Laravel has the Carbon dependency attached to it.
Carbon::now(), include the Carbon\Carbon namespace if necessary.
Edit (usage and docs)
Say I want to retrieve the date and time and output it as a string.
$mytime = Carbon\Carbon::now();
This will output in the usual format of Y-m-d H:i:s, there are many pre-created formats and you will unlikely need to mess with PHP date time strings again with Carbon.