Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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An advance screening of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 with my teens in public, with Amex Invites

Last Saturday night, my husband and I offered to take my 15-year old son to a movie of his choice – he looked at us like we were crazy. As if any teen would be caught dead in a movie theatre with their parents on a Saturday night.

One of the challenges of having older kids is being able to spend quality time with them. Gone are the days when a simple walk to the playground meant hours of fun together. Now I’m competing with friends, phones and the outside world just to connect on a human level (or at least a parent to teen level).

So, I have to up the ante.

After his swift rejection of me last week, I wasn’t sure if he would join me in an advance screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.  Through Amex Invites, Cardmembers get to experience early access to get tickets to blockbusters, special restaurant experiences and Front Of The Line access to concerts.

But how could he turn me down when I was tempting him with early street cred? Both he and his younger brother loved the books and were eager to see the final installment of the Hunger Games series. I promised the both of them good seats, special treatment and free popcorn. What teen could say no to that? (Even if they had to be seen with their parent.)

As it turned out, it wasn’t just a movie;  it was sharing a moment.  And that is what American Express Invites is all about – sharing moments with your loved ones (or your parents) in a way that is one step beyond the ordinary.

I got to share in my sons’ excitement and even bore them by talking about how when I was a teen all movie theatres had big screens and comfortable seats like at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In turn, they tried to ruin the end of the movie for me, knowing that I had only gotten halfway through book 3. They finally admitted it that they felt a little bit special by being part of an exclusive event. (They were especially impressed by the free popcorn and drinks.




Even better, American Express is giving all Canadians the chance to taste what it’s like to be an Amex Cardmember. If you’re already a Cardmember, you can head on over to AmexInvites.ca to learn about upcoming events and see what tickles your fancy.

The next special event Amex is offering for all Canadians is a great one – it is an exclusive dining experience at Bar Raval on December 14th. Bar Raval recently won a coveted spot on the Canada’s Best New Restaurant list, as determined by Air Canada enRoute Magazine, and is considered one of the city’s hottest dining spots. My husband I went in the summer and to say we are obsessed doesn’t quite cut it. We still fantasize about sneaking off in the middle of the afternoon to spend hours drinking gin cocktails and eating the methodically-prepared Spanish dishes. Grant Van Gameren, the owner of Bar Raval is what we call a completist – the design, the food and the drinks are all part of his vision of a Spanish Pinxtos bar.

But I digress.

The point is, even if you are not an American Express Cardmember you can have a chance to get on the guest list of this exclusive event by going to www.AmexInvites.ca from November 26th to December 6th.

It was great sharing a moment with my two boys at Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, we were able to nerd out together on the finer details of the story and discuss how the book (what I read of it) dovetailed with the movie. But the next experience will be one for my husband and I to share -- we need our own moments too. 

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