“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.


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!


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.


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.


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. ;-)


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!