Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Holiday Table with Roast Chicken & Outside Stuffing & #CozyChicken Giveaway & Twitter Party!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign. I received special perks in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

I love this time of year because it`s all about family & friends, good food and fun. There is nothing that I enjoy more than inviting loved ones over for a meal to help celebrate the season. However, if you were to ask me, I could not tell you which I enjoy more....the fun company, creating a pretty table OR making a delicious meal.I am one of those  hosts that enjoys decorating the table just as much as making a meal. I love, love, love pretty tables and I never miss a chance to dress one up!

This pretty centerpiece was actually an 11 year old centerpiece that I up-cycled by removing old white (and very dusty) flowers and replacing them with new gold flowers and new pinecone stems.
Gold and brass have been a huge trend in home decor this year, so I wanted to join in the fun and add some gold to the Christmas trimmings at our house this year. I had so much fun looking for just the right gold flowers to refresh this piece and in the process, I spotted the new gold charger plates as well.
Adding the gold sparkle made this piece look like new and I am so happy that I re-imagined it in gold. It turned out to be the perfect touch for the table.
With some pretty new gold charger plates, red napkins decorated with new gold star ornaments and a new nordic-inspired red table runner...this table became a wonderful setting for a delicious meal.
{And you may remember last week how I shared how I created  the 'Merry Christmas' table favors.}
And to compliment this holiday table, I found the perfect chicken recipe on the Chicken Farmers of Canada website. With American Thanksgiving being celebrated this week and all the talk of dinners, my family was ready for a cozy chicken meal complete with mashed potatoes and gravy. I found the perfect Roast Chicken with Outside Stuffing which was not only delicious, but easy to prepare by just spending a few minutes preparing the chicken to go into a beautiful Emile Henry roasting pan,
and then chopping sweet potatoes and apples for the 'outside' stuffing to go into the oven with the chicken.
Our cozy chicken meal was so good and perfect for the -20 weather we have been having this week!
Our house smelled so wonderful while this chicken was roasting! My family loves chicken and I never have to worry about anything chicken not being eaten! has an amazing collection of chicken recipes, whether you are looking for a quick and easy meal like this Kid-Tastic Chicken Fajitas, or Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken And Vegetables
Here is the recipe that our family enjoyed:
Roast Chicken with Outside Stuffing Recipe
{Serves 8}

Prep Time: 30 minutes.  Roast Time: 75 minutes
5 lb. (2.3 kg) Roasting Chicken 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 sweet potatoes,large,  peeled and cubed
2 green apples, cored and quartered
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 1/2 cup apple juice

1. Remove chicken giblets and neck; use to make stock if desired. Sprinkle half salt, pepper and thyme over chicken. Tie legs down to chicken; tuck tail inside cavity. bend wings over back.
2. Place chicken breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Roast in 400 F (200 C) oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F (180 C), cover chicken loosely with foil and continue roasting for another 45 minutes.
3. In large casserole, combine sweet potatoes, apples, brown sugar,ginger and cinnamon; dot with butter. Cover tightly with tin foil and place in oven with chicken, and continue cooking for about 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, remove excess fat from pan juices. Stir in remaining salt, pepper thyme and apple juice. Combine flour and water, add juice mixture, and cook until thickened. Spoon sweet potato-apple mixture around chicken and serve with apple gravy.
5. In saucepan, melt apple jelly. During last 20 minutes of chicken roasting time, remove foil and brush chicken with jelly. Continue basting chicken with pan juices until nicely glazed and chicken is cooked.  Chicken is cooked with internal temperature reaches 185 F (85 C) or until juices run clear and fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. Remove chicken, place on large platter and keep warm.
And now here's more info for the Giveaway and Twitter Party!
In order to help prepare for the Holiday season, the fine folks at Chicken Farmers of Canada are providing an amazing prize pack for one very lucky Canadian reader! Entrants must be 18+ to enter
and will have 48 hours to respond. This giveaway will run from 30 - Dec 14th and will be available across all blogs participating in #CozyChicken!

The Prize Pack:
● $100 Visa Gift Card
● Chicken Farmers of Canada Swag Kit - oven mitts, cutting board & apron
● Emile Henry Lasagna Set

And for more ideas for meals and news about Canadian Chicken, please follow here:
Thank you so much for visiting!

This post is linked to: DIY Showoff, Monday Funday Linky Party, The Block Party, Our Sunday Best, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase, Homestories A to Z, Time To Sparkle, Chef-In-Training,  One Project At A Time,  Show Me What You Got, The DIY Dreamer, Gingersnap Crafts, I Gotta Create, Inspiration Gallery, I'm Lovin' It, Inspire Me Please, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza,  All Things Christmas Linky Party, 

Friday, 29 November 2013

How To Host A Super Easy Cake Pop Party!

 I love doing things with kids for Christmas! And even though my kids are older now, they will tell you how I still want them to do fun things with me because I am still really the kid at heart! And I have designed this 'Cake Pop Party' with the busy Mom in mind! I have a few things to share with you to let you know that you can pull this off in an hour! I know we all see really gorgeously styled parties around the inter webs, but we can still make the simple things gorgeous!

And remember I said that this was designed for working moms? It all starts with these...plain, old-fashioned timbits...or donut holes from the grocery store if you don't live near one of these!
{And if you require gluten-free, a good alternative is gluten-free rice krispie treats on stick.}
 And then you just pile them into a bowl for kids to use for their cake pops.
{I found this Santa bowl at Goodwill for $1.00. Super cute!}
And then you will need to gather a few other different coloured sprinkles:
And different coloured candy melts like red, green and white, and paper straws or lollipop sticks.
If you have never done this before, place candy melts in small glass bowl and melt in the microwave for 40 seconds, taking out for a stir with a spoon, and then back into the microwave for a few more seconds if necessary. The texture should be really smooth for dipping the 'cake pops'.  And the cake pops don't need to be fully covered in candy melt either...just the bottoms of the donuts will do!
If using paper straws, use scissors and cut into  shorter lengths to use as lollipop sticks.
And here's a trick you will need to know: Poke an end of the lollipop stick into melted wafers before placing into the donut and then let it harden. This will keep the donut on the stick for dipping into the melting wafers.
And with lolllipop sticks inserted and wafers melted, let the kids dip away!
They can totally get their 'cake pops' on and create any kind of treat they like by dipping the pops into melted wafers and then into sprinkles.
And things might get a bit messy, but it will be super fun!
Place cake pops on waxed paper or paper plates to let dry.
Then eat! Or wrap each pop in plastic wrap to take home.
And to finish off the 'Cake Pop Party', serve a snack of crackers, cheese and grapes and play Christmas music.
The kids will have the most outstanding time!
And you will be known as one cake popin'-rockin' mama!
And if you are looking for more ideas for kids, check out these other fun ideas:
And more ideas on Pinterest:

Thank you so much for visiting!

Linked up with:
Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Party Junk, Christmas Wonderful Link Party,  Super Satuday Show & Tell, The DIY Showoff, Monday Funday Link Party, Block Party,  Our Sunday Best, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase, Craft-O-Maniac, Time To Sparkle, Homestories A to Z, Chef-In-Training, One Project At A Time, Take A Look Tuesday, Show Me What You Got, The DIY Dreamer,  Gingersnap Crafts, I Gotta Create, Inspiration Gallery, I'm Lovin' It, Inspire Me Please, Liz Marie Blog,  All Things Christmas Link Party,

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Easy Holiday Family Gift

I love creating gift baskets. There is just something so fun about putting a group of things into a basket that makes it look so special when packaged all together.I know sometimes that it can be hard to find a gift for a family with children of different ages, so I came up with this basket of things that can be used to create a family night..and the best part is no dishes!
To start, I searched my local Goodwill to find baskets/buckets to use for the gift bundle. I found this awesome tin bucket for just 50 cents. It holds everything perfectly! And with a ribbon and gift tag, it also looks festive too!
Next,  I filled the basket with large paper plates, small paper plates, cups, napkins, straws and a movie all wrapped up. I bought all of the paper goods on clearance last year at HomeSense and nothings was over 90 cents.  It's always great to pick up marked down paper goods when you see them.
The straws came from my favorite supplier and I tucked in a $5.00  family movie from the local department store.
There is a set of 8 of everything...more than enough for most families for a meal. 
And you could also tuck in a gift card for a local pizza place or Chinese food takeout if  a meal is in the gift-giving budget.
You could also include popcorn, a box of chocolates or homemade  cookies too!
And this is also a gift that the kids can help to put together too by choosing and wrapping the movie and helping to put everything into the basket.
Sometimes it can be hard to find a gift for a family on a budget...especially when you are not sure what board games are already owned or there are a lot of different ages of children.
This gift provides everything for a fun movie night which is a great activity for winter and is something that my own family really looks forward to when our busy schedules allow!

What are some of your favorite gifts for families? 
I would love to hear your ideas!

Here are some other great ideas for fun activities for families:

For more great ideas, don't forget to check out some of my favorite boards on Pinterest:

Thank you so much for visiting! 

This post is linked to:
Savvy Southern Style, I Gotta Create, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, The Party Bunch, Link Party Palooza, Party Junk, Christmas Wonderful Link Party, Super Saturday Show & Tell, The DIY Showoff,  Monday Funday Link Party, Block Party, Our Sunday Best, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase,  Craft-O-Maniac, Homestories A to Z, Time To Sparkle, Chef-In-Training, One Project At A Time,  Take A Look Tuesday, Show Me What You Got, Gingersnap Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, I Gotta Create, I'm Lovin' It, Inspire Me Please, Homemade Gift & Wrap Party, Liz Marie Blog, All Things Christmas Link Party, 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Pretty Christmas Table Favors or Gifts

 I love, love, love table favors! They can take plain dishes and a plain table from ordinary to extra-ordinary with just a little effort...but the effect can often be stunning! I was on the search this year for a pretty table favor for our Christmas dinner this year which will include 6-7 people. I knew that I wanted a table favor to meet 2 requirements...first-chocolate and second-big enough to look pretty on a plate. And I think this fits the bill and it is very easy to make!
All you need to start is a stack of your favourite good quality chocolate bars. I used these...a favourite of mine.
 Then I wrapped them in this printed craft wrapping paper that I found at Walmart.
 And with a stamp, tags and baker's twine...
 I had sweet little favors in no time at all!
 These are even cute enough to hand out as little gifts for teachers or at the office, don't you think?
And when added to a dinner plate, along with a decorated cloth napkin, they are so pretty!
And this project is easy enough that elementary age kids could handle it!
 To me, they are a perfect little touch to make a place setting shine!
And who can't resist a pretty table that smells faintly of chocolate?
What a fabulous take home treat too!
How about you? Have you started making plans for your Christmas dinner?
And if you happen to be visiting from the US...Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are looking for more inspiration, don't forget to visit some of my favourite boards on Pinterest:

And some of my other projects like this DIY Ribbon Flower Wreath:

Thank you so much for visiting!

This post is linked to:
Savvy Southern Style, I Gotta Create, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Between Naps on the Porch, The Party Bunch,  Party Junk, Christmas Wonderful Link Party, Super Saturday Show & Tell, The DIY Showoff, Monday Funday Linky Party, Block Party, Our Sunday Best, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase,  Homestories A to Z, Time To Sparkle, Chef-In-Training, One Project At A Time, Show Me What You Got,  The DIY Dreamer, Gingersnap Crafts, I'm Lovin It, Inspire Me Please, Homemade Gift & Wrap Party, All Things Christmas Link Party, 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Make Christmas Shopping Easy with Help From Shoppers Drug Mart

When the calendar rolls around to November 1, I know that it's time to begin shopping for Christmas gifts for those special people in my life. I aim to have all of my shopping done as close to December 1st as possible so that I can enjoy December with family and friends...without the stress of shopping in busy malls, driving in heavy traffic and finding parking spaces. One of the places that I like to shop for gifts is Shoppers Drug Mart because I know that I can count on Shoppers to have an assortment of fabulous fragrances, delectable treats, the latest in toys and electronics, and even movies that will suit my husband, teen daughter and tween son.

After looking through the latest gift and beauty guides from Shoppers Drug Mart, here are a few of the things I have in mind for my makeup-loving teen daughter. She adores eye makeup and nail polish and I think these would make perfect gifts for her.

The Eye Studio Sampler includes 6 mini deluxe mascaras, deluxe eye makeup remover, and a certificate for a full size product of your choice...all packaged in this lovely box.
She would love this packaged set of 5 Gosh Nail Lacquers in great colours in this sophisticated black  gift box.
And I know my daughter would be thrilled to receive this Special Edition Quo Makeup Brush Set which includes 10 beautifully crafted brushes inside a deluxe cosmetic bag.
For my tween son and husband, I am going to pick up a couple of these Axe Men Gift Sets which includes shampoo, shower gel, antiperspirant and a toiletry bag. I find it's the best time of year to get a new toiletry bag to replace the all too often messy ones that my boys keep in their hockey bags.
I love the masculine look of these brand new black Sonicare Diamond Clean Power Toothbrushes which comes with a glass, charging case, USB cable and a wall plug, and these are perfect for both husband and son.
For my son, I plan to pick up these wireless head phones with a charging base station. He is always losing ear buds, so I think this would be a great option for him and less easy to lose!
And I think every one would love some good quality chocolate for Christmas Day!

If you would like to take advantage of more exclusive and special holiday promotions and products available in store, look for the Gift Guides and Beauty Books which will be available over the course of November and December and will feature even  more items perfect for that person on your gift list. And select beauty product will have a free gift with purchase, so visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart, while quantities last.

On December 2nd, they will also be running a Facebook contest that will include an Advent calendar that will reveal a new product every day. Multiple prizes will be given away over the course of 12 days. To be updated about the contest be sure to like them HERE.

As a busy mom with packed days that include work, making dinner and driving kids to activities,  I find that Shoppers Drug is a quick and easy stop for shopping that provides me with lots of great items to choose from such as makeup and fragrances, movies, snacks, cards, wrapping paper, yummy treats, postal services and  more. Combine this with plenty of parking, later hours for convenience, and collecting points on my Optimum card with every purchase...I find shopping at Shoppers Drug for gifts at this busy time of year to be such a treat!

For more great gift ideas for those on your shopping list, don't forget to visit the Holiday Gift Guide HERE.

Want to share your favourite gifts? Join in on the conversation on Twitter at #GiftsMadeEasy

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