Things to do in Saskatoon this weekend

This week, Do Sask is celebrating one year of speed dating. View the events calendar for speed dating, brewery tour and book club dates.

These events were compiled using the Do Sask Facebook Group community calendar. Group members are invited to share events and engage with each other about things to do in the city of Saskatoon. Think of it as an online community cork board. Check out more in the listings below:

THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018

Saskatoon Craft Guild Display and Tea, 2 pm at Masonic Temple

GRCS Fundraiser Show, 7 pm at Saskatoon Indoor Skatepark 

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018

3 Beer Release 420 celebration, 11 am at Prairie Sun Brewery 

We All Stare At The Remai Modern & Say “Wow” Like Owen Wilson, 6 pm  at Remai Modern

14 Hours: Gallery Reception, 7 pm at Gordon Snelgrove Gallery

Carbon Copy at Somewhere Else Pub, 9 pm at Somewhere Else Pub & Grill 

SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018

Saskatoon Pottery Guild Spring Sale, 9 am Albert Community Centre

Grand Reopening – Joyne, 10 am at Joyne

Free BBQ at BN, 11 am at BN Metals Sas

Women’s Self Defense Seminar, 3 pm at Momentum Martial Arts (Saskatoon)

SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018

Warman Spring Community and Jazz Band Concert, 2 pm at Warman Community Middle School Legends Theatre

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018

Do Sask Book Club #4, 7 pm at Park Town Hotel Lounge

TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

3D Printing an Artifact in the Gallery!, 8 am at Museum of Antiquities (Saskatoon)

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FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Catching up with a speed dating match one year later

Speed Dating Match success story

“It’s a crapshoot. You never know what’s going to stick!” – George, past attendee and speed dating match

On April 18, 2017, the first Do Sask Saskatoon Speed Dating event took place on the third floor of the Hose & Hydrant Pub.

In celebration of my first anniversary, I invited attendees from the very first speed dating event to share their success stories. With 11 people in attendance it was an intimate crowd. Fast forward twelve months. Speed dating has had more than a dozen successful events, hundreds of matches, and lots of singles ditching their smartphones for some real face time.

Do Sask began with a goal to help people get connected on a deeper level to the community around them. With all the buzz, I’m sure you’re just as curious as I am about how speed dating has an impact on attendees once the event is over.

This week, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from two of my very first attendees, a lady named Kate* and a gentleman named George*, who are now in a long-term relationship.

Kate and George have been seeing each other since meeting at speed dating last year. When I asked them if they would let me interview them on their experience, they agreed. I talked to each interviewee separately and encouraged them to give honest answers.

Read on if you’re interested in learning about how a real speed dating match develops into a relationship.

GEORGE SAYS

“Speed dating for me was far better than using POF or Tinder, it was a lot more personal and allowed for a better chance at a good first impression.

I matched with Kate and we’re still together. We were friends for the first little bit and then started dating later in the year. I think the benefit of speed dating is putting people together in a room and taking away the ease of making a quick judgment call and moving on, it forces a bit of conversation and getting to know the other person a little bit more than you would see on a dating profile.”

KATE SAYS

“I am happy to say that George and I (whom I met that night) are still together. It was 7 months of being in a relationship as of April 1st. We wanted to be friends for a little bit once we met and he asked me to start a relationship on September 1st at the fireworks festival.

I’m so happy I took a chance and went, took a chance and checked yes and I have you to thank 🙂 so Thank you! I hope that mine and George’s relationship continues to bloom and see where this adventure takes us :)”

What did you think about speed dating before you came?

George: “I heard about speed dating from the movies, but I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I was going in with an open mind.”

Kate: “Honestly the first thing that came to my mind was the scene in the movie Hitch when they have speed dating at the end of the movie. I knew it was meeting someone, you talk for a couple of minutes, then you go on to the next one. Check yes, or no. And if you match ‘yes’ you exchange numbers. I didn’t know what to expect as far as the kind of people I would meet, or anything like that.”

What did you want out of speed dating?

Continue reading “FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Catching up with a speed dating match one year later”

9 surprising ways starting patio season early is more refreshing than new socks

Crazy Cactus rooftop patio season

Patio season will soon be here! How do I know? It’s technically spring, it hasn’t snowed in 48 hours, and any moment now the temperature will rise above zero. I just know it! Get ready to release your shorts and flips flops from retirement.

Okay, maybe I’m jumping the gun. The thermometer is currently sitting at -16 as I type. 

But I’m hoping that one of our city’s restaurant or pub managers will see this post and open up for patio season within the next few weeks. If you close your eyes, some local decks channel the quaint bistro cafe vibe of Europe. Let’s give people a reason to feel like Saskatoon really is the Paris of the Prairies.

9 surprising reasons to start patio season early:

Feel outdoorsy without getting eaten alive by mosquitos and hornets.

Last summer was really bad for bugs in the city of Saskatoon. Name any kind of annoying insect – flies, wasps, mosquitos – and my sweet nectar-filled pint glass attracted them. Get out there early to avoid the insects before they’re back in full-force.

Being the first to find a new, unknown patio is like winning a free mini-getaway with all your friends.

With one caveat: getting there before the masses find out about it.
The feeling of having an entire patio to yourself is quite liberating. You have the space to enjoy with friends… until someone says something and word spreads.

Make nice with the servers to potentially get top priority come summer.

Relationships are everything in the restaurant and bar industry. So treat your favourite patio bartenders and wait staff with the respect they deserve. They may remember you when the deck is packed this summer and it’s between you and that douche snapping their fingers.
Tips for bonding with industry peeps: ask about how their day is going and listen to the answer, give them genuine compliments when deserved, tip them a minimum 15% gratuity for a job well done, and avoid stereotypical asshole behaviour.

Start working on your tan before everyone else.

Okay, negative temperatures aren’t the best for sunbathing. But who says it won’t warm up in a fortnight? Once it gets above zero, the sleeveless tees are coming out! Make sure you bring layers to wear once the sun goes down. Remember: east-facing is better for morning brunch, and west-facing is better for sunsets.

People watch those unlucky souls who have to trudge through mud and slush.

Gif from gfycat.com

Cheers to avoiding mud puddles and potholes for an hour or two!

Rooftop patios with their own bars are lit! (When I say ‘lit’ I mean usually heated.)

Image result for crazy cactus patio saskatoon
Photo via Crazy Cactus on Yelp.ca

You won’t have to move a muscle ’cause the bartender keeps drinks flowing and the heater keeps you cozy. Sit, drink, repeat!

Day drinking begins every weekend at 11 AM!

Forget waiting around all day to head to a club at 11 PM. Seize the day and get home at a decent hour. (That’s the 30-year-old, getting-in-bed-before-10-PM, waking-up-without-a-hangover voice inside me talking.)
My favourite patio season day drinks include bulldogs, margaritas, sangrias, and gringos!

Have a sunny bunch on the patio complete with mimosas and chicken n’ waffles.

My favourite brunch at Elk Ridge Lodge.

Anyone who doesn’t love chicken n’ waffles is no friend of mine.

Horseshoe, or corn-hole games don’t need green grass.

Set up some lawn games on a patio and you’ll have plenty of fun – mower/shovel not required!

Patio season should start refreshingly early, Saskatoon. There may be snow and ice on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and convince your neighbourhood patio to open early for the season. Tell ’em it will make you feel better than putting on a new pair of socks. They won’t say no!

Saskatoon spots to inspire you this patio season:

Boffins Public House, University
Original Joe’s, 8th Street
Somewhere Else Pub & Grill, Avalon
Yard & Flagon, Broadway
The Hose & Hydrant Brew Pub, Broadway
PiNK Lounge & Nightclub, Downtown
Crazy Cactus, Downtown
O’Shea’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Cathedral Social Hall, Downtown
Una Pizza & Wine, Broadway
Las Palapas Resort Grill, Broadway
Amigos Cantina, Broadway
Finn’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Browns Socialhouse, Stonebridge
Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill, Stonebridge
Shift Restaurant, Downtown

So, which patios are on the top of your list in saskatoon?  JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.

Never miss a post. Sign up for the Do Sask newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox. Check the Date Ideas page for more things to do in Saskatoon.

What to Order at Saskatchewan’s Favourite Hidden Gem Bakeries

Saskatchewan's favourite hidden gem bakeries

It wouldn’t be Easter weekend without bread, sugar, and butter, #amiright? Somehow this combination pairs extremely well with the resurrection of Christ. And these hidden gem bakeries in Saskatchewan know it!

If you’re looking to get your carb-load on this weekend, you’ve stumbled on the right post. Whether you’re dreaming of hot crossed buns, or looking for a fresh-made loaf of sourdough, Saskatchewan is home to some of the best selection you’ll find in Canada.

Hit the road to a place where people come together to enjoy the best-of breads and sweets. These destination hidden gem bakery treats* come to you from a recommendation thread in the Travel in Saskatchewan Facebook group, amalgamating hundreds of Facebook reviews, word of mouth (same, same, but different?), and personal experience.

You may be too late to order these for Easter dinner, but it’s never too late to sample them on your next road trip. Stock up on hidden gem baked goods from around the province.

*Most of these bakery treats don’t have many pictures to accompany them, so you’re going to have to trust me on these. Better yet, you could take a picture, hashtag #dosask, and share your experience with me!

Here’s what you should order from hidden gem bakeries in Saskatchewan:

 


Honey Sourdough from Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon
Iced Bismarks at Golden Grain in Melfort
Boston Creams from Wadena/Watrous Bakery (same family recipe)
Doughnuts from Family Bakery in Nipawin

Cheesecake from The Shop Bakery and Deli Maple Creek
Sticky buns from Crossroads Gas Station in Wakaw
Cinnamon buns from Waskesiu Trading Company Store and Bakery
Chocolate dipped donuts from Theodore’s Bakery in Martensville

Cinnamon buns. Need we say more?

A post shared by City Perks Coffeehouse (@cityperkscoffee) on

Cinnamon buns from City Perks in Saskatoon
Sourdough from Earth Bound Bakery and Delicatessen in Saskatoon
Wood-fired bread from The Night Oven Bakery in Saskatoon
Cream Puffs from Valley Bake & Coffee Shop in Fort Qu’Appelle

Do our grain farmers help make our bread the best in the west? Does a bear love cinnamon buns? Yes and yes.

With all of this delicious local baking, I smell a Do Sask bus tour of hidden gem bakeries in the works. Do I have enough bread-loving doers to make this a thing?

Where do you go for hidden gem baking? JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.

Sign up here for the Do Sask email and follow the Facebook feed to liven up your life with the best in local dating, food, and fun.

Ride Along on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour Experience: Here’s Where Your Ticket Will Take You

9 Mile Saskatoon Brewery Tour

Each Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience has three hours, a city of breweries, and a few dozen mouthfuls of microbrew to swallow.

When you REALLY love local drinks a Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience makes building memories of microbrew easy.

Brewery tours are gaining in popularity across North America. People want to support passionate local producers and get to know the makers behind them. They also want to taste different flavours that won’t necessarily come on tap at your run-of-the-mill pub.

Most folks mistakenly believe that their beloved drink of choice is craft beer when it’s more likely owned by “big beer” corporations. But this isn’t an article on big beer vs. craft beer. Stops on the Saskatoon Brewery Tour are classified as microbreweries

Psst… You can look up your fav beer here to see if it’s actually craft brewed.

You also have bourbon and gin tasting options for added variety. So go ahead and argue about which local brewer or distiller makes the best micro-sip – you have a chance to sample and rate them all with the founders of each company guiding your tour. That’s something a lot of other big city brewery tours simply can’t offer. Saskatoon’s small brewery owners are a passionate bunch!

Taste your way through the unique flavours concocted right here in the Paris of the Prairies. This is what you can expect while on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour.

Your driver will either pick you up from your home (private), or you can meet them at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market (public) at the start of your tour. From there you’ll head out to three different microbreweries in and around Saskatoon.

Here’s what you can expect as you ride along on a Saskatoon Brewery Tour experience:

9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co.

Garrett 9 Mile Legacy Saskatoon Brewery TourWhat began as a nanobrewhouse in 2015 has grown to a space five times as big with a huge heart for the community of Riversdale. Co-founders Garrett and Shawn got the name from their family farms being located about 9 miles apart. Expect the same small-town vibe while on tour and enjoy light fare from their menu.

Paddock Wood Brewing Co.

Award-winning head brewer and founder of Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery, Steve Cavan, fell into brewing after an early search produced no results for good craft beer in the early ‘90s.  Paddock Wood eventually took off locally in 2004 after years of dabbling in mail-order grain and home brewing kit sales.

Currently, Paddock Wood’s “Heartstopper” chocolate stout is winning the best sample beer among Saskatoon Brewery Tour guests.

Crossmount Cider Co.

Crossmount Cider Saskatoon Brewery TourOne sip and you’ll have a crush on dem apples! According to their website, Crossmount’s been supplying batches of Flatlander hard cider to Saskatchewan since 2016. They’re located just outside of town with enough room to grow into their own on-site apple orchard. For now, Crossmount gets all of their fruit from the Okanagan Valley in B.C., Canada. They wash, press, and ferment on site with many different flavours added for diversity.

Note: Crossmount is temporarily closed for tours due to increased production.

Steps Bourbon Lounge

Saskatoon Brewery TourWhile not a microbrewery, the folks at Steps Bourbon Lounge have over 30 kinds of American whiskey stocked and ready for tasting. Your bartender will walk you through how to sample straight liquor alongside a crafted cocktail. Plus, there’s plenty of smoked nuts to go around if you’re starting to feel peckish.

Prairie Sun Brewery

You might be greeted by a friendly golden retriever named Buddy as you walk through this stop. CEO and owner, Heather Williams, is originally from Colorado – a utopia for craft beer lovers. She joined forces with brew master, Cameron, who’s a born and raised Saskie (Humbolt) to start their own brewery in 2013. Prairie Sun has a full menu with pub fare.

High Key Brewing Co.

Saskatoon Brewery Tour Experience High Key Brewing Co. The newest stop on the Saskatoon Brewery Tour is already getting top grades from tour guests. High Key likes to talk about their notes of beers – get it?  (I like puns.) Founder & President Madeline Conn was inspired by the Dallas craft beer scene. She and brewmaster Daniel Rommens moved back to their shared hometown of Saskatoon to build their dream together. They have plenty of games like giant Jenga and crokinole to play as you sip.

Black Fox Farm & Distillery

Home of the world’s best cask gin. Founders John and Barb are not only award-winning gin makers, but lifelong farmers. Black Fox Farm takes pride in growing over 90% of their ingredients on site. They have regular seasonal events where you can get hands-on with all that they grow.

Challenge: See if you can taste which one of three samples took home the top prize!

So, which three stops would you want to check out on your Saskatoon Brewery tour Experience?

Learn more about Saskatoon Brewery Tours and find out when the next public tour is booked. Sign up for the Do Sask newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox.

Pick 10: Winter Date Ideas to do Indoors in Saskatoon

Woman looking out over city at dusk

Saskatoon may be known for its extreme sub-zero temperatures, but this post isn’t about the weather. You can get through some of the coldest days of the year without giving up and hibernating if you put a bit of thought into your winter date ideas.

This week, I asked Do Sask’s private group members if they prefer indoor or outdoor activities during the winter. It was no surprise that the winner by a landslide was indoor.

So in the spirit of the group’s choice, I’m inviting you to try some new things while the weather is keeping you locked up indoors. This post gives you ideas on where to go to do everything from laser tag and axe throwing to making laser cuts and painting pottery.

Here are my top winter date ideas in Saskatoon.

Got cabin fever? Make a plan to get active indoors with these winter date ideas:

Pretend you’re in a real-life shooter video game.

In a little over 30 minutes, you’ll get your codename, backpack, and laser gun and run around forming a team with other players. Each laser tag game is 15 minutes in length. BONUS: you won’t come out of it with welts like you would with paintball.

Where: Prairie Jurassic Family Fun Centre

Hurl an axe like a lumberjack (beard and flannel not required).

When my friends ask me for a memorable first date idea I always recommend Timberjaxe. Not only will you learn how to swing a throwing axe into a giant wooden tree trunk target, you’ll get to know whether your date is adventurous or not. That beats dinner and a movie any day of the week.

Where: Timberjaxe Throwing Sports

Make your date do flips up the walls for you.

I’m not the only one who’s dreamed of a world full of trampoline floors. The good news is that there’s a place in Saskatoon that’s making it happen one jump at a time. Go during open jump hours, or Club Apex where DJs spin and disco lights cascade across the entire park.

Tip: 30 minutes is really all you need to wear yourself out if you’re an adult. But if you’ve got a bit more energy you can book up to 2 hours here.

Where: Apex Trampoline Park Ltd.

Scale up the cliffs of Saskatchewan…

When was the last time you climbed up the walls? If you can only remember doing it when you were a kid, it’s probably time you tried rock climbing. With a combination of top rope, lead, and boulders, Grip It is Saskatoon’s rock climbing facility. You can go with your date, or try it solo since they have auto belays to hold your rope and plenty of rental gear to get you started.

Where: Grip It Indoor Rock Climbing

Yell fore in the middle of winter at the province’s only indoor golf dome.

Most of the golf courses in town are now cross-country ski destinations, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your game on pause. Take advantage of off season and hit the range. With over 37 driving ranges in a temperature-controlled environment you likely won’t have a problem finding time to drop-in for some practice.

Where: The Golf Dome

Speaking of golf… Mar’s Mini Golf is an indoor, ocean-themed, 3D glow course. Just sayin’!

Now that you’ve worked up a sweat you can get crafty at these 6 DIY-lover locales:

Supplies ain’t cheap, so this place is making it more accessible to art.

When you’re scraping by getting artsy is a luxury – especially when supplies run you hundreds of dollars. SCYAP is a Saskatoon non-profit that provides a place to get creative for little to no cost to you. All-ages drop ins are Tuesday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can also register for a workshop or class on whichever type of medium interests you.

Where: SCYAP

Art doesn’t have to be so intimidating for newbies.

Pop in for some free doodling time, or get to know the intricacies of linocuts. Creative Commons is a non-profit dedicated to providing the tools you need to immerse yourself in arts and crafts. They run regular workshops in a variety of artistic techniques for beginners to the more experienced.

Where: Creative Commons/Void Gallery

Up your maker game by learning how to use high-end technology.

So you want to get even more hands on with your crafts than ever? You don’t have to dump thousands of dollars into your own machine shop. Take advantage of the full lineup of tools and other equipment to make things like decals and wood furniture. Membership, events, and drop-in rates available.

Where: Saskatoon Makerspace

Is your date a foodie in training? Help them take their cooking skills to 100.

Visit the sophisticated clubhouse that lets you get hands-on for sustenance’s sake. The Local Kitchen is a collaborative space where you can learn how to cook with others. Check out any one of their upcoming events, or apply to teach one yourself. (Be quick. Many of their events sell out!)

Where: The Local Kitchen

A workshop space where you’re only limited by your own imagination.

Pick a piece of pottery, or canvas and paint it any way you like. Wet Paint Pottery is a place to drop in for a little relaxed craft work. If you think you aren’t creative enough – think again! Choose from many designs for beginners… and no one will judge you if you want to get a little subversive with your cursive.

Where: Wet Paint Pottery

Produce your own movie, or print a huge photo.

That blockbuster movie script you wrote back in high school now has a chance to be produced. Rent the studio to create any type of new media project from photography to audio production. There are many different free, or nearly-free workshops if you don’t know where to begin.

Note: PAVED Arts is not for business use, so anything made must be for passion’s sake.

Where: PAVED Arts

I challenge you to do at least half of these winter date ideas before the snow melts. You can do it! And if you finish them all and want to try something else, Do Sask has plenty of indoor events for cold days: brewery tours, speed dating, and craft parties.

DO YOU LIKE THESE WINTER date ideas FOR THE BEST INDOOR ACTIVITIES IN SASKATOON, OR DID I MISS YOUR FAVOURITE? JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.
Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your favourite indoor winter activity.

Make $100 Fast this February at Remai Modern: How Art is Paying You in More Than Exposure

Japanese culture crash course at What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me.

Learn how to make $100 fast at Remai Modern before February 27, 2018. 

These days, there’s a way better way to earn some cash for your talents than waiting for some bozo to pay you in “exposure”. Sharing your knowledge is a critical part in helping you grow beyond helping others understand new concepts. It’s so important to Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn that he will pay you $100.00 if you can teach him something he doesn’t know.

Up for the challenge?

Thomas’s limited-time immersive exhibit What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. at the Remai Modern is encouraging visitors to present workshops about anything and everything.

Posted on the interior wall is a piece of cardboard with a long list of at least 50 new things Thomas has learned since opening day last weekend (January 27, 2018). Do the math: that’s $5,000.00 paid to people who knew something he didn’t. One man has been back at least four times this week and has subsequently earned $400.00 for sharing his wisdom. 

What can you teach to make $100 fast?

Anything, really. Thomas says, “It can be whistling, it can be a dance, perhaps another language… From a human being to another human being — just one to one” (CBC News).

If you’re a little intimidated by Thomas, don’t be. He believes art should be free. It’s an attitude that’s in stark contrast to the elitist crowd that modern art tends to attract. Thomas is accessible and engaging. He will be hanging out at the exhibit from open ’til close throughout the month.

Thomas is hoping to create lasting experiences through this exhibit, according to this CBC News story.

What can you learn?

Some of the past workshops from this week include: bead work, Cree language, Manga, artificial flatulence (a.k.a. armpit farts), and a Japanese culture crash-course (pictured below).

Japanese culture crash course at What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me.

Strewn all over the Remai’s ground floor Connect Gallery are computers, tools, markers, paint, brushes, paper, etc., so you can get hands on away from the workshops. Draw on the walls, carve Styrofoam, or photocopy your… face. It’s all in the name of art. 

This Friday night, I brought my Swedish weaving project in hopes of earning $100.00. There was no way it was going to happen with the amount of people lined up ahead of me! My advice would be to go early if you’re planning on teaching. 

Due to the long lineups, some folks won’t get a chance to teach. However if you take part in a workshop you’re entitled to one of Thomas’s handmade “ART IS FREE” packing tape bracelets that give you free access to the rest of the gallery. (No need to wait until Free at Remai on February 19.)

Art is Free Bracelets

Teaching and learning something new sounds like a great way to spend a date night in Saskatoon, doesn’t it? Get to What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. before it closes on February 27, 2018.

What are you going to teach Thomas at Remai Modern? Join the DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP to tell us, or stay anonymous and email info@dosask.com.
Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook to let our community know what you love doing in Saskatoon.

The 5 Biggest Speed Dating Blunders You Should Avoid

Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.

Now that Do Sask has passed the milestone of over a dozen speed dating events in Saskatoon, I’ve gotten to interact with hundreds of singles. Many of them are frustrated with the modern dating scene. As a professional speed dating host, I see the differences between the people who are successful in finding their match and the ones who aren’t. This post is about the five biggest speed dating blunders that all attendees should avoid.

What has really stood out to me during the past year is the behavior patterns that interrupt match potential. These can be improved with a little effort. My hope is that everyone who doesn’t know what to expect will read this, so that they know what to avoid doing at speed dating.

If you’ve attended a speed dating event in Saskatoon, you already know that it can be a really fun way to meet new people. Let’s keep it that way by steering clear of the most common speed dating don’ts.

Here are five of the biggest speed dating blunders you should totally avoid:

Setting sky-high expectations before you arrive.

 

There’s an entire segment of the (completely dateable) single population that may take you by complete surprise. Instant attraction is not a good indicator of match potential. Choose to get to know someone better if you like what they have to say.

Long-term compatibility is a whole lot more complex than visceral attraction. Keep your mind open to forming a more meaningful bond with the people you meet. You never know how the sparks could fly if you won’t take the time to find out more.

No one is perfect. And meeting someone who immediately checks all the boxes is a rare thing indeed. Plus, I don’t screen everyone who buys a ticket to be perfect for you. That’s the beauty of it!

Listen to your gut. That 4 minutes is designed to make it an easy choice for you.

Neglecting to show off your best side.

Before every speed dating event, I send a message with a few friendly reminders to attendees. One of the most important things on the list is to show up as your best self. 

There is no dress code at speed dating because I want people to be completely comfortable. However if being comfortable means you haven’t taken care of your basic hygiene, or kept stained/tattered clothing in your wardrobe – that’s a speed dating blunder.

Putting in a bit of effort not only shows your dates that you care about yourself, but it could make a difference in your match results.

Lacking the ability to live in the moment.

When you sign up for speed dating you’re indicating that you’ll be present for 2 hours. It’s a speed dating blunder to constantly check your watch, tear through Q & As, and forget to give your full attention to the task at hand: your 4 minute dateFocus on each person at a time to get the most potential out of the night.

For example, I will never forget the speed dater who asked every 4 dates when speed dating was over, so they could go to the next event they had planned that night. They even brought a friend who had to wait for them to finish in the pub downstairs.

Your dates will notice if you seem like you’re in a rush to get on to the next thing. If you’re stuck on how to break the cycle of distraction, check out this article.

Letting your nerves get the best of your confidence.

Everyone is a little nervous at speed dating. It’s totally normal to feel that way, but you’re in control of how you behave. It should come as no surprise that assertive people tend to get the most matches.

Aggressive behaviour such as calling out your date for an innocent comment, or asking way too-personal questions is a no-no. People avoid those who are too hostile towards others, even if it’s a joke.

On the other hand, when one of the dates makes up their mind that they’re not worthy of the other person’s attention, they “give up too soon”. This can creep up after the event has ended. For instance, when you have your match’s contact details in your inbox and you decide to text/email instead of setting up your first real (i.e. over 4 minute) date.

Spoiler alert: your match wants to be asked out! The best thing to do with your match’s contact details is to set up a date at a time that works for both of you.

Giving everyone a shot… and losing yourself in the process.

In contrast to my first point on high expectations, some will want to connect with everyone they meet at speed dating. This is what I call “the shotgun approach”.

Attendees who mark every date as a ‘yes’ or ‘friend’ email me overwhelmed. They say they don’t know where to start and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

There’s a reason you have the option to mark someone a ‘no’. One of the most valuable lessons speed dating taught me was learning that not everyone is for me.  I talk about this point in nearly every speed dating introduction ‘how-to’.

Remember: dates you mark as a ‘yes’ could likely mark you as a ‘yes’. Be cognizant of that when you’re finalizing your decision after every 4 minute date. 

Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid these speed dating blunders. I hope these tips will help you improve your results the next time you attend a Do Sask speed dating event.

Do you have a speed dating blunder? Join the DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP to share yours, or stay anonymous and email info@dosask.com.
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Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.
The people pictured above have nothing to do with the “speed dating blunders” topic of this post.

Kick Start the New Year: These Habits Help You Keep that Fresh Feeling Every Day

Simple habits to help you kick start the new year

This post is about simple ways to keep that fresh, hopeful feeling alive all year long. These habits will improve your mood and help you kick start the new year everyday of the week. Think of this advice as a reset button you can press when you’re feeling like you need to.

Note: If you love making resolutions, this article probably isn’t right for you.

New Year’s Eve can be one of the most hopeful nights of the year. You have a few drinks, spend time with your favourite people, and watch the ball drop/fireworks (or look it up on YouTube). There’s a super-connectedness with the people and the world around you in those fleeting moments.

So why would you let a resolution put a damper on your spirit?

All of the explosive joy can come crashing down as soon as the clock hits 12:01. Some of us feel anxious about the year ahead while others are too lit to notice the difference. If you’re from the former group, you may lay awake in bed coming up with ways you want to be better in the New Year. (If you’re in the latter group you will likely wake up in the afternoon singing sea shanties… but that’s a topic for another post.)

Self-proclaimed resolutions only set you up for failure. Only 8% of people actually keep theirs. So why are we wasting time making ourselves feel icky about who we are? You deserve to feel good throughout your day-to-day life, no matter what day it is.

Kick start the new year and get a fresh start all year long with these simple life hacks:

Get a new haircut

Back in 2015, I decided to kick start the new year by donating my hair that had grown for over 4 years to charity. It was at a hair college with a student that took over 3 hours to cut it all off. At the time, I was super nervous about letting go of my locks. Surprisingly, I’ve kept my shoulder length since then. Who says I can’t change my mind and snip it again any day of the week?

For under $50 at most salons, ask your hairdresser to give you a new look. Maybe it’s as simple as a nice trim, or perhaps you want to go from long to short. If you’re a dude, you can treat yourself to a professional shave or beard shaping. Whatever you’ve been waiting to try, do it! You may not recognize yourself, but that’s the point! Remember that hair always grows back.

Toss your old undies

Ladies, do the panties in your drawer have a stained crotch, ripped elastic, or fraying hem? Guys, do your boxer-briefs have holes in the crotch and skid marks?

We all have a pair that’s been worn one too many days. And yeah, you may only keep them around for certain days of the month, or laundry day. How do you feel when you put them on again and again and again? Likely, not as saucy and confident as you once did.

It’s time to release them out into the world. (I’m having flashbacks to that season of Orange is the New Black.)

There’s no denying that used up undies definitely aren’t going to make you feel fresh. So toss them now before you forget you’re wearing them on a date that’s going well…

Sort the pile of paper

The mountain of crap – bills, letters, receipts, etc. – that’s been sitting on your desk, kitchen table, or nightstand needs regular attention.

I tend to hoard receipts and handwritten notes. Last year, I spent several days of my Christmas holiday tallying them up on a spreadsheet. This year, I made an effort to regularly sort the pile when it got too large. Now I’m way ahead on organization come tax time. And I got more time to read and bake cookies over the holidays!

I still have a manageable pile on my desk. Baby steps!

Brush & floss your teeth

How good does it feel to have smooth pearly whites before you go to work and when you go to bed? Fang-tastic.

I resisted purchasing an electric toothbrush for most of my life. Since I started using mine around two years ago it’s made an impact come dentist time. Flossing regularly has also made a huge difference. I’d prefer not sitting in the dental hygienist’s chair any longer than I have to!

Make the bed

According to Psychology Today, bed makers are happier than those who don’t make their beds. It turns out that taking 30 seconds to accomplish something small before starting your day tricks your mind into maintaining other good habits.

When I was a kid my grandma taught me how to make hospital corners (she is a trained nurse), so I take pride in trying to make mine like she taught me.

Maybe this isn’t your thing and that’s okay! I’ve had debates with friends about making beds in the past, so I know there’s no convincing people who like messy beds.

Pick up that hobby you’ve forgotten

A hobby takes your mind away from the daily grind and onto something completely outside of your work, relationships, and obligations. It’s all about giving you pleasure in your off time. When I work on my hobbies it takes me to a state of flow. (Learn more about how to find your own flow point here.)

  • That canvas and paintbrush kit? They look like they need some colour.
  • The beautiful yarn? It could make a nice toque.
  • How about the bow and arrow? It’s time to hit the target.

A number of craft projects that I’ve never finished are in a bag in the basement. For example, I’ve got all the panels cut and prepared to make a t-shirt quilt, but no sewing machine. I like that I have a bunch of things in the works to pick up at any time when I need a pick-me-up.

Write something down

As a full-time writer I sift through a tonne of details every day, so tasks like “call doctor” might get forgotten for weeks. My brain has a funny way of retaining information.

What’s worse is when something nags at you inside for a long time. It’s called repetitive ruminating and it’s not good for your health at all. Putting those thoughts into words is a great way to dump them and either: a) fix ’em, or b) forget ’em.

I don’t want to say write a journal, because that can be a daunting chore for most. In my own personal experience it has been freeing to write one or two sentences. Some people use bullet journals which are designed for efficiency and mindfulness. It’s fun to look back on the things that excited me, or tore me up inside.

Get outside and/or off of your butt

If the gym ain’t your thing, don’t feel pressured to go. Do something that gets you up and out of your chair.

I’ve tried lots of things over the years including kettlebells, kickboxing, belly dancing, cycle commuting, acro yoga, dance classes, running, rollerblading, skating, skiing, snow showing, tobogganing… and the list goes on. Don’t let the cold weather stop you – unless it’s frigid enough to make hot water evaporate into thin air.

If you really don’t want to get moving, then remind yourself of those stress-busting endorphins. Once you’re done moving, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Prayer and/or positive affirmations

When I’m too in my head and up to my eyeballs in overwhelm I need to be reminded to stop and let it go. The best way for me to do that is to pray. Again, prayer might not be for you. But letting go of your worries is freeing.

How do you pray? Some speak out loud, some think, some sing, some memorize, some read, some have conversations.

Benefits of prayer include improving self-control, increasing trust and lowering stress, according to Psychology Today.

Put your phone away

There’s no denying that most people are addicted to their smartphones. And it causes major damage to our personal relationships and health. If you can’t cut it out cold turkey and replace it with a flip phone, you’ll have to come up with ways to wean yourself off of it to detox.

One way is to take an hour before bed each night to do something without your phone. Plug it in to charge in another room and buy yourself an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up without it.

Making time to disconnect is one of the best daily gifts I give myself. Try it yourself!

Most importantly: do what feels best for you.

Here’s hoping that these ideas help you kick start the New Year every day of 2018! Become a VIP to get more ideas like these and updates about events delivered to your inbox.

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