
Wishing you an amazing weekend!
 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easter Banana Pops

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Happy Spring!
 I hope you are well and that the snow will soon be leaving your neck of the woods! I love all of the pretty pastels and ice cream colours that Spring and Easter bring to our surroundings. It's so refreshing after a long winter. Since the Chocolate Pecan Bites were so popular at my house a few weeks ago, I just couldn't resist making these banana treats again and giving them a new 'outfit' for Spring. They look so pretty, while being the easiest thing in the world to make!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Show Your Love With A Strudelgram And Win #Strudelgram

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With two teenagers in the house, mornings are pretty quiet as my two sleepyheads tumble out of bed to get ready for school in silence. Both of my kids prefer quiet mornings and don't feel very chatty until they are more awake...which usually means that the car is quiet on the way to school too. As a mom, I try to respect their need for quiet in the morning, but that doesn't mean that I cannot sneak in a little fun with some kind of artwork or special message with Pillsbury Toaster Strudels. It's my little way of reminding my kids how much they are loved. Plus, who can resist the fun of a little packet of icing?  Here is one of my favourite little piece of artwork for my sleepyheads.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chicken Clubhouse Bites on Skewers with Sriracha Mayo Dipping Sauce

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At my house, simple food rules when people are hungry and want something to eat fast. These yummy skewers are de-constructed clubhouse sandwiches with a delicious sriracha mayo dipping sauce that adds just enough spice  to perfectly marry the flavours of the chicken, ham, tomato and cheese.These bites can easily be made ahead of time and served as an afterschool snack or as an appetizer with frosty drinks. My son and husband love these and eat them almost as fast as I can make them. And sriracha mayo dipping sauce...oh my word! Have you tried this? It is so good with chicken, french fries, sushi and fish. My family loves sriracha sauce on a lot of different foods!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Healthy Bunny Snack {Gluten Free, Nut Free & Dairy Free}

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How are you dear readers? I learned an important lesson this week. You see, I skipped meal planning on Sunday and well....that was SO not a good idea! I could not think of what to cook for dinner this evening and had to go through the freezer to frantically find something at the last minute.
 However, while I was bending over deep in the freezer, I did spy things that will make meals for the rest of the week.
Phew! Being frantic at dinner time is not a good thing!

When it comes to kids and snacks, it always nice if the snack can be both fun and healthy. When my kids were younger, I always liked to serve snacks that included fresh fruits and veggies, and even though my daughter is 17 now, fresh fruit is still her favourite snack of choice.
I created this snack with healthy ingredients in mind, as well as thinking about how it could be gluten free, nut free and dairy free too so it can be great for kids who cannot eat those things.
I think this bunny is both cute and delicious!
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