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My Saskatoon Blog

I Wanna be a Rock Star!

posted by David    |   April 29, 2014 10:32

I always wanted to be a rock star. In my teenage years, that changed to freestyle rapper. We all should be happy that neither of these two dreams came to fruition, since keeping a beat or consistent tone have never come naturally. Thankfully, I can live out these dreams through the lives of others. 

I went to “The Duo” Season 4 finale last year at TCU Place, where the incredibly talented Denise & Brock rocked out to Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin and won the $10,000 grand prize. This event featured some of the best young artists in the Saskatoon area, and got me excited about the budding arts community in Saskatoon.

Denise & Brock

Photo Credit: Mark Tiu Photography

The Saskatoon Arts community is growing, not only with amazing homegrown talent, but with the infrastructure to support it. Two local film companies, Sica Films and Fahrenheit Films, have taken the lead in producing high end Saskatoon content. If you are an aspiring artist, these two companies can help take you to the next level.

Sica Films prides itself on telling important stories through photo, video, and time-lapse, with artistry, skill and heart. Taking a look through their portfolio, Sica features a music video created for local band Gunner & Smith's song “Towns”. They do a wonderful job creating artistic imagery to go with the song’s themes. If you are looking for an artistic masterpiece, go with Sica Films. 

Fahrenheit Films is an award winning full service film and video production company whose primary mission is to create “kick ass music videos that make our clients look great.”  They have done music videos for many Canadian country music talents like Chad Brownlee, Jason Blaine, and Shane Yellowbird. Fahrenheit Films is based in Saskatoon and gives artists a little extra swagger in their music videos or TV shows. If you are looking for a “kick ass” music video, choose Fahrenheit Films. 

While I may not be the next Saskatoon rock star, you might be. If you are a local artist looking for a professional music video, check out both Sica and Fahrenheit films. They will give you the professional support you need to help you build your career. And when you hit it big, don’t get weirded out when I start living my dream through you! 

How to Spruce up Your Cat's Bathroom

posted by Noël    |   April 24, 2014 19:55

Our laundry room is due for a minor overhaul in preparation of our soon arriving little babe.  In my last blog post, I mentioned that my husband and I are going to use cloth diapers while we are at home with our little one.  Our laundry room downstairs is perfect for diaper cleaning, and was one of the reasons why we decided to give cloth diapers a try.  The laundry room consists of a deep laundry sink with a hand held sprayer, a toilet within close proximity to the sink, and of course, a washer and dryer.

This all sounds good, but we have one problem with this room; it's the current home of our cats' litter box. This room is pretty much their domain and in a few months that is going to drastically change, especially if a little baby soils its diapers at least 12 times in a day! Unfortunately, we don't really have another spot in our home where the litter box could relocate to, especially in it's current state. So, to get the ideas flowing, I hopped onto Pinterest and found a few different ideas that could help us relocate the litter box in style. 

Classic Cover

photo credit: source unknown

 

Vintage Charm

photo credit: home talk 

 

Ikea Cabinet Overhaul 

photo credit: Ikea Hackers

 

Clean and Contemporary 

photo credit - Urban Cat Design

 

Our plan is to visit some local furniture stores in Saskatoon to find the perfect cabinet to hide our litter box in a way that well blend in with our home decor! If you're interested in jazzing yours up as well, here are a few local shops to check-out: 

We love our furry friends, but sometimes incorporating their paraphernalia into our homes can be a little less than visually appealing. We are excited to do some hunting for a cabinet that will enable us to incorporate our cat's bathroom into our home in a stylish way!
 

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Shop Local

A Unique Venue in the Heart of Saskatoon

posted by Trusted    |   April 23, 2014 14:21

There are a lot of great things happening in the cool urban space of Village Guitar & Amp Co., your Trusted Saskatoon live music venue, event space, and music store. Keep reading for more on the many hats worn by this great local Saskatoon spot. 

Guitars & Amps

Village Guitar & Amp Co. is a boutique shop that opened in 2011, in the ever-growing, vibrant & trendy Riversdale area of Saskatoon. The atmosphere is probably the best thing about the store. It’s a change in its west side neighborhood, walking into something that’s so big city. It’s got a really good cosmopolitan feel to it, and is definitely the place to come if you have a broken guitar or if you are looking for that special amp. When people first come in, they look surprised, as they weren’t expecting the lovely exposed brick work and wood features. Most people just walk around the store and look up at everything. It’s a buffet for the eyes. There’s so much to look at for musicians and non-musicians alike! Besides the gear, and the quality of the gear, it’s the knowledge of the team. There’s not really an attitude at VGA- you can get help as soon as you walk in. There’s somebody at the door when you get there and you are made to feel comfortable and welcomed!

Village Guitar & Amp Co. is a refreshing addition to Saskatoon's music industry. Not only does it present a quality alternative to the hustle and bustle and sub-par service of some of the larger music retailers in the city, but it is also a great venue for small shows and local events.

Photo Credit: Village Guitar & Amp Co. 

Shows 

Haven’t heard about the live shows at Village Guitar & Amp?

Well, if you haven’t been yet, make sure you get to one- you are in for a treat! Only the best quality musicians make the grade at this venue.

VGA is fully licensed and has local beer on tap. We suggest you buy tickets early, as space is limited to just over 100 people. This makes for a really exclusive and intimate experience that performers LOVE!

Let local musicians and people tell you their thoughts!

“My favourite live music venue in Saskatoon.” - Carrie Catherine

“Amazing venue! So happy to have discovered this place. I will be back. It's hands down the best listening room in Saskatoon. Thank you for a great show.” - Amanda Darnley

“...More than just a "music store", Dan and Doug are as knowledgeable and helpful as they are incredibly talented! Great gear and absolutely top notch service! Can't recommend them enough!” - Shawn E. Blackman

“The concerts are intimate with very talented musicians. Great venue! Can't wait for the next one! Thanks Dan and Stephanie!!” - Susan Halabura

Special Events 

Sick of hosting or attending business events in the same old boring places? Want a unique meeting place away from the hassles of downtown? Want a different place to hold your family reunion, wedding, staff party or special event? Well, look no further than Village Guitar & Amp!!

From Grey Cup parties to fashion shows, Village Guitar is perfect. Boasting wireless internet, an impressive 15' projector screen, and special event lighting, VGA also has a top of the line professional sound system. The space can transition seamlessly from an impressive day time presentation space with coffee, fresh baking, soup and sandwiches catered by the well loved and popular Underground Cafe next door, to an evening networking venue, complete with live music and a licensed bar!

Village Guitar & Amp is a new and exciting enterprise right here in Saskatoon - check them out on Facebook for more information, or on Trusted Saskatoon!

How Not to Build a Deck

posted by Trusted    |   April 22, 2014 11:21

Barbecuing, sun-tanning, and just relaxing in the fresh air with a book are some of the best things about summer. Looking to put in a new deck to enjoy as the weather gets warmer? If this is a task you are thinking you'd like to try to take on yourself, there are a few things that are important to know before tackling the job. While building a deck can be a fun and fulfilling project, simple mistakes could turn your project into a very costly or even dangerous nightmare. Here, your Trusted Saskatoon contractors share 5 of the most common mistakes to avoid when building a deck yourself. 

Selecting The Wrong Material

One of the worst mistakes to make when building a deck is to select the wrong building material. Often people buy the wrong wood or use nails where braces are needed, etc. Personally, I have come across dozens of decks built with fencing material. What seems like a cost cutting method could add up to major costs in just a few years. Most fence material has square edges, which chip and break off under the slightest amount of foot pressure. This wood also tends to be knotty and often warps in any weather condition. 

Not Sealing Your Deck

When a deck is built with pressure treated wood, it is recommended to avoid sealing it for 6 months. For some homeowners, six months can turn into a couple of years before they know it. When a deck is not sealed, it will start rotting in a hurry. Make sure to properly clean and seal your deck and check it often to make sure it doesn’t need to be sealed again. To check your deck before you wreck your deck, pour a little water on it to see if it absorbs. If the water is absorbed, it is time to seal it again. A little maintenance goes a long way. 

Incorrect Riser Heights

One of the most confusing aspects of building a deck for an aspiring carpenter, is cutting the stringer. There is a little math involved that often causes first timers to make the mistake of cutting incorrect riser heights. All of the risers should be the same length except for the bottom riser. All of the other risers will lose the depth of the tread once it is put on, so the bottom riser should be a tread depth smaller than the other risers. It’s an easy mistake to make when taking everything else into account. 

Improper Drainage

This mistake is actually a series of mistakes that many budding builders make. When building your deck, you want to make sure the water drains in an efficient manner. If the deck is attached directly to your house, it is important to use the proper flashing to make sure water doesn’t accumulate on the side of your house, rotting your structure. It is also important to leave a little space between your planks to allow for drainage. Last but not least, consider sloping your deck .25 inches for every 12 inches away from your house. Doing this will help keep water from accumulating on your deck. 

Incorrect Placement of Beam Splices

More often than not, beginning carpenters make the assumption that separating the distance of beam splices between the different plies is important. While it can help if done properly, It is more important to make sure your splices sit on top of posts. Some designs make it possible to stagger the splices and sit them atop separate posts but if this isn’t possible, make sure to sit your splices on top of your posts, even if they are only inches apart between plies. If you avoid this warning, you could be rebuilding after inspection. 

Building a deck can be a fun and rewarding experience as long as you plan ahead and avoid these costly mistakes.

Happy Building!

History by Chance in Saskatoon

posted by David    |   April 11, 2014 15:17
Think of the three most memorable experiences in your life. Did one, two, or all three depend upon a chance occurrence? Something that “just happened” to take place to propel you to where you are today? Did you meet your lovely spouse while taking a random walk somewhere? Did you get the job you wanted because the timing just happened to work out perfectly? When you were down and out, did a stranger reach out their hand to help you, motivating you to do the same in other people’s lives? Many of the most memorable positive experiences that happen in our lives, happen by chance.
 
Albert Bandura, former president of the American Psychological Association, says that “chance encounters play a prominent role in shaping the course of human lives” (source). This is indeed true. The day I met my wife, I was her server at a restaurant in town. This chance occurrence has shaped my life dramatically, not only making me more fashion conscious, because wives do that, but by giving me a lifelong partner to share ideas with. It is amazing to think that having her in my life was at least somewhat left to chance.
 
Near the Midtown Plaza in downtown Saskatoon, there is a sculpture representing a chance occurrence that helped shape our entire country. In 1911, when the Midtown Plaza was actually a train station, Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier (the man on the Canadian 5 dollar bill) stepped off the train and bought a newspaper from a young boy. He talked to this boy for awhile, but the boy cut the conversation short because of all the work he had to do delivering papers. This boy was John Diefenbaker, who 46 years later would follow suit and become Prime Minster of Canada as well.
 
 
Chance occurrences have the ability to shape our lives. The next time you are shopping at the Midtown, take a second to check out the Laurier - Diefenbaker statue located near the intersection of 1st Ave South and 21st Street East, and share the story of how this chance occurrence in Saskatoon helped shape our nation. 
 

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Support Local

A Saskatoon Saturday Morning in Riversdale

posted by Elle    |   April 7, 2014 16:36

This past Saturday morning was a morning well spent. What started as a planned visit to the Saskatoon Farmers' Market with my fiancé and some friends, turned into somewhat of a walking tour of Riversdale. If you haven't spent a ton of time in this area of Saskatoon, I implore you to! Riversdale is home to some of the best in coffee shops and restaurants (two highly important facets of life, in my opinion). A visit to Collective Coffee is the perfect way to start a weekend morning (any morning, really), as the coffee is fantastic, the service is on point, and the latte art adds a lovely touch to the whole experience. The vibes are relaxed- a great way to set the tone for the day. The Saskatoon Farmers' Market, best visited early on a Saturday, of course always renders a bountiful haul. We were shopping light this past weekend, so after picking up a few bottles of Thrive Juice, some bacon from Golden Prairie Wild Boar Meats, and a few of the necessities from Uncle Mike's, we were leisurely en route to our next stop in the neighbourhood.

The Hollows has a fresh, delicious, locally sourced menu that leaves you feeling satisfied, but not weighed down by extreme portions or a heavy carb-load. The perfect brunch for a group of people looking to maintain that spring in their step on a morning out. I appreciate a really good hollandaise sauce, and The Hollows has some of the best in town, for all of you fellow benny-lovers out there. The Hollows also offers take-away farm fresh eggs by the dozen, which we decided to try. If only Goldie's General, the lovely little shop above the restaurant, were open on Saturdays. (If you're looking for something to do on a Sunday, you must check out Goldie's for handmade soaps, candles, vintage clothing, and numerous other odds and ends.) A quick jaunt back to The Farmer's Market to grab a cone from Prairie Sun Orchard capped off our morning in the sweetest way possible. Seriously. Fresh. Toasted Coconut. Ice Cream. Delicious.

If you're looking to enjoy some of the best flavours in Saskatoon in a two block radius- Riversdale is a great place to be. The shops and vendors I mentioned are a few among the many other fantastic options in this neighborhood, and are well worth a visit. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Check out this awesome Saskatoon foodie!

posted by Elle    |   April 3, 2014 13:32

The people of Saskatoon who have a huge love for local cafés, restaurants, vendors, and markets are so important to keeping our vibrant food culture alive. I recently stumbled upon a fantastic local Saskatoon blogger, Penny McKinlay, who shares her love for the local flavours our city has to offer on her blog, Wanderlust and Words. Penny writes about local vendors and products, and shares her experiences at local restaurants! If you're looking to try a new place this weekend, check out her blog for some insight! She has visited some great local restaurants that are off the beaten path, but are supposedly fantastic! Penny also shares great information about the offerings of local growers and vendors. An excerpt from her most recent post is below.

Black Summer Bok Choy

Chris Buhler says that Floating Gardens’ Black Summer Bok Choy is the star of their greenhouse crops. As an owner, Chris should know, so I was delighted to give it a try. First of all, bok choy is super nutritious with loads of Vitamin A, C, and K. It’s also a good source of calcium, potassium, and manganese. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it’s a common ingredient in Chinese, Philippine, and Thai recipes. I tried the younger leaves raw in a salad and liked the added texture and flavour - the lettuce seemed very limp and bland in comparison. I also cooked them; they had a touch of lemon as well as a peppery bite. I'll definitely buy it again. Variety is the spice of life, so change things up a little this week by trying a vegetable you’ve never eaten before. I’m glad I did.

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Hot Colours for 2014

posted by Trusted    |   April 2, 2014 10:52

Braid Flooring & Window Fashions, your local Trusted Saskatoon Window Covering Expert, has recently expanded its operation to include high quality paints. The specialists at Braid stay on top of the latest trends in home interior style, and here they share a tip on paint colours from Debbie Zimmer, paint and colour expert for the Paint Quality Institute, a leading source of information on interior colour and design. 

Grey, the colour that connotes intellect, is one hue homeowners will be incorporating into their interiors this year. In her annual colour forecast for 2014, Zimmer is supporting grey in a big way: "It's the hot new neutral, a sleek and sophisticated colour option that adds refinement to almost any room.

"Walls that are painted grey are great backdrops for almost any style of décor, and grey is such a dignified colour that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings, " she says.

Beyond wall colour, grey will embellish interiors in other ways -- in the form of grey wash on wood furniture, for example, and in fabric used for everything from seating to floor coverings. "We will even see grey's flashier cousin, silver, used as an important accent color," says Zimmer.

But grey won't be the only neutral to be popular this year. According to Zimmer, those seeking a change from more saturated colour will be happy to learn that white and off-white are back in vogue. Manufacturers of interior paint will offer extensive palettes of ever-so-subtle tints comprised of 30, 40, and even 50 'whites' containing just a hint of colour. White is staging a strong comeback for a number of reasons, says Zimmer.

"As with grey, the ease of coordinating furnishings with a neutral hue like white is appealing to almost everyone," she says. "However, some will gravitate to white for more personal reasons having to do with a change of address: those who are downsizing will favor white or very light-coloured walls to make their new, smaller interiors look more spacious; and for those who may soon put up a 'For Sale' sign, white is the wise paint colour to apply before listing a home."

Design professionals and do-it-yourselfers in the mood for more colourful options will also have good choices next year. Blues and greens - in more tints and shades than ever before -- will again be crowd-pleasers, as they have been for a while.

"Another hot colour in 2014 is mustard yellow," says Zimmer. "Its influence is growing in both fashion and home furnishing fabrics. We also expect to see more use of the colour on walls -- if not for entire rooms, then at least on accent walls."

If you're thinking about changing a colour scheme in your home interior, Zimmer's insights into the tints and shades expected to be this year's "hot" choices can provide some valuable direction. But the color expert has one final piece of advice:

"In the end, colour choice is a very personal decision, so whether you are thinking about doing some painting, or changing your décor, or both, stick with colours that you love. When it comes to your home, your opinion is the one that matters most."

Check out Braid Flooring's Spotlight Profile for contact details, and to stay connected on social media!

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