My husband and I are one of few neighbours on our block who like to decorate for spooky season. So we set out to find a few more displays to get into the Halloween spirit.
Now that we’ve got a new home, we’re looking forward to building a better display year after year.
From what I’ve found, there aren’t as many light displays on the east side of Saskatoon as there are on the west side of the city. I created both west side and east side google map tours of must-see houses and neighbourhoods you need to see this Halloween, from the comfort of your vehicle.
555 Sebestyen Crescent 114 Adilman Drive 427 A.E. Adams Way 902 33rd Street East 1905 Richardson Road 300 Korol Crescent 503 Coad Crescent 100 Block Kirkpatrick Crescent 78 McDougal Crescent Hughes Drive Lisgar Avenue 505 Avenue S North 710 Matheson Drive 500 Appleby Drive
We’re looking to add more stops to our Halloween tour next year. Email your submissions, with a photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be removed from this list, or you notice an address that isn’t participating, let me know and I will update it.
This post captures photos of my spring and summer in Saskatchewan during quarantine. It’s intended to help you add to your own bucket list of places to explore and things to do in your immediate community. Uncover the beauty that’s right under your nose.
I haven’t left Saskatchewan since February, so all of my bucket list remains within provincial borders.
Before I get to the good stuff, here’s a personal note on the how quarantine has affected my life.
Like many folks in the world, this year isn’t going exactly as I had planned.
2020 started strong with great attendance at my early events. I had been working on creating a new program for members looking to build real connections in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. Then, it all disappeared overnight.
After March 12, I chose to cancel live events as attendee safety is my top priority. I was telling folks that I hoped to be back in April! In hindsight, I was naïve about how long this would last. Last week, my heart broke when I heard that physical distancing could last two or three more years. Our culture is forever changed to pre- and post-coronavirus. Anything that happened before that day in March now feels like ancient history.
Losing the opportunity to meet people and help them connect in person feels strange. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy writing about our prairie city, nerdy things, alternative activities, local travel, love, and lifestyle. But you, the community, fuel my energy, passion, and commitment to keep moving forward. It gives me such a rush to see your smiling faces in person – I don’t need corona to affirm that.
While exploring different styles of events, I discovered hosting and organizing live events where you can have a space to meet new, like-minded people is something I want to do on a professional level. I don’t regret one minute of it and I hope that someday I’ll be able to do it again, safely.
Fortunately, I have a supportive husband, friends, and family who’ve made the past five months easier. I haven’t been able to attend and host events like I normally would, but I’ve set personal and professional goals that give me renewed purpose.
Saskatchewan Photo Bucket List
I took all of these photos on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S8).
Hunt for Saskatchewan’s wild flora
Walk along a prairie landscape where the sky takes your breath away
Watch coy fish peacefully swimming at Boffins Garden
Explore abandoned places of yesterday
Take a day trip to a place you’ve never been before
Soak in the sun at a nearby beach
Camp with an adventurous friend in Grieg Lake
Pick fresh Saskatoon berries in your very own physically distanced row
There are many beautiful places across this province that didn’t make it onto the photo bucket list because I was too busy enjoying the moment without my phone in hand.
This year has reinforced the fact that nothing is ever certain. You never know when life as you know it will take a detour, but your mindset will always impact how you move forward.
As Saskatchewan re-opens, you should expect to find more regular posts from me. I will continue sharing content that supports the tourism, events, and hospitality industry. You can check the Do Sask Facebook Group for daily updates on local events.
I will also publish content and work hard to offer alternative events related to making the best of this time at home. We aren’t out of the woods yet.
Someday I’ll look back on 2020 with a teary-eyed smile. I miss you so much and I want to see you (standing 6 feet away) again.
Since completing the first month of lockdown, I’ve had several weeks to try out a tonne of unique and entertaining activities that are keeping me busy doing things I enjoy. By now, you know that tuning in to ‘living room’ concerts is an opportunity to get your fix of musical entertainment. And streaming the latest from Netflix has its place, too. The following ideas are different because they move you from an audience member to an active performer in your own entertainment.
In my last post, I mentioned that it’s important to schedule a routine that includes fun activities, giving yourself breaks from the constant media stream and work from home tasks that dominate your day. Make an appointment with yourself to unwind creatively. Some of the links go to support independent businesses in Saskatoon. Here are some options that you may not have tried yet:
20+ CREATIVE WAYS TO UNWIND DURING PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Design a neighbourhood full of your dream homes in the Sims 4.
Order a themed takeout meal from your favourite restaurant to match your movie choice.
Take a country drive and sing along to your favourite road trip songs. I like driving down to Whitecap Dakota First Nation for a short break. Blackstrap and Diefenbaker/Outlook would make a nice longer drive. It’s the cheapest time to get out on the open road.
In mid-March, when Canada was in the initial stages of coronavirus lock down, my life felt out of control. On top of the external stress of a worldwide pandemic, I began an internal battle. My mood dipped, anxious thoughts kept me awake, my phone was at my face throughout the day (and night), my go-to after-work hydration was alcohol, my facial skin was dry and sore, and I felt drowsy.
I know I’m not alone. This pandemic is as much a mental health crisis as it is a public health crisis.
I had to remind myself about my personal routine; a weekly schedule of healthy habits that I created about six months ago. I originally designed it to help organize the internal clutter of my day-to-day and it has become a mainstay in the midst of uncertain times. My personal routine is comforting. Some days, it’s the only thing that can bring my focus back again.
This post is about how creating a personal routine could help improve your focus when life is a chaotic mess.
It has taken me years to determine how to set professional boundaries with myself and others. I balance self-employment with part-time employment. This requires a blend of working environments, but I’m mostly working from home. My biggest struggle with working from home is that it often leads to my needs being placed on the back-burner. Scheduling a personal routine helps me focus on my daily tasks while finally putting my health first.
Last fall, I developed a structured weekly routine that makes my wellbeing a priority. My routine has changed three times since. It changed after the coronavirus crisis. And I can guarantee it will change again before this is over.
Set Your Top Weekly Goals
When I accomplish my goals, I feel more in control of my life.
I set two major weekly goals: planning and preparing meals, and working out at least four times. I put both my meal plan and my workout plan in writing, so that I don’t have to constantly think about what I am going to do.
An added benefit of organizing meal prep is that our weekly grocery list is created at the same time. Now that we’re limited to one trip per week as the current recommendation, meal prep continues to make grocery trips focused and efficient.
Activity is also shown to improve mood and immunity, among its other positive benefits.
Seek Outside Support
Outside support means asking someone else for help to achieve your goals. If you live with your support person – wonderful! If not, seek encouragement and accountability from family, friends, and loved ones.
My husband has taken initiatives that make keeping our lifestyle easier and more connective. So far, he’s created a shared habit tracker chart; committed to being the household grocery guy; walks the neighbourhood with me daily; joins in guided mediations; and joins in virtual yoga. Having a supportive partner helps me maintain my personal routine long-term.
MY PERSONAL WEEKLY ROUTINE
Feel free to use my weekly routine to build your own framework. I deliberately left out my work schedule and specific times so that you could create a weekly personal routine that’s unique to you. The point is that you create a routine that works right now, and plan to review and update every few months.
Spiritual Community Meal prep 4 hours preparing meals for the week Optional walk Personal grooming
Book Club x1/mo. Volunteer x1/mo. 60 min walk Phone family member
Read Full body HIIT circuit Text an old friend
Additional Meal Prep Leg day
Read Dance drills 30 min walk Friend date
Bike and abs Date night or game night with friends
Pilates 30 min cardio Clean floors dust organize clutter Meal plan, create grocery list Fun afternoon activity
All activities and dates happen remotely from home. I haven’t seen my friends and family in person in over three and a half weeks. I miss your hugs and your faces. I can’t wait to see you again.
During the coronavirus lockdowns, my routine has become a source of comfort. This new lifestyle makes it easier to focus on taking care of my health. I’m grateful to past-me for carving this path and present-me for choosing to stick with it through unprecedented times.
waking up at a set time
taking a shower, brushing and flossing, applying face moisturizer
getting dressed in work clothes (weekdays) or comfy clothes (weekends)
30 minutes minimum of physical activity
keeping phone in a separate room
drinking lots of fluids
planning for social connection
eating meals at regular times together
limiting alcohol consumption
making space for quiet time
Daily habit tracking seems insignificant at the time, but seeing the pixelated chart in our kitchen gives me visual motivation to be consistent everyday.
A personal routine is a source of comfort when the world is very uncertain. It gives my mind a chance to focus on what needs to be done each day and stop trying to manage everything internally. If you have been experiencing multiple weeks like my first week of lockdown, I encourage you to take some time to focus on what’s important to you. Once you create a weekly personal routine, don’t forget to track your daily habits. Since starting my routine six months ago, my day-to-day life has changed my focus for the better. I have a feeling yours will too.
As a community programmer, I am choosing to be proactive about the health of my event attendees. I will not place unnecessary risks on attendees.
I haven’t posted in a few days as there has been much uncertainty worldwide. This week, many non-essential events around the world have been cancelled due to the health risk concerns with COVID-19.
Last night, I read the Government’s community-based measures to mitigate the spread of the disease. While the official direction for community programmers remains unclear, I’ve decided to postpone the upcoming book club scheduled for March 23 and to cancel Speed Dating scheduled for March 29.
Full refunds have been made and will appear back in your account within 7 days via Eventbrite.
My decision is in the best interest of my attendees. I cannot guarantee “social distancing” at my events, as the whole point is to get to know new people. I hope we’ll be back up and running in April. However, I’m working to create contingency plans for connecting remotely if that is not possible.
The wellness of attendees is my top priority.
In the interim, I hope to continue to feature a positive light on our province in these uncertain days ahead. If you have an uplifting story you want to share, please email me.
Alternative ways to connect to the Do Sask community:
The Junos are coming to town and they’re bringing the best of Canadian entertainment with them! Starting Thursday, March 12, it won’t be difficult to stumble upon amazing live music and stand-up shows across the city, culminating with the awards show on March 15. Additionally, most pubs and bars are celebrating St. Paddy’s Day that weekend.
sprinting towards the start of spring this March. Green thumbs are gearing up
for growing weather with Seedy Saturday
and Gardenscape just around the corner.
And for the offbeat, check out gong sound bath, naughty bingo, live performance artist Bridget Moser at Remai, or outdoor laughter yoga.
This month, find Do Sask at Speed Dating and Book Club. Look for details to all of these events in the massive monthly listing below. Check the Do Sask Facebook group for daily updates.
Sappy, dreamy, or quirky – your Valentine personality will help you determine where you’re spending your time this February in Saskatoon. From an ode to the vagine (Vagina Monologues) to a sausage party (King of Kovbasa) and everything in between… Okay, get your mind out of the gutter! It’s happening this month.
This February, find
Do Sask at Book Club. Look
for details to all of these events in the massive monthly listing below. Check
the Do Sask Facebook group for daily updates.
Today is #BellLetsTalk day, so I’ll explain how the first time I took myself solo dating totally changed my well being.
“Table for one, please.”
After surviving a particularly awful breakup, I was looking for moments to feel happy again. So I chose one of my favourite restaurants – a Greek spot called Spiro’s in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. I put on a fancy dress, did up my hair and makeup, and went out for the evening to dine alone.
Solo dating is ≠ to doing something alone
This solo dinner wasn’t the first time I had done something on my own. For example, I drove a moving truck over seven hundred of kilometers for a job opportunity at 18 years old. But taking myself on a date was different. It took place long before ‘solo dating’ and ‘self-partnered’ became buzzwords. At the time, a solo date wasn’t your run-of-the-mill singles activity.
When I arrived at the restaurant, I sat in my car contemplating the choice to walk through the front doors. Somehow I made it through the doors and I felt anxious waiting for my table. I immersed myself in the menu. Then, I went about my night quietly enjoying the delicious meal – a plate of Spiro’s famous Greek ribs. My anxiety decreased and I relaxed while observing other diners chatting with their friends and family.
I don’t remember having a smartphone to drown out my own thoughts or to fill the silence that was coming from the other side of the table. I can’t remember what else I’d planned for myself that evening after dinner, either. But I remember the moment I decided to take myself on a date very clearly. It was an internal transformation. I decided to stop waiting for people to show up for me and started showing up for myself. The self-esteem boost transferred into other areas of my life.
Later that same year, I took a solo trip outside of Canada with a group travel company. It was the first of many annual single travel adventures.
I find it much easier to meet new people when I’m alone. There’s a connectivity that develops when you meet other people who are also riding solo. When I’m with someone, establishing a connection to others isn’t always easy.
Learn to master your relationship with yourself
Solo dating helped me set new expectations for future suitors and gave me the confidence to love myself first. Learning how to master a healthy relationship with me trickled through to other relationships.
The capacity to love my alone time has affected my mental health throughout my life. It’s become a sacred part of who I am. Now, I’m more likely to choose things I want to do rather than waiting for someone else who may or may not join me. As an extrovert, being alone gives me an opportunity to interact with others which is key to filling up my energy.
Treating yourself to solo dating is a positive experience, not a lonesome one. Even if you have a spouse, spending time out of the house alone could change your well being, too.
Solo dating ideas in Saskatoon
So where are you going to go on your date for one in Saskatoon? Here are a few ideas:
Reserve a table at one of Saskatoon’s many fine restaurants
Take photos along the Meewasin Trail with a fresh perspective
Give yourself time to digest a new book at McNally Robinson Booksellers
Check out live theatre, concert, a festival, or a movie
Sign up for a DIY workshop
Book a night in a luxurious Saskatoon hotel room
Do you have other ideas for solo dating in Saskatoon?
Please support #BellLetsTalk day to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
This week, Western Canada is in the midst of an extremely cold winter vortex that’s keeping most of us indoors. Temperatures are diving as low as -51 C with wind chill in Saskatoon. But a snowpocalypse isn’t keeping one Canadian dad from inspiring all of us with a creative winter project in his own backyard.
Igloos are temporary snow huts historically tied to the Inuit peoples who craft them out of hard-packed snow. Chris Schrettlinger of Edmonton, Alberta started building ice igloos for his family last winter.
“When you get older there’s not a whole lot of fun in winter anymore. It’s miserable to drive to work. But my three young kids aren’t bothered by the cold.
I was so sick of being inside dreading the cold. I remembered the forts we tried to build when I was a kid that never really worked out. And I saw someone make something similar on Reddit years ago. So I made a small one last year and then decided to make a bigger one this year.
Our Edmonton winters haven’t been as bad as they were in the past and there hasn’t been a lot of snow. You would need a massive amount of snow to make a proper igloo. We don’t have that hard packed snow to make that style.”
How many hours of
labour did it take to complete it?
“I started freezing the ice five weeks ago at the beginning of December. It took about an hour or two at night on working days and about five or six hours on weekends. I’d say it took about 100 hours total. Just making the ice takes a lot of time.
The last time it was -36 C they froze in a few hours. It usually takes two days to freeze. And it needs the time to set in between the rows, so you can’t finish it with friends that help in a day. If I could sit on the edges of it, I’d start the next row.
It’s a time-intensive project. The kids get stuck with hauling all of the ice bricks over the backyard. I put a spotlight up and work at night until midnight.
I get obsessed with the project. My only caution is that it’s going to take a while. And you will get slightly depressed at least a few times. “
Do you have
experience working outdoors during the winter?
“I try to get outside and go to the rink or skiing. It’s hard to find a reason to go outside when it’s so cold. And I’ve built fences and such in the past.”
How big is the final
ice igloo of 2020?
“It’s 16 feet
across and seven feet high at its tallest point. There are about 300 ice
blocks. The bottom row is 56 blocks. It can probably fit 10 adults in there.
It’s taller than the fence. If you walk down the alley, you’ll see it. I’m the
only guy that has a canopy of lights and a massive igloo in the backyard.
What do you use to
stick the blocks together?
“You mix a mortar-consistency slush in a large plastic tub full of snow with about 20 litres of water.”
How were you able to
work in -30 C weather?
“Many, many layers of clothes. Long underwear, two pairs of sweatpants, snow pants, -50 boots, a parka, toque, and four layers of work gloves. I change gloves every 20 minutes. I have a surplus of gloves.”
What kind of pans do
you use to freeze the ice blocks?
“Disposable lasagna trays you get at any supermarket. It cost us about $50 in supplies from The Wholesale Club.”
I’m guessing you use
food colouring to make the colours. Is that correct?
“Yes. The food colouring is already in the tins. My wife runs a hose out the basement window and I fill up all of the tins with water. I don’t bother mixing the food colouring and water beforehand.”
How long do you hope
it will last?
“Last winter, it was melting during the first week in March. You could see the mortar start to melt. Then a huge section fell in and collapsed.”
Did your family make
igloos when you were a kid?
“I always made forts in the snow with my friends. I had two sisters and didn’t want to hang out with them all the time. And I made another massive snow fort during a few slow days at work when I was 24.”
Any plans for 2021’s
“No plans for next year. Usually by the time it’s done, I don’t want to think about it for a long time. Around September to October, I’ll start thinking about it again. “
What kind of
impression do you hope building the igloo will leave on your kids?
“Don’t be scared of winter and the cold. I want them to be the envy of their friends and classmates and remember having fun with their dad. I hope they appreciate all the time I spent out there. ”
Have you been
hanging out in it during this cold snap?
“We’ve been out
there this week. I tried to put a propane fire inside, but it’s too hot and the
air is too cold. The ice was starting to crack.
I’m planning a weekend camp out in it, but the ice is a terrible insulator. We’ll dress really warm. If it’s -35 C outside, it’s -30 C in there. I have to research what to do to insulate it properly.”
It’s easy to feel miserable when the mercury dips to extremely low levels. Chris has inspired everyone to see the positive side of our cold prairie winters with his massive ice igloo of 2020. Thank you for sharing your creation with Do Sask!
How are you embracing the extreme cold weather this winter? Join the Do Sask Facebook Group to have your say in the discussion.