9/19/18

“How do you do it?” Is a question I’ve heard more than once when it comes to my relationship. Not a topic I discuss often here on AME (I have to keep some aspects of my life on the private) but an important element in our family dynamic, the relationship between my partner and I didn’t happen “overnight”, it’s not always bliss but we make it work. We’ve made it work and some for 15 years.


Communication is key
Cliche to say but it’s the honest truth. If you don’t communicate, you won’t get anywhere.

Hear to your partner
You want your voice heard, so does your partner. Don’t just listen to your partner's voice, hear them out and try to find a happy medium for any problems. Compromise when it comes to trivial things like who picks the movie or the never-ending question “what should we have for dinner?”.

Do the little things
Everybody needs to feel appreciated if someone doesn’t feel appreciated they won’t be happy and you can’t be in a good relationship when you’re unhappy. Gestures of love and caring don’t have to be grand. They can be as simple as getting them a coffee when you know they need it, doing something just because. You don’t need a special day to show you care about someone and appreciate their role in your life.

Be partners in parenting
If you have kids you need to work together to raise them. You need to discuss what works and what doesn’t work. If one parent is doing it one way and the other another way it will definitely put a strain on the relationship and it’s not good for your kids. Communicate (see, there’s that word again), compromise and back each other up. You’re better as a parenting team!

Have fun together!
Make your next date night a game night for two featuring a fun and exciting box from Crated With Love date night subscription boxes! Crated With Love is like a date in a box. It comes with everything you need for a fun game. It gives a little twist on date night! You can get different games; all packaged and shipped with love rightto your door. Make it a ritual with Crated With love subscription boxes.


So, get the kids babysat (or put them to bed ultra early if you can’t find a sitter) and spend some quality time with the one you love. Enjoy your next date night!


Posted on behalf of Crated With Love. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

9/17/18

The kids may be back in school and summertime may be virtually over but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to end!

You may or may not remember me sharing about new Nerf Laser Ops via Instagram; they are the coolest thing ever! They are the new age of laser blasters! 


These babies have all new designs with laser tag technology. Featuring lights, sound effects haptic feedback and a solo play experience, Nerf takes laser tag to the next level. Oh yeah and there’s also an app to expand the laser tag experience! Check out the official tv spot below:


Follow @HasbroNews for the latest and hottest on all things toys!

WIN IT

We have a surprise for you!

One lucky #AMEblog reader can win a Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint 2-Pack (ages 8+ $59.99 value)!

Enter using the ballot below for your chance to win!

Giveaway is open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Winner will be drawn via Rafflecopter on September 30th, 2018 11:59PM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway sponsored by Hasbro/Nerf. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

9/11/18

Summertime is officially over, the weather is cooler and the kids back are back in school! Everyone is still getting back into routines with earlier nights (and earlier mornings), new schedules, places to be and people to see; it’s one of the busiest (and stressful) times of the year at our house!



With everything going on its also time to get Back To Budget! After a fun summer of family outings, school supply (and uniform) shopping plus those school fees, it’s always a good idea to get the budget back in order and learn ways we can stretch that dollar. 

What better way to learn some great money tips and tricks than to have a Twitter party?!


Join us on September 12 2018, at 8:00PM ET as we kick off the #BackToBudget Twitter Party with @TangerineBank!


Twitter Party Details

Back to Budget Twitter Party
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Time: 8:00pm ET to 9:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Prizing: $500 in Gift Cards
No RSVP Required.

Anyone can participate in the Twitter Party. Only those who live in Canada, excluding the province of Quebec can win prizes.




Click here learn more about Tangerine Bank!

See you at the party!


Sponsored post. Opinions and comments are those of the author.


9/10/18

The other day I went upstairs to my daughter's room and opened up the closet. Cue horror music in the background. You couldn’t see inside the closet, that’s how much junk stuff they’ve accumulated since I went through, sorted, and purged their rooms before summer break began back in June. It’s time for some Fall closet purging!

Living with packrat kids isn’t easy either; they keep EVERYTHING. Oh, we’ve had this ratty doll for ages! They keep it but yet it is in the closet with messy hair, naked (because they lost her outfit) and along with all the other unwanted things. I’d love to have a playroom/wreck room the kids can keep all their toys in but our house is too small and they’re at the age where there are less toy playing and more of other activities (other than the 5-year-old, you can’t pry her fav toys from her if you tried). It’s like a used toy wasteland in the closets though. The final place toys go before they leave forever!




Keep age in mind when sorting

Kids outgrow everything including toys. Some may be keepers for remembering the old days of babies but some are just nothing but clutter inducing because it’s considered a “baby” or “little kid” toy and your older kids want nothing more to do with them.

Keep only what they love.

Some kids do have a sentimental attachment to certain teddy bears or dolls, I know mine do. We have a certain bin for those special toys that they still want to keep but don’t necessarily play with/sleep with them anymore.

Donate what’s still good.

Before you donate teddy bears and dolls make sure to ask the place you are donating. Some places like hospitals and police stations have their own teddy programs due to hazards used toys can cause if parts like eyes or noses are loose or missing. There could be community used toy drives in your area or you could always drop them off at a Salvation Army or Value Village thrift shop. One kid's garbage is another kids treasure, they say.

Sell what’s “like new”

Chances are we have a toy or two that the kids only played with a handful of times, all the parts are intact and it works great! Used websites like Kijiji can help you get rid of it quickly.

Use bins (or boxes) for what you’re keeping. Bins can help organize the toys your kids still use and want to keep. You can find some decent bins at dollar stores or Walmart. Boxes are good for long-term storage. Just don’t store it in a basement or humid place, whatever’s inside could get mouldy and will have to be tossed out, what a waste.

Not only does purging the toys from the kid's rooms and closets make more space but also gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Enjoy it while it lasts, only a few more months until Christmas rolls around and more stuff will eventually take its place. ;-)

9/5/18



As children grow and develop different interests, they might just get into console gaming, mobile gaming, or even watching other kids play games on Youtube. Kids have been known to be drawn to video games since the dawn of gaming existence. I know, I was a child of the '80's Nintendo gaming console! We know that sometimes games get a bad rap but to be fair, there are some benefits to letting kids play (or watch other kids play) video games. As a parent, it's up to us to make sure they adopt healthy gaming habits and not get too much screen time.


Most parents want to be able to monitor/check up on how much the kids have been playing and what games they've been playing. It's just our way of keeping them safe and making sure that they aren’t overdoing it (or doing something they shouldn't).

Here are some great parenting hacks to keep in mind while you're keeping an eye on the kids gaming:

Don’t Let Them Keep Consoles in Their Rooms

As tempting as it would seem, it's not a good idea to give young kids TVs or consoles in their private bedrooms. This gives them more access to do what you don't want them to do and more time to be spent ignoring the real world. You have more control of the time they spend on consoles by putting it in a common area like the living room. So, not allowing a console in the bedrooms could work out for everyone.

Let Them Play on Your Devices

Little Johnny is only five, he doesn't need his very own iPod or iPhone. When we first introduced our kids to gaming devices we let them use ours, just make sure you have them in a secure case. You can monitor what they are playing and how long they are playing for. You could even download a couple of games onto your devices for them to play, like Final Fantasy 15 or Angry Birds. This is a good way of keeping up with your little ones in the gaming world.



Gain access to their consoles/PCs

As parents, we are responsible for anything our kids do online, including in the gaming world. As you know, anything they have to sign up for requires a password and in our house, the passwords (even ones to access devices) are either created by mom or dad and they are always written in a special "password book" we have access to. For our teen, we came to an agreement for safety purposes. This is a great way of keeping tabs on what they're doing online and what they are downloading as games.

Take them out and buy the games/let them choose apps they want

One of the best ways of monitoring the sorts of games they are playing is to take them out and buy them the games yourself or let them choose which games from the app store that they'd like if they are downloads. It's less tempting for them to browse and download things they shouldn't unsupervised since you already got them the games they really wanted!


It's important to know what's going on in your kids’ lives and with the ever-growing online gaming world, it's worth it to check in from time to time. There's nothing wrong with taking an interest in your child's life, no matter what age. That's what our job is as parents. We are sure you can come up with your own ideas that work for you and your family to keep an eye on your kids’ gaming but feel free to use these hacks as a starting point!

Happy gaming everyone!


8/23/18

Summertime is pretty much over with school routines just days away. Its already starting to get dark earlier, the humid summer temperature has cooled off. Fall is just around the corner and sometimes something new helps you feel more like you’re starting fresh.

My daughter is now in her teen years and needs a little help organizing her personal belongings. This Toiletry Cosmetic Bag comes in handy to keep her personal belongings organized. It’s got water-resistant material and interior padding, large storage space with multiple pockets (its a lot roomier than it looks on the outside!), zippered side pockets, clear pocket for important things and a hook/handle for hanging. You can put a variety of things like deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush, personals etc. There’s enough space that your things stay organized and don’t get all mixed up. It is actually a travel bag but it can be used in the locker or in the gym bag also!


Is your better half as hard on wallets as mine is? He has to change his almost twice yearly so I’m hoping this Mens Black RFID Blocking Bifold Wallet will last time a long time! It’s a cool 100% leather wallet with RFID blocking technology (protects your credit cards and such from being scanned by scammers) and tons of room with 11 slots for your cards, cash and whatever else you carry! The leather gives it an elegant, classy look and soft feel. It's great for both casual and dressy styles. 


There are so many more stylish items for the home to find online at LaVieVert! You’re sure to find something to get your fall started on a stylish foot!

Follow LaVieVert on social media!
@OfficialLaVieVert on Instagram and LaVieVert Facebook page!


Sponsored post. Products exchanged for mentions. Opinions and comments are those of the author.

8/20/18


The kids will be back to school in just two more weeks and although we’ve started (slowly) preparing with things like the bedtime routine, gathering supplies and getting whats left to our supply lists ready, there are still lots of things that need to be done to get everyone prepared. 

When moms busy, she almost needs a second brain!

I was sent over just that; well, almost. Amazon introduced us to Echo and Alexa to help make the back to school transition a little easier. All we have to do is ask! 



What is Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo is a Virtual Assistant device powered by Alexa that can help you with daily tasks around the home, I’m not kidding.

It’s a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker with an expertly tuned speaker and 7 built-in microphones. Echo connects to the Alexa voice service to do many different things like play music, add/remove items from a list, read the latest news headlines, hear the weather send and receive messages and more! Because it connects via your Amazon account, Alexa can also make and check purchases for you. All you have to do is ask.


Amazon Echo Dot is what I like to call the baby sister. Smaller in size, the Echo Dot can be connected to speakers via Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable for louder sound. The sleek and compact design makes Echo Dot is a convenient addition to any room in the house. Perfect for smaller areas like the kitchen, home office or bedroom. It has all the same features as the larger Echo.

Through the Alexa app, you can set up your Echo and any skills you’d like Alexa to learn such as local newspapers, podcasts, local bus, horoscopes, jokes and fun facts plus more.


My favourite features/skills on the Amazon Echo (so far):

- Ease of use: Voice control is a real game changer! Even with that, Echo has manual buttons for volume and also a mute button when you don’t want Alexa listening.

- Personalization: Alexa is a really smart AI. Info is tailored to you from your name down to your voice. After she gets to know you, Alexa will start calling you by your first name, like an old friend.

- Schedules and Lists: Alexa can add/remove events from your schedule, let you know what’s coming up on your calendar and you can even plan an entire day schedule using your voice. Alexa can also add and remove items from lists like back to school or grocery shopping, all I have to do is ask!

- Music: “Alexa play music” and that she will accessing Amazon (or your favourite) music streaming service. Even if you don’t have a subscription to a music streaming service, you can use Echo as a speaker and play whatever’s on your phone.

- Recipes: If I’m ever stumped and not around a device to google, I can just ask Alexa for the best after school snack recipe.

There are so many other features, you have to check it out for yourself to believe how cool Amazon Echo is! Here's a little teaser of Alexa telling me about the weather the other day! 


Echo powered by Alexa couldn’t have come at a better time with schedules and homework plus everything else life will throw at us with back to school time, I’m happy to have Amazon Echo by my side!

You can find the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot on Amazon.ca!



Posted on behalf of Amazon.ca. Complimentary product received in exchange for my honest review. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

8/17/18

Did you know that 2-3 of every thousand babies are diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia per year? Thanks to today’s medical advancements some cases are detected early but it wasn’t always like that.


I was born with hip dysplasia in the early 1980’s and have lived my entire life with hip and other problems because, in my day, the technology wasn’t there to detect things like bone malformation. There wasn’t any voice to spread awareness. Doctors (and parents) simply did not understand. I didn’t even fully understand until I was in my 20’s. Imagine had the tables been turned and they had known what to do and what not to do keep babies hips healthy.

The following is an important guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which is an organization that studies the disorder to maybe one day find a cure and helps spread awareness to parents who can help prevent its development in their babies.

When creating their lists of what to buy for a new baby, many expectant parents rely on friends and family for practical advice on what's really needed. Two must-have registry items, a swaddle and a baby carrier, may require a closer look to ensure that you are choosing the safest products for your baby. 

According to Dr Charles Price, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, "All parents want to select the best for their baby, and in many cases, this also means the safest. When it comes to selecting swaddle garments and a baby carrier there are specific features parents should look for to ensure their baby's proper physical development."

When babies are born, their hips are not fully formed. Products that support healthy hip development are a must to avoid the possibility of post-natal hip dysplasia. Products that do not properly support baby's growing body can directly affect a baby's hip development resulting in lifelong issues such as arthritis and other ailments leading to early hip replacement surgery.  

Safe Swaddling

Here are some simple tips for choosing swaddles and carriers that will ensure healthy hip development for your baby:

- Look for a swaddle garment that features a roomy bottom, allowing baby’s legs to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for the natural and proper development of the hip joints. 

- Any swaddle that wraps the baby’s legs straight or pressed together does not support proper hip development.

The right way to swaddle a baby:



Wrong way to swaddle a baby:



Baby Carrier Safety

A proper hip position is especially important during the first six months of baby’s life and when the baby is in a carrier for extended periods.

- Look for a carrier that allows baby’s legs to be in the “M” position with the thighs spread around the parents’ torso and the hips bent so the knees are slightly higher or level with the buttocks. The carrier should provide support from the thighs to the knee.

- In a proper carrier, your baby will be in a spread squat position and take on the look of a jockey.

Right way:



Wrong way:




The International Hip Dysplasia Institute was created to support parents and patients with hip dysplasia. They provide family support, preventive education and help patients identify physicians who can properly treat hip dysplasia. The U.S. based non-profit is also active in reducing the incidents of hip dysplasia around the world.

For additional information on hip dysplasia and hip healthy baby products, visit www.hipdysplasia.org!


*Guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. This post is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional medical help if you feel you or your children may have HD. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.*

8/15/18

Let’s face it, it can be a never ending battle when it comes to prying kids away from their beloved video games. While a little time spent playing their favourite video games isn’t a bad thing, there are other things they can do with their time. We all know as parents it’s always a good idea to encourage different activities to keep them entertained and active. Here are some great ideas to help keep those little ones active!





Team sports


One idea to help encourage reluctant kids is to involve them in social activities like organized team sports! It's not only a great way to get out and get active but also a great way for kids to start making new friends. There are lots of different sports to choose from; Maybe your kids are interested in basketball, baseball, hockey or even soccer, where teams like FC Barcelona Canada offer classes for children to get involved. Talk to your kids and find out what interests them and encourage it.


Swimming


Swimming is a given in the summertime. It's a great activity to keep everyone entertained, cool and staying active. In the summer, you can visit local pools for fun or even organized lessons. It is a great way to encourage some family time and swimming can just be so fun.


Taking responsibility


Encourage the kids to help out and at the same time teach them responsibility around the home. The family "to-do" list is never ending and honestly, the more little-helping hands you have, the less time you spend on chores and more time spent on fun. It doesn't have to be anything major, you can assign chores according to age. Simple tasks like cleaning up their own bedroom or doing the dishes after dinner are easy starters for younger kids. If you have a dog, you can delegate the task of feeding, watering and taking it outside for walks. I'm sure as parents, you can find something for them to do to help out!


Spending time outside


Finally, why not take the time to enjoy the fresh air outside. The Summer months have been great for doing just that with swimming, family BBQ's, and just plain outdoor summer fun! With the cooler months up ahead it's always a nice idea to take advantage of the beauty of nature; take a family nature walk! Family walks are the perfect time to ask kids about their day, what is going on in school and how they are doing. Spending time outside could be as simple as sitting in the garden or backyard and reading a book or helping with homework.

Summer is almost over but that doesn't mean you can't still get out and get active! I hope this gives you some ideas to help encourage your kids to get off the couch, get up and be active!

8/13/18


Summertime spoiled us with heat waves and sunny weather for the most part. We spent many a lazy afternoon at the local wading pool in July with some day trips cancelled due to thunderstorms in between. 

It’s been really fun but playtime is over. In just a few weeks the kids are going to be headed back to school and now is the time to start getting everyone back into habits forgotten and getting them ready for their big first days in new grades. 



Earlier bedtimes are one of the bigger hurdles for us. The kids need lots of sleep to function properly or they won’t survive the first week. I already know I won’t! Summer means the sun goes down later and days are longer. Now that it’s August it’s getting darker a little earlier so we have begun the back to school bedtimes. 7-7:30 for the youngest, 8:30-9pm for the boy and the oldest is allowed to stay up until 10pm. This schedule for them gets them enough sleep and allows them to have an hour of tv/quiet whatever time before bed.

School supply shopping is coming up and I know we can’t afford to spend a fortune on all-new items. We already have a habit of keeping still-good items (like school bags, lunch bags, binders, pencil cases etc.) from the previous school year and pick up whatever is missing plus the important things like paper, notebooks, pencils and pens, shoes and new lunch box containers (we all know they lose every single container in a single school year, you can’t avoid it!).

Sales and dollar stores. Kids lose things on the constant, even with labels on them. Buying on sale (online or offline)!or even at the dollar store gives us less guilt and worry the kids will have their things lost or stolen.

If you have to buy all-new supplies but are on a budget: buy only the basics to start. Most kids don’t need 100 HP pencils and 10 packs of lined paper to start the school year. You can usually find items year round at office supply stores as most kids (and classrooms if the teacher is providing the tools) need a refill mid-year.



Back to school can be an exciting but stressful time for both kids and parents. No matter what kind of shoes, a backpack or supplies they bring, you are doing your best and they will be fine. Now enjoy the rest of the summer!

8/10/18

My oldest daughter and I were discussing Disney movies recently and came up with a list of the saddest animated Disney movie scenes we could think of. This is one thing I love about our mother-daughter relationship, the ability to get into the weirdest, yet funniest conversations ever. We couldn't help but laugh at the fact we could get teared up over animations, thanks, Disney. We love you, for real! Here is our list, in no particular order. 

Bambi - The scene where Bambi loses his mom. Enough said.



The Fox and The Hound - Seriously that scene when the old lady has to leave the fox in the middle of the woods and then months later when the hound is all grown up he doesn’t recognize his old BFF Tod the fox.



Dumbo - Part of me wants to see the upcoming live-action remake of this classic but the child in me is still crying. If you haven’t seen Dumbo, watch it. Everyone knows what scenes I’m talking about. “Baby Mine” still makes me sob.



The Lion King - Probably one of the most heart-wrenching scenes is when Mufasa (Simba’s Dad) dies by the hands of his evil brother and his son takes the blame. Gulp!

Aladdin - Sort of a happy-sad, bittersweet scene when the Genie becomes free from his lamp.



Finding Nemo - When Marlon finds the last surviving egg, Nemo.



Monsters Inc - When Sully and Mike have to return Boo for real.




Okay, so there are probably hundreds of others (Toy Story, UP etc) that I didn’t mention but these were movies I watched as a young kid and hit the heartstrings the hardest!

What’s your favourite sad Disney movie? Let’s chat in the comments!



Not sponsored. Opinions and comments are my own.

8/8/18

We always love trying out new toys, games and gadgets with the family. Recently we were sent some fun new samples of what Moose Toys has to offer this fall! 

Check them out below! 

The kids will have fun going on a treasure hunt like no other with Treasure X! Search for gold dipped treasure through 10 levels of adventure. Rip, Fizz and Chip away to reveal layers and discover the secrets hidden within. There’s even a chance you could find real gold!



This makes a great outside activity (the digging part can get a bit messy as you might have to use water to moisten the “sand” to dig)! I would recommend them for a party favour too! My son had fun uncovering his unique "action figure". 



Scroll down to enter to win a Treasure X collectable! (Canada Only!)



Also from Moose Toys - Kids love toys that make the noise and also kids like things that repeat whatever they say. Enter Really Rad Robots Yak Bot! Your back-chatting YakBot can do many things like record voice, warp voice (with 4 cool effects - Pitch Shift, Reverse, Robot, Echo), answer your questions with silly answers and the best, prank your friends!

You can find both these toys at most toy retailers like Toys R Us this fall!

Win it!


Enter using the ballot below for your chance to win a Treasure X Collectible toy! Open to Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. Mandatory entry must be done to qualify. Please see giveaway ballot for full rules. Good luck!


Posted on behalf of Moose Toys. Complimentary product received in exchange for our views. Giveaway open to Canadian residents 18+. Please see Giveaway ballot for official rules and how to enter! Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

7/23/18


Work hasn’t been as busy as usual which is a good thing and a bad thing. More time to spend on other things but also less money coming in. You'd think being less busy work-wise would give me the chance to have that thing everybody calls "spare time"? It doesn't and there have been many things I've put off doing trying to balance my life with the kids being home all the time. 

I have been spending my time between looking for freelance writing work and making sure my kids live to see another day, taking care of the house and pets; your typical "stay at home/work at home mom" duties.

During the school year, it is easier both because they are in school when I can get more work done but also because there’s more of an intense schedule where I can turn my freelance work into a daily job much easier. I'm up and ready to go early, no excuses and no sleeping in (except weekends but I don't do weekends). As soon as they’re on that yellow bus Monday to Friday, I’m in my "home office" logging onto my work. Checking email, updating social and doing research to write my next piece. Believe me, there is more to being a writer/blogger than just posting on the internet but that’s another topic altogether.

During the summer months, my kids are off school (as are yours) and I still have work to do. School ends but life doesn't! Everyone ends up off schedule not having to be up early every single day and out the door before breakfast even has a chance to digest. I've shifted my own schedule. Instead of working in the daytime while they are around and making it impossible to concentrate while messing up the house and nothing else gets done, I work when the youngest goes to bed and the older two have themselves occupied with Netflix for a couple of hours. I can be very productive in a couple of uninterrupted hours of doing what needs to be done and the kids get most of my attention during the day.

Overall I haven't found it to be very stressful as far as balancing working at home when the kids are home. I will probably change my mind in a couple of weeks when back to school starts kicking back in (along with the exhaustion)! 

We hope everyone is having a fantastic summer holiday while still getting things done.  

7/19/18

When I was a teenager I was one of those with my favourite celebrity posters taped to my walls. I bought (and cut apart) teen magazines as often as they would come out in search of the newest (and hottest) pictures to add to my collection. Friends and I would compare what we each had.



Sometimes at the back of those teen magazines were stars fan mail addresses with which you could mail in and hope to receive a special letter or autographed photo. I mailed out several throughout those tween and teen years only to get a handful back. Even though I didn't get many, it was always exciting to get mail just for me (it still is unless it a bill, nobody likes bills). I wish I still had the autographed pictures today although a few years ago I did the same for my better half and we got some cool autographed postcards of some famous actors (of our own generation! Ha!). Maybe my love of Hollywood and all things movies makes me find it cool to have things like collectable memorabilia. Anyway, this story isn’t all about me!

My teenager lives and breathes the show Supernatural and anything to do with it. Several months ago (after some serious googling) we emailed a few of her favourite Supernatural cast members and totally forgot all about it, until today.

In an envelope addressed to her was a glossy, autographed photo from one of the stars of the show that we had emailed! I was surprised because I thought the email addresses were long gone into cyberland and totally bogus. At the same time, I was happy because hello "Mom of the Year"!


Sure it’s not personalized other than the address on the envelope and we know it’s most likely a generic fan mail photo but none of that matters to her. Just having possession of that autographed picture itself is enough. I can totally relate to her excitement! She spent her afternoon instagramming and telling all her friends (and fellow fans) all about it. Wouldn't you? :) 


Have you ever written to the stars and had them respond (online or snail mail)? Share your experiences in the comments below! We love to chat!


7/16/18

Having the kids home all summer may mean you have to think ahead and plan some fun for them. Now that we are almost into August, summer is slowing down but our day trips are not! They are fun (more or less), get us out of the house (or even out of town) and as always, memories are just waiting to be made. Here are some tips that may or may not help your next day trip with the kids! 

Plan ahead.
Budget food/gas/emergency money, where you’ll go, how you’ll get there etc all need to be planned out ahead of time depending on a day trip. It’s easy to make a spontaneous trip to the park for a picknick but if you’re heading somewhere else like a water park or themed amusement park you might want to get things like entry tickets in advance. Lots of places have peak days when it can be more expensive. It’s never nice to have to spend more than you bargained for one simple fun day out with the family.

Secret Stash.
Make sure to save a little cash and some change in an emergency change wallet. Keep it in the glove compartment of your vehicle or in the first aid kit, so you are never without.

First Aid Kit.
A must-have even if it's "just a day trip" you never know when a minor injury can happen especially if your kids are clumsy like mine. Your first aid kit should contain items like band-aids, bandages, alcohol swabs, spray-on peroxide, rubber gloves, heat or cold packs (the ones you bend to activate), flashlight etc. You can usually find kits with everything you'd need at your local stores. 

Bring Extras.
The weather calls for sunny but halfway through your water park visit the clouds roll in and it starts to rain. Packing items like extra towels or sweaters in these situations ensures everyone stays warm! Extra entertainment is also good to have on hand. Maybe not lug out the iPads for a day trip but books can be fun if you're stuck in a camper or car. 

Sleep well.
Getting a good nights sleep is crucial to surviving a day trip with the kids. Make sure both the kids and adults are in bed, it’ll be an early rise to get going! Oh and don’t forget to pre-make some yummy hearty breakfasts for the big morning!

Whatever you do and wherever you go, one major thing to remember is to HAVE FUN! Even if things don't go as perfect as you planned them, it's the memories that count. Trust me, we've had our share of imperfect, perfect day trips and everything turned out OK!

Do you have any trip tips? Share with fellow AME readers in the comments below! Let's chat!

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7/11/18

Summer holidays are in full force at our house! We’ve been trying to avoid dull days and take advantage of the really hot weather while we have it by taking the kids on little trips. Whether it be the local pool, splash pads or getting out of the city for a day, the days have been busy and we find ourselves more on the go!

Skechers has some great summer shoes we wanted to show you if you’re looking for something of quality and comfort!

These Relaxed fit: Skech Flex 2.0 are comfy enough for long-wearing, lightweight and breathable. Made with trubuck leather and mesh fabric upper in a lace up athletic sneaker with stitching accents. Of course, we can’t forget the Air Cooled Memory Foam insole. He always looks for something that’s not chunky as he drives a lot and lighter shoes make things easier. These shoes are perfect for summer rides. Great for this guy on the go.


These women’s Skechers Ultra Flex keep active feet like mine (hello, 3 kids!) comfortable with mesh slip-on design and air-cooled memory foam soles. I’m still amazed by the comfy soles, it’s so hard to find nice shoes that look good and don’t hurt my feet! Although these shoes do come in other colours I find black is easier to maintain and it goes with everything.



Besides our flip flops and sandals, we are truly running shoe type people and Skechers has been one of our go-to shoe brands for a while now. I can’t say we have been disappointed by a pair yet! Great shoes for parents (and kids) on the go!

Find more styles at Skechers.ca


Win it!

Do you or someone in your family need a new pair of summer shoes? I am happy to announce Skechers is giving one lucky AME Blog reader the chance to win a pair of their choice!

Enter using the ballot below!

Open to Canadians 18+ Excluding Quebec. One winner will be drawn to win 1 pair of Skechers shoes of their choice provided by the sponsor. Mandatory entry must be done for extras to count. Please see our disclosure page for more. Giveaway ends July 25th, 2018 9:00 PM EST.

By entering this giveaway you agree to our privacy policy.




Posted on behalf of Skechers Canada. Complimentary product received for review purposes. Opinions and comments are those of the author.