Friday, 31 January 2014

A Sunny Yellow Table to Warm Up Winter

Tomorrow is February 1st! That means that Spring is that much closer! Instead of waiting for Spring to arrive, I decided this week to create a pretty yellow table to lift our spirits and celebrate the sunshine despite  freezing cold temperatures. I find that I crave yellow in makes me feel warm inside. Fresh yellow flowers are a wonderful way to add beauty to any table...they just radiate happiness! And the combination of pretty yellow flowes along with clean dishes  can create a table that sparkles.
The first step in my quest for a beautiful yellow table was to make an arrangement with one of my favourite flowers...gerbera daisies. Daisies are one of my favourite flowers.
And to surround the yellow, I chose some white and green flowers, along with some curly willow.
Along with the help of my friend Peggy, we created a bowl of loveliness for the table.
I used layers of white, blue and yellow dishes for each place setting. 
Each place setting also got it's own little bouquet of yellow flowers embellished with ribbon and a napkin.
Sparkling water goblets and cutlery finish the table.
Something that is important when creating a pretty table for guests is clean, sparkling dishes. 
There is nothing worse than trying to set a table and having to stop and re-wash dishes that are supposed to be clean.
That's why I have used Sunlight-The Lemon One,  for years.
I like how Sunlight cuts the grease and cleans dishes right the first  time, so when I  set a table, I know that all of the dishes I reach for are perfectly clean.
And I also love the fresh lemon scent of the dish soap. I find it invigorating and it's a smell that I associate with being clean.

So they next time you are creating a pretty table, whether it be for special occasion or just because, remember that Sunlight-The Lemon One can help you achieve a beautiful, sparkling table where you can rest assured that your family or guests are sitting down to clean, shiny dishes.

Disclosure-I partnered with Sunlight to create this post. However, as always, I only work with products/brands that I love and use in my own home. All opinions on this blog are my own.

This post is linked to:
Tatertots and Jello, Link Party Palooza,Monday FundayThat DIY Party, The Sunday Best Showcase,Tip Me Tuesday,  Time To SparkleTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap Crafts,  Home Stories A to ZIt's OverflowingWildly Creative Party,Work It WednesdayParty Bunch Linky PartyUnder  The Table & Dreaming,  It's Overflowing,  Block Party,

Chicken Panini with Curry Mayo, Cheese, Arugula & Chutney

Our family loves paninis for a quick lunch, supper or even a late breakfast. They are hot and tasty and satisfy any hunger...and are especially good in winter with soup. Part of the appeal of these grilled sandwiches is that they can be created with a whole assortment of different fillings and flavours to suit any taste. This  panini is a wonderful creation of chicken with  curry mayo,  gooey goat cheese and sweet chutney to balance the spicy mayo. The arugula adds some peppery flavour...which makes the sandwich oh-so-good.

In order to create this sandwich, I 'mixed in a little India' with  the help of Patak's.
These amazing flavours make all the difference in jazzing up what would otherwise be a very boring sandwich.
 I added a teaspoon of curry to  3/4 cup of mayo to create the curry mayo.
And the chutney added another delicious layer to this sandwich.
For another twist, I used naan bread to keep this panini Indian-inspired.
And then I built this baby...curry mayo,  chicken, arugula, cheese {I used goat cheese, but brie would work equally as well} and lastly...a thin layer of chutney.
The last step is to brush each of the outer sides of the sandwich lightly with olive oil.
 And then grill with a panini pan or panini press until golden, melted and heated throughout.
And now, a wonderful sandwich with so many great flavours!

If you are looking for more inspired ideas, don't forget to check out other tasty creations on the Patak's site, where you will find lots of tasty recipes such as: Curried Chicken Burgers, Butter Chicken Pizza,  and Open Cheese & Mango Sandwiches.

Thank you so much for visiting me!

Disclosure: I am part of the Patak's Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

This post is linked to:
Tatertots and Jello, Link Party Palooza,Wildly Creative Party,Link Party PaloozaMonday Funday,Our Sunday Best ShowcaseTip Me Tuesday,   Time To SparkleTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap Crafts,  Home Stories A to ZWow Us WednesdayWork It WednesdayParty Bunch Linky PartySuper Saturday Link PartyUnder  The Table & Dreaming,  It's Overflowing, 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Make An Asian Noodle Bar

I love family food that can be served in such a way where each person can make a dish of whatever they like. Everyone has happy tummies and the family chef feels pretty darn good too! When I saw this Asian Noodle Bar on  Mara`s Blog, I was completely inspired to make this for my family...knowing that it would be a huge hit! And I was totally right...this Asian Noodle Bar was a fabulous meal that was fun to make and fun to serve!

The beauty of this meal is that there is something for everyone. Each bowl can be filled with meat, veggies, noodles and broth in a hundred different ways.
And hot-diggity dog... Asian flavours and hot sauces can be added with a few shakes and drizzles too.
Here is how everything is put together. However, I really suggest that you go over to Mara`s post  because she explains things really well too!

Asian Noodle Bar

Make the Broth:
You need about 1-2 cups of broth per person, so for my family of 4, I prepared about 2-3  litres of broth so there was some for leftovers too.
2 litres of favourite broth {I used President's Choice organic chicken broth}
1 stalk of lemon grass, cut into one inch pieces
2 in X 2 in piece of fresh ginger, sliced into 3 pieces

Add ginger and lemon grass to broth and simmer broth while you prepare the other ingredients or on low heat for a few hours.
Serve broth hot.

Make the Noodles:
1 large package Udon noodles. {Udon noodles are Japanese noodles that can be found in the international food section of the grocery store or an Asian grocery store.} Cook according to package directions.
Rice noodles, spaghetti, linguine or whatever noodles you have on hand. Cook according to package directions. Allow 1-2 cups per person.

Make the Veggies & Protein:
Here's where you can have some fun! Cook  chicken or beef, shrimp or cubes of tofu for the protein add-ins. And prepare whatever veggies your family likes! Choices can be carrots, broccoli, kale, cabbage, bok choy, any chinese vegetables, bean sprouts, mushrooms, etc. Cut into bite size pieces

Cook veggies until fork tender...either by steaming or pan-frying. Here's what I made:
Steamed carrots
Steamed broccoli
Pan-fried mushrooms
Bean sprouts
Sliced green onions

 Once everything is ready, place everything on the table along with deep bowls and chop sticks.
Invite everyone to fill their bowls with whatever they like...adding the hot broth and soya/hot sauces last.
 This food idea makes for the most fun and casual dinner. It's great for a family or for company.
And with Chinese New Year tomorrow, it is a nice celebratory meal for the New Year!
 And this is such a wonderful meal to serve during the bone-chlling cold months of winter!
We had this today for dinner and it was so, so good.
There was lots of happy slurping around the table!

Thank you so much for visiting me!
Enjoy your noodles!  {wink}

This post is linked to:
Tatertots and Jello, Link Party Palooza,Inspire Me PleaseWildly Creative Party,Wow Us Wednesday,The Party BunchLink Party PaloozaMonday FundayOur Sunday Best ShowcaseTip Me Tuesday,   Time To SparkleTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap CraftsHome Stories A to ZWow Us WednesdayThe DIY DreamerWork It Wednesday, I'm Lovin' It,  Friday Kitchen Fun & Crafty Linky Party,  Inspiration GallerySuper Saturday Link PartyUnder  The Table & Dreaming,  It's Overflowing,  Block Party,

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Arugula, Apple & Goat Cheese Salad

 I love fresh, crisp salads in winter. Throw in a little fruit and I'm a happy camper! Throw in some cheese...even better! One of the fun things that my family has been enjoying lately is trying different kinds of greens as a foundation for our salads. Recently, arugula has been a favourite with it's slightly peppery taste and it's bright green full-of-good-things colour. This arugula salad with a foundation of  leafy arugula and topped with crisp green apple slices, creamy goat cheese and candied pecans is a perfect mix of fresh and crispy that is so good as a meal or a side salad.
This salad is very easy to make with just 5 ingredients. Arugula being the main ingredient. Did you know that Arugula is every bit of a super food as Kale? Yes. It's true. 
Arugula is a rich source of phytochemicals, folic acid, Vitamins A, C and K, high levels of Iron and Copper...all of which are great for combattting cancer-causing elements in the body, as well as boosting brain and bone health!
I suggest plating each portion on individual plates so that each serving has a good mix of apples slices, goat cheese and pecans.
 Arugula, Apple & Goat Cheese Salad

1.5 cups arugula for each plate
6 apples slices for each plate
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese for each plate
1 tablespoon chopped candied pecans for each plate {I picked up the nuts at my local grocery store}
Favourite balsamic salad dressing

To make:
To each plate, pile arugula. Then add apple slices in a circle as shown. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and pecans. Then drizzle with balsamic salad dressing. Serve immediately!
If you are looking for other amazing salads to try, here are but a few of the fabulous recipes that can be found on Life Made Delicious. The site has recently undergone a fresh makeover where recipes are easier than ever to find and it's now mobile friendly too!

 Looking for something to serve to a crowd on Super Bowl Sunday?  How about this Chicken BLT Taco Salad? It looks so good!
Chicken BLT Taco Salad
I love salads with a twist that includes fresh fruit and this Raspberry Lemon Salad looks amazing!
Raspberry-Lemon Salad
 And how about this crunchy and citrus inspired Spicy Jicama & Orange Salad {Gluten Free}?
Spicy Jicama and Orange Salad (Gluten Free)
What kind of salads have your been enjoying lately? What is your favourite go-to salad ingredient?

Disclosure: I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

This post is linked to:
I'm Lovin' It, Inspiration Gallery, Inspire Me PleaseThe Party BunchLink Party PaloozaMonday FundayOur Sunday Best ShowcaseTip Me Tuesday,  Time To SparkleTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap Crafts,  Home Stories A to ZUnder  The Table & Dreaming,  It's Overflowing, 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Valentine's Favor Craft Project

Crafting for Valentine`s Day is so fun! There are so many pretty things to make with an array of beautiful supplies! These Valentine`s Favors are easy to make with re-cycled toilet paper or paper towel tubes decorated with paper doilies, hearts, ribbons and twine. They are a wonderful  project if you have a gaggle of little girls who need something to do!
Here are some of the supplies I used to decorate the tubes.

Tissue paper to wrap the tubes 
Scotch tape to fasten the tissue paper to the tubes
Paper doilies 
Ribbon or yarn
Paper hearts
Bakers twine

Step 1. Place inside the tube any treat you like such as candies, gum, jokes, pictures, movie tickets, etc. Wrap the tubes in tissue paper squares that are cut to approx. 8`` by 8`` and tape at the back. I used 3 layers of tissue paper.
Step 2. Use ribbon or yarn to tie the ends of the tissue paper on the tube.
Step 3. Decorate the tubes as desired. I layered a white paper doily, a red paper heart and tied it with twine, but have fun and decorate how ever you like! 
Using a white ink pad and black cardstock, some `chaulkboard`  looking tags can be made too!
{The stamp came from Michael's...$1.50}
 And tags can  be added to the favors too!
 They look so pretty with tags...
Or without. They would be perfect for a Valentine`s breakfast, luncheon or dinner. 
Or just to give!

Have you made any pretties for Valentine`s Day?

Thank you so much for visiting me today!
You are awesome!

Looking for more Valentine's Ideas? Follow my Pinterest board here:

This post is linked to:
The DIY DreamerI'm Lovin' It Inspiration Gallery, Kitchen Fun & Craft Party,  Inspire Me Please,The Party BunchLink Party PaloozaMonday FundayThat DIY PartyOur Sunday Best ShowcaseCraft-O-ManiacBlock PartyTip Me Tuesday,  Time To SparkleTake A Look TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap CraftsSavvy Southern Style,   Home Stories A to ZIt's OverflowingThe Scoop,

Monday, 27 January 2014

Valentine's Treat Bags

Hi everyone! I am so happy to be here to share this cute little treat bag project with you! I had so much fun making these this weekend with one of my favourite things ever....felt hearts. They can turn any plain project into something beautiful. These darling bags would make a great gift for any special sweetie for Valentine's day. And whatever goes inside can be limitless... small cookies, kisses, a gift card, gum...whatever your heart desires.
To make these cute treat bags, only a few supplies are needed that can be picked up at most local stores.
And any colour combination of red and pink will look wonderful.
Here is what I used:

Red heart ribbon {Dollarama $1.00}
Kisses stamp {Micheals $1.50}
Burlap bags {Michaels, 2 for $1.50}
Felt hearts {Target, $1.00 for a bag}
Black ink pad {a few years old, forget where I purchased it}
Pink & red  cardstock 

The first thing I always make before starting any project are the tags. I simply cut strips of cardstock and then stamped them with the 'Kisses' stamp in black ink.
The $1.50 baskets at Michaels are a great place to pick up rubbers stamps. I always pick up a few whenever I see things that I like.

 And then I attach the felt hearts to the burlap bags.
  They are stick-on, and once the paper is peeled off, they stick really well to the burlap bags.
And then some treats are placed inside.
The last step is to tie up the bags with ribbon and tags.
You could use the same tags for all of the bags, as I have done, or you could switch it up with different tags too!
And there you have....adorable treat bags which are simple & sweet assemble and wonderful to give!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Looking for more Valentine's Ideas? Follow my Pinterest board here:

This post is linked to:
The Sunday Showcase, Sunday Best Showcase, Home Stories A To ZThe DIY Dreamer I'm Lovin' It The Inspiration Gallery,   Kitchen Fun & Craft Party,  Inspire Me Please,The Party BunchLink Party PaloozaMonday FundayThat DIY PartyOur Sunday Best ShowcaseCraft-O-ManiacBlock PartyTip Me Tuesday,  Time To SparkleTake A Look TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowGingersnap CraftsSavvy Southern Style, It's OverflowingThe ScoopOne Project At A Time,

Thursday, 23 January 2014

5 Great Tips For Organizing Your Home Office + $500 Giveaway of Organizing Products

One of my goals for January was to get my little office nook back into an organized state, because recently it has been as messy as a bowl of lie! I was so anxious to start this project, that I neglected to take a 'before' picture of it, but trust me, it as a big pile of mess with stacks of paper covering the desk and the lower shelf. When you work from home, as I do, a home office that is both organized and functional is an important part of having a productive day. I was more than thrilled when Fellowes Canada contacted me and asked if I would like to try their new line of home storage and home office products...because I knew that my messy space needed some help in gaining order again. I want to share with you some tips for getting and keeping a home office organized.
In our home, there is no actual room for me to have an office. All of our rooms are used, except for what was a giant nook at the top of the stairs that I claimed as my own little office space.
Before I claimed it, there was nothing there. And first I added a desk with a hutch, but found that the hutch was useless, so I removed it and added some economical shelving with brackets from Ikea and shelves cut to fit from Home Depot. This laid the foundation for the whole space. Which brings me to the first tip.....use a desk and shelves. Shelves take advantage of vertical space, so you use less floor space for storage and hence...less mess on the floor.
1. Use A Desk and Shelves Above As A Foundation.
Having shelves above the desk is so practical. It keeps things within arms reach and mess off the floor. The 3 shelves in my office nook cost less than $50 to install and earn their keep by providing a huge amount of storage space for  things like printers and office supplies. If you have to, clear everything out of your office space and start fresh.
2. Install A Lamp. 
By installing lamp, the work space is better lit and makes the space functional for doing tasks. No one wants to work in a dimly lit area. Plus, a lamp just makes a space feel cozier and more like a place that you want to hang out.
3. Use A Comfortable Chair.
A comfortable chair is a must for any desk. I prefer a chair that has wheels and an adjustable seat. This makes working more efficient as you don`t have to contend with aches and pains that force you to leave the office before you are finished working.
4. Add Functional Organizing and Storage Products.
Using the right storage and organizing products is key to keeping a desk/office space tidy. It effectively provides a home for everything and works wonders at keeping visual clutter at bay.
Let me share with you all of the amazing Fellowes Canada products that helped me tame the clutter that was taking over my office nook. They are not only easy to assemble and very affordable, but look great in my office and contain the clutter like nobody's business!

Magazine File Boxes. To me, they are must in any office. They keep books and magazines organized, and if you keep the tall side facing outward, they also help reduce visual clutter.

Office Bill Organizer. I love, love, love this. It not only gives me a drawer to store things away, but also 4 slots for holding bills, greeting cards, pictures, business cards and all those little pieces of paper that need a home. And this unit can fit perfectly on a shelf!
Office Drawer Organizer. This 2 drawer item is another piece from this line that I absolutely love. It completes me! It gets clutter OFF my desk.  Did I mention it keep me organized? And this unit can also easily fit on a shelf or bookcase too.
Inside, I have storage room for things like envelopes, labels and other office supplies.
Stackable Storage Boxes. This lines includes assorted boxes for any kind of storage. I like keeping supplies in here that I don't use often, but still need to have in my office nook. I like that the boxes look neat and tidy on the shelves and how they keep messy piles at bay!
Files Boxes. This line also includes file boxes, which I keep in a nearby closet. These boxes are available in both letter and legal size and are perfect for holding files of business papers.

The legal size/stackable boxes also have the viewing windows so the contents inside can be seen, which make the box multi-functional for both files or other things as well. And if you look to the left, you can see these boxes also have comfortable handles for lifting.
Literature Sorter. Although I don't need one of these, there is one available in the line to match the other pieces so you can have a cohesive-looking office space.
So, no matter what your needs for home office organizing and storage, Fellowes Canada has a full range of products for every need.

5. Accessorize and Add The Pretty.
The last thing to add to make a home office feel organized and welcoming are a few accessories that add that personal touch that make it your own. In my case, I have added baby pictures of my kids, some flowers, plants and a pretty lamp. These are the thing that I find comforting as I sit at my desk working. I also find that when things look pretty, you want to keep things organized and looking nice because it feels so good to work in that kind of atmosphere.

I have to say that I have worked both from an office for 12 years, and from home for a few years. When you have a home office space that is clean, functional, organized and looks pretty, there is no better place to work! And this line of products from Fellowes really helped me to achieve exactly the kind of work zone that I love.

And now here's the BEST part!
Fellowes Canada is going to give one lucky reader a fabulous prize of $500 worth of drawers and boxes to use in their own home for organizing and storage projects!
This is the best giveaway that I have ever had on Echoes of Laughter!

{Canada Only}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The home office products can be found at  Staples and at Walmart.

Don't forget to visit my other home organizing project using Fellowes Canada products HERE.

To learn more about Fellowes Canada line of organizing products for the home and office, be sure to follow their Facebook page HERE.  For your next home organizing project, you can find Fellowes Stackable Storage and Under The Bed Boxes at herehere, here, and here

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fellowes Canada. However, as always, I only work with companies whose products I love and use in my own home.

This post is linked to these parties:
Inspire Me Please, Home Stories A to Z,
that give mcdonalds coupons and 
breakfast coupons you also can find recipe from