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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hurry! 3 Days Left To Enter Staples Canada Superpower Your School Contest! Your School Could Win $25K Worth of Technology!

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I am so excited to share with you that Staples has announced their Staples Superpower Your School Contest  where they will be awarding 10 publicly-funded eco-schools $25,000 worth of technology. This is a wonderful opportunity because I know many schools across Canada are in desperate need of new or upgraded technology at a time when school budgets are tight. I have both a child in junior high and one who just finished high school, and I know that schools can really benefit from this kind of help! I love when Canadian companies give back to their communities in a big way. We have a Staples location not more than 5 minutes from our home and we are in there fairly often for supplies or copy services. Of course, my kids love going with me because it's a great time to hit mom up to buy some fresh new pencils and pens for class.


The Staples SuperPower Your School Contest runs from January 5, 2015 to January 31, 2015 and is held in collaboration with Earth Day Canada, a national environmental charity, founded in 1990, that works directly Canadians, including teachers and schools, providing the practical knowledge and tools they need to lesson their impact on the environment.

Last year's winnings schools stretched the country from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. All of these schools  are considered to be ecovators. An “Ecovator” is a term that Staples coined (combination of “Eco” and “innovator”) to refer to those superheroes in your school – whether they are students or teachers – who are using innovative and creative ways to make a difference for the environment and reduce our eco-footprint on the planet.

For instance, last year a school in River Hebert, NS, demonstrated  an ongoing commitment to eco- initiatives by building “pollinator bee homes”.Students utilized scrap lumber materials from local lumber mills to build homes for the Mason Bee, a unique bee to the region’s ecosystem that makes its home inside small holes in wood. In 2013, the school built 50 of these homes which were, in turn, distributed throughout Nova Scotia.

And that is just one of the many fabulous ways that schools across Canada are working to make a positive impact on their environment! {To read more amazing ideas from previous winners, go here.}

Staples would love to hear your school's eco-innovative way of making a difference on the environment too!
For entering, your school could be 1 of 10 schools chosen to win $25,000 worth of technology!

To ENTER is easy! Just go to the contest page and answer these 3 questions!

Question 1: 
What does your school do to help the environment? Tell us about your school’s environmental projects and programs. (Maximum 250 words)

Question 2: 
Tell us about your school’s most important environmental project or program. (Maximum 250 words)

Question 3:
Provide a brief summary of the technology needs of your school. How will your school use the new technology to further its environmental and educational work? (Maximum 200 words)

So get those ideas entered and you never know...your school could be the next school to benefit from new technology!

If you would like to learn more about the Staples Superpower Your School Contest,, you can visit frequently asked questions here and read the rules and regulations here.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Staples Canada. As always, I only work with brands that I love and use in my own home. All opinions are my own.


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Delicious Citrus Upside Down Cake

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My favourite thing about going into the grocery stores these days is the gorgeous scent of the all of the beautiful citrus in season right now. From Ruby Red grapefruit from Texas to sweet-scented Cara Cara oranges to Myer Lemons....it all smells so amazing! Last week, despite not feeling well, I made a quick trip to the grocery store for some essentials and I could not help but pick up some of incredible fresh citrus. I came home with a vision of baking something with this lovely fresh citrus and served on pretty dishes, so out of my kitchen came this very easy citrus upside down cake.
The base for this dessert is a very easy sponge cake with thin slices of oranges, lemons and grapefruit nestled into the bottom of the cake pan. The batter is also flavoured with orange zest and fresh-squeezed orange juice to lend a delicate flavour to the sponge cake.
Delicious Citrus Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg 
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice3
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 Cara Cara orange, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 Ruby Red grapefruit, thinly sliced, seeds removed

To make:
1 Spray cake pan with cooking spray.. In bottom of a 9" spring form pan or round cake pan, layer slices of citrus.
2. With mixer, mix together butter or shortening and sugar until creamy. Add egg and mix well.
3. In small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. Then add 1/2 of flour mixture to egg and sugar mixture. Then add 1/2 of milk and mix well. Repeat. Add orange juice and zest and mix well.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes clean with no bits of batter.
5. Cook slightly. Then remove from pan to finish cooling. Plate on a pretty cake plate with citrus slices facing up. Drizzle with honey if desired.

This cake looks amazing served on Denby's new Monsoon collection  of cake stands and dessert plates. 
This Antayla style is a mix of aqua and dark blue in a mix of 4 different bright & fresh graphic patterns.
The Monsoon cake stand is a lovely sleek and modern design that is on-trend for today's modern hostess and it perfect for serving baked goods to family or guests.

If  you really like blues, this is a beautiful mix of classic shades of blue that will compliment almost any home's decor.
With over 200 years of expertise, Denby offers pieces that are designed for cooking, serving and eating and entertaining with style and panache.
This Denby collection also makes a wonderful hostess, birthday, bridal or wedding gift as Monsoon pieces can be purchase individually and can be mixed and matched with existing pieces. I love, love, love dishes and this beautiful collection fits perfectly with my collection, while also making me a very proud hostess where I can serve my guests wonderful food on gorgeous dishes that are both pretty and stylish.

Disclosure: Denby Canada provided me with a cake stand and 4 dessert plates for purposes of review. However, all opinions are 100% mine and as always, I only work with brands that I know and love and use in my own home.


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Classic Weeknight Tacos

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Tacos at our house are a fool-proof winner for a meal  at any time! And I often make a double batch of the taco meat to last a few meals because it is something that everybody likes and it's great for lunch, after school,  dinner, after hockey practice or gym workout. This Classic Weeknight Tacos recipe is made with Campbell's Tomato with Basic & Oregano Soup and Campbell's Ready To Use Beef Broth, which give these tacos a beautiful depth of flavour that is super delicious! And Campbells recipes are Simple To Make and Easy To Love and are perfect for busy moms that need yummy meals that can come together quickly!
This is so easy to make and what's great about is that it can be made ahead of time and go into the fridge until serving time because taco meat re-heats beautifully for fresh, hot tacos anytime!

Classic Weeknight Tacos

Ingredients

1 tbsp (15 mL)canola oil
1 lb (454 g)lean ground beef
4 tsp (20 mL)chili powder
1onion, chopped
1green pepper, chopped
1 can (284 mL)CAMPBELL'S® Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano Soup
1/2 cup (125 mL)CAMPBELL'S® Ready to Use Beef Broth
8hard taco shells
1/2 cupShredded lettuce (1 tbsp per taco)
1/2 cupShredded Cheddar cheese (1 tbsp per taco)
1/4 cupSour cream (½ tbsp per taco)
1/2 cupChopped tomato (1 tbsp per taco)
1/4 cupChopped green onion (½ tbsp per taco)

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground beef; season with chili powder blend. Cook, stirring and breaking up beef, for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Stir in onion and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour in soup and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Fill taco shells with shredded lettuce and some of the beef mixture. Garnish with Cheddar, sour cream, tomatoes and green onion.

Recipe Tips

    1. Bring all the beef mixture and garnishes to the table so everyone can make their own tacos just the way they like.
    2. Serve with soft flour or corn tortillas, if desired.
    3. Adjust the toppings based on your family's preferences, try pickled jalapenos, hot sauce, salsa and guacamole.

When making tacos, I usually double or triple the recipe because I have hungry teens in my house. But if you are a mom with little kids, throwing extra taco meat in the freezer for another meal is a great idea as well! You know that old rule....cook once and eat twice!



For more amazing Campbells ideas perfect for busy families, check out this delicious



Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are mine.



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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Enter the 'Staples Superpower Your School Contest' And Your School Could be 1 of 10 Schools Awarded $25,000 of Technology #PowerEco

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I love when Canadian companies give back to their communities in a big way. We have a Staples location not more than 5 minutes from our home and we are in there fairly often for supplies or copy services. Of course, my kids love going with me because it's a great time to hit mom up to buy some fresh new pencils and pens for class.

I am so excited to share with you that Staples has just announced their Staples Superpower Your School Contest where they will be awarding 10 publicly-funded eco-schools $25,000 worth of technology, which is a wonderful gift because I know many schools across Canada are in desperate need of new or upgraded technology at a time when school budgets are tight. I have both a child in junior high and high school, and I know that schools can really benefit from this kind of help!


The Staples SuperPower Your School Contest runs from January 5, 2015 to January 31, 2015 and is held in collaboration with Earth Day Canada, a national environmental charity, founded in 1990, that works directly Canadians, including teachers and schools, providing the practical knowledge and tools they need to lesson their impact on the environment.

Last year's winnings schools stretched the country from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. All of these schools  are considered to be ecovators. An “Ecovator” is a term that Staples coined (combination of “Eco” and “innovator”) to refer to those superheroes in your school – whether they are students or teachers – who are using innovative and creative ways to make a difference for the environment and reduce our eco-footprint on the planet.

For instance, last year a school in River Hebert, NS, demonstrated  an ongoing commitment to eco- initiatives by building “pollinator bee homes”.Students utilized scrap lumber materials from local lumber mills to build homes for the Mason Bee, a unique bee to the region’s ecosystem that makes its home inside small holes in wood. In 2013, the school built 50 of these homes which were, in turn, distributed throughout Nova Scotia.

And that is just one of the many fabulous ways that schools across Canada are working to make a positive impact on their environment! {To read more amazing ideas from previous winners, go here.}

Staples would love to hear your school's eco-innovative way of making a difference on the environment too!
For entering, your school could be 1 of 10 schools chosen to win $25,000 worth of technology!

To ENTER is easy! Just go to the contest page and answer these 3 questions!

Question 1: 
What does your school do to help the environment? Tell us about your school’s environmental projects and programs. (Maximum 250 words)

Question 2: 
Tell us about your school’s most important environmental project or program. (Maximum 250 words)

Question 3:
Provide a brief summary of the technology needs of your school. How will your school use the new technology to further its environmental and educational work? (Maximum 200 words)

So get those ideas entered and you never know...your school could be the next school to benefit from new technology!

If you would like to learn more about the Staples Superpower Your School Contest,, you can visit frequently asked questions here and read the rules and regulations here.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Staples Canada. As always, I only work with brands that I love and use in my own home. All opinions are my own.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Berry & Pineapple Protein Smoothies + #SimplySmoothies Twitter Party January 21 +Giveaway

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At our house, there is not a day that goes by that the whirl of our smoothie maker is not heard. With 2 athletes, protein smoothies are a go-to snack at almost anytime. My son, the hockey player who has hockey almost every day of the week, really loves fruit smoothies and he is always looking to add extra protein whenever he can to keep his body fueled properly.This raspberry, blackberry, pineapple protein smoothie is  a recent favourite of his I have to say that having Burnbrae Farms Simply EggWhites product in the fridge makes adding protein easier than ever! {And as a mom, I much prefer egg whites over protein powder...which often ends up all over the counter!}
It is the easiest way to add protein to smoothies for a wonderful hit of protein and nutrition.
What is Simply Egg Whites? It is is simply pasteurized egg whites which are all-natural with no preservatives and no added ingredients. Since it's pasteurized, it is completely safe for smoothie drinks and other recipes that require raw eggs.

As you many know already, egg whites are a great source of high quality protein that is absorbed efficiently by the body. So having a carton of Simple Egg Whites in the fridge is great for adding high quality protein to smoothies that is both convenient and economical. Simply open the carton and pour egg whites into the smoothie ingredients and return the carton to the fridge. Super easy!

Simply Egg Whites are also a great source of protein for those who don't eat meat or those who are on a low fat diet like heart patients. And the product is easily found on grocery store shelves right next to the whole egg products.

Berry & Pineapple Protein Smoothie
{make 2}

Ingredients:
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup Simple Egg Whites product
2 cups milk or almond milk
handful of ice cubes

To Make:
Place all ingredients in blender or smoothie maker and process until smooth. Garnish with fruit and serve with a straw.

I am so excited to share with you that Burnbrae Farms will be hosting a 
#Simply Smoothies Twitter Party on Janunary 21 where we will be talking about all things smoothie-related!
And what's more is that the prizes are pretty fabulous!

Grand Prize: Ninja Ultima Blender valued at $249.99 + a cutting board & Burnbrae Farms coupons
5 x Kitchenaid 2 speed blender (variety of colours) valued at $69.99 + a cutting board & Burnbrae Farms coupons.
5 x Hamilton Beach single serve blender valued at $21.99 + a cutting board & Burnbrae Farms coupons.
2x FitBits valued at $99.99 + a cutting board & Burnbrae Farms coupons.
TO RSVP, Go HERE
  • Eligibility: Open to Canada only. For official rules and regulations, please read HERE.


If you would like to try out Simply Egg Whites and other Burnbrade Farms egg products, I am hosting a giveaway for $25 in coupons. {Canada Only}
To enter is easy! Just fill out the form below!

Looking for more delicious egg recipes? Try these out!
You may also want to try some of these other yummy recipes from Burnbrae Farms:

Burnbrae Farms is giving away $25 worth of coupons to one lucky reader!
Just enter in the form below!
{Open to Canadian Residents only. Void where prohibited.}


For more great recipes and information, please follow Burnbrae Farms here:
Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Pinterest || YouTube

Disclosure: I am participating in the Burnbrae Farms campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.



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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Quick Chicken & Noodles Dinner

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To me, there is no easier meal on this planet to serve than chicken, noodles and cheese. I mean...everyone likes chicken and noodles. In this Quick Chicken  & Noodles Dinner, the addition of veggies makes this a hands down winner for nutrition, along with great taste provided by Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken soup. As a busy mom, I really appreciate that Campbell's recipes are Simple to Make, Easy to Love. {You will find a whole collection of easy family recipes on the CookWithCampbells.ca website}.For my family, this is perfect to whip up at dinner time for a fast yet satisfying meal. For our busy schedule, I made this dish even faster by making it in the morning and then placing it in the fridge until dinner time, so it just needed a quick re-heat.
My teenage son likes to eat every half hour it seems {no lie!}, so I doubled this recipe to have in the fridge to feed his grizzly bear-like hunger whenever necessary!


This recipe is so versatile too as you can really add any veggies or cheese that your family likes too!
I also think this recipe, although delicious as is, would also work great with rotini or penne pasta if that is what is in the pantry.
And those turkey leftovers? They could easily be subbed into this recipe instead of chicken, so YAY for using some white meat you may already have on hand!

Quick Chicken & Noodles
{serves 4}


Ingredients

2 tbsp (30 mL)olive oil
2 cups (500 mL)mixed vegetables (such as zucchini, sliced peppers and peas)
2garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups (500 mL)cubed, cooked chicken
1 can (284 mL)CAMPBELL'S® Condensed Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup (250 mL)milk
4 cups (1 L)medium egg noodles, cooked al dente and drained
1/3 cup (80 mL)parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp (30 mL)lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL)freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL)fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add mixed vegetables, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.
2. Stir in chicken, soup and milk; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Stir in noodles, parmesan, lemon juice, and pepper; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Recipe Tips

    Substitute any of your favourite vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots or kale and corn.
    For a quick weeknight tip, substitute fresh mixed vegetables for frozen vegetables.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

590 Calories, 25g Fat, 730mg Sodium, 59g Carbohydrate, 6g Dietary Fibre, 31g Protein, 20% Daily Value Calcium





This is a another great casserole for a pot-luck or  giving to a family as well. 
With it's family-friendly ingredients and being Simple To Make, Easy to Love, it is a keeper for sure!

For another amazing casserole ideas perfect for busy families, check out this delicious

Disclosure: I am part of the Campbell Company of Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are mine.



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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps #Wokstars

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With the biggest food holiday in all the land over for another year, we always look forward to healthier and lighter eating in January. These chicken stir fry wraps are perfect for families who want to get back to cleaner eating and they are delicious for either a snack or meal. And with vegetables, chicken and a delicious Blue Dragon stir fry sauce, they are a snap to whip up with just a frying pan.

Another great thing about stir fries, as you know, is that you can include whatever vegetables your family likes, or even make a tasty stir fry as a way of cleaning out all those uneaten vegetables in the vegetable crisper in the fridge. And my family is really loving all of the varieties of the Blue Dragon stir fry sauces. This recipe is made with Blue Dragon Wasabi Plum Stir Fry Sauce, which is a sweet blend of a plum, ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.
Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps
{serves 4}

Ingredients
3 carrots, peeled and cut into small sticks
3 stalks celery, cut into small sticks
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced for stir fry
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons oil, divided
2 pouches of Blue Dragon Wasabi Plum Stir Fry Sauce
Lettuce leaves, washed and dried {You can use butter, iceberg or romaine}
Optional: chopped green onions, sesame seeds and chili sauce

To make:
1. Add 1 tablespoon oil  and garlic to a hot skillet. Add chicken and stir fry quickly until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink. Remove from frying pan.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet. Add vegetables and quickly stir fry until vegetables are tender crisp.
3. Add cooked chicken strips and pouches of stir fry sauce to vegetables in skillet. Mix gently and heat completely.
4. Serve scoops of stir fry on lettuce leaves. Garish with chopped green onion, sesame seeds and drizzle of chili sauce if desired.


The next time you need a quick and delicious dinner idea, just combing some meat and vegetables with Blue Dragon stir fry sauces. There are lots of tasty flavours to choose from such as Sweet & Sour,  Honey Teriyaki, Chili & Coconut, General Tso and Szeuchen Pepper.
{We have tried quite a few and they are all dee-licious!}

Looking for more delicious and easy recipes for those busy nights? Visit the recipe collection at Blue Dragon and be sure to check out the Bamboo Room Blog for inspiring posts on travel and more recipes. 

Disclosure: I am part of the Blue Dragon Canada ambassador program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


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