My Saskatoon
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Search Search
Narrow your search:

My Saskatoon Blog

What You'll Find at Nuit Blanche Saskatoon

posted by My Saskatoon    |   September 26, 2014 16:36

Nuit Blanche - a nighttime festival celebrating the artistic expression of light, sound, images, human movement - is the first of its kind in Saskatoon. Starting at 8pm on Saturday night, 20th Street will come alive with stunning artistic showcases by a great number of talented local artists. This is artistic collaboration at its finest, and is sure to become a staple festival in Saskatoon. Its also a great chance to enjoy the abundant food and drink options on 20th Street, such as Little Bird Patisserie & Cafe and Collective Coffee, among others. 

The event, sprawled across the four blocks of 20th Street between Idylwyld and Avenue E, features enough artistic installations to keep you entertained and inspired late into the night. Nuit Blanche is free, and fun for all ages. 

What a fantastic opportunity to experience a piece of the creativity and passion that drives our city, in such a unique setting. Grab your friends and head on down to Riversdale on Saturday to get in on the joy and excitement this event is sure to bring.

10 Things You Can Do as a Labour Support Partner

posted by Noël    |   June 23, 2014 11:47

As I am fast approaching my due date, the more specific details of the upcoming labour and delivery are at the forefront of my mind. Of course I've been doing a lot of research, as this is my first go around with pregnancy and childbirth. Even as a newbie, I know that having a well informed and prepared labour support partner is a hugely important asset to easing the stress involved with such a pivotal moment in the motherhood experience. Whoever the labour support partner may be, there a several things this person can do to ease the pain and make the events leading up to delivery run smoothly. Here are 10 practical things that you, as a support partner, can do prior to and during labour and delivery! 

1. Clean your vehicle and ensure it has gas in it. One of my favourite local car washes is Good Morning Car Wash

2. Install the infant car seat and have it checked out at the nearest car seat clinic.

3. Download a contraction counter app on your phone, so that you are ready with the important information that the doctor will need upon your arrival to the hospital.

4. Make a "call and text" list of family and friends, identifying which ones you will notify during the different stages of the labour and delivery.

5. Attend prenatal classes with the mom-to-be.

6. Make arrangements for existing children and pets. 

7. Ensure that the fridge is full with her favourite snacks while she labours at home.

8. Continue to experiment with the different pain relieving positions discussed during prenatal classes.

9. Be informed and in agreement with the birth plan so that you can be a strong advocate for her.

10. Make sure that the overnight bags are packed and are in the vehicle prior to leaving for the hospital. 

Remember that you are an important part of her birth experience, so be flexible and dependable!

Mothers in Saskatoon: do you have any additional suggestions for things that a labour support partner should be prepared for? I'd love to hear about your experience!

8 Tips for a Greener Home

posted by Elle    |   June 10, 2014 16:08

You don't have to pay a bunch of money for new green technology or products. Going back to the basics and using traditional methods can make a huge difference in the health of your home! Looking for a new hobby? Try something that will benefit your household, save you money, and decrease negative impact on the environment. Implementing a few small changes will take a little bit of effort to start, but is so rewarding in the long run. And its easier than you think! 


Hang Your Laundry



This can be done year round, even in the harsh Saskatoon winter. In the summer, take advantage of the fresh scent your clothes and towels will take on when they are dried in the sun using a traditional clothes line. In the winter, use the dry heat provided by your furnace, and indoor hanging racks to allow your stuff to dry over night. You'll see a big difference in your power bill, and will be doing a lot of good for the environment!


Make Canning Your New Hobby


Stock up at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market, harvest from your own garden, or visit your favourite local producer, pick up some glass canning jars, and ask your Grandma for a tutorial. Or, get more information here. There's nothing better than local food, preserved in environmentally friendly containers! Glass jars are an awesome reusable food storage container for a variety of things. I even take them with me to the grocery store when buying dry goods that come in bulk, instead of using a bag. I think they look so pretty, too!


Pare Down Your Cleaning Products


This is a great opportunity to get back to the basics! Detoxify your home with simple ingredients that are super inexpensive and easy to come by! Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon can be used to create excellent multi-purpose, natural cleaners. For a more comprehensive look at the importance of ditching harsh chemicals, check out my previous blog post. It includes information on making your own cleaners, and also presents some great local Saskatoon options for purchasing pre-made natural products. 


Pick Up Knitting or Sewing



Having the ability to patch a hole, replace a button, switch up a hem, or make yourself a scarf is great for saving money and prolonging the life of your clothing. The less waste, the better, so extending the number of wears you get out of your jeans is a plus for a lot of reasons. Do you have a pair of bootcut jeans that are out of style? Take the legs in a bit for a more straight-leg or skinny look (tutorial here). Once the chilly months come back around, cozy handmade winter apparel can be customized to exactly the colour and style you want, gives you a lovely feeling of accomplishment, and makes a thoughtful gift! Its also a way to make sitting down in front of the TV feel more productive. 


Use The Ends of the Fridge



Don't throw away those random ingredients you have left before your next grocery run. If you are unsure what to make of those last bits, a frittata is an excellent, easy way to go. You can mix in any last meat, veggies, cheese, and herbs together with a dozen eggs in a deep frying pan, cover and let sit until cooked through. Super easy and super tasty! My favourite combination for a fritatta is finely chopped brussels sprouts, mushrooms, italian sausage, lots of rosemary and thyme, with a nice dose of feta on top. 


Grow Your Own Veggies



Depending on your resources and where you live, this can be as large or small a project as you choose. If you're a condo or apartment dweller, little pots of herbs or one tomato plant in a pot makes a difference and will bring you delight, I promise! Consider your time commitment and the space available, and you may find that a full-fledged garden out back is the way to go. Either way, you won't regret supplementing your diet with home grown fare.


Collect Rain Water



Keep your beautiful veggies hydrated and save money in the process! Utilize water run-off and set up a rain barrel. The water it collects is great for watering your garden, tending to your potted plants, or other outdoor projects. It can also be brought in to flush toilets if you're really into saving water!


Use Dishtowels and Rags


If you're trying to reduce household waste, refraining from using paper towel is a great place to start. Use a cloth alternative, toss it in the wash, and hang it to dry! Twisted Goods usually has cute cloth options! Evaluate your old clothes and towels for rag potential, and check out some tips here

If you have some other tried and true, simple methods of making your home more environmentally-friendly, let me know in the comments! I am always looking for new ideas, tips, and tricks.  

Tags: , , , ,

Shop Local

Wild About Saskatoon?

posted by Elle    |   May 20, 2014 11:27

I love the prairies and the small, hidden wonders found in nature surrounding us right here in Saskatoon. We don't have to leave the city in order to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the great outdoors. If you are a nature buff like me, you will want to plan your next week around Saskatoon's second annual NatureCity Festival, powered by Wild About Saskatoon, commencing on Sunday after a kick-off at the Farmers' Market on Saturday! The festival includes a full week of (mostly) free activities that are fun for all ages! Take in an educational keynote event, get your hands dirty aiding in spring clean up, spend time in a community garden, join a guided walking tour, or enjoy a relaxing outdoor musical performance.

The festival presents many, many options to enjoy time spent outside in our beautiful city. Check out the week's schedule here. I recently discovered Wild About Saskatoon, a local entity that describes itself as "an informal collective dedicated to the conservation and enrichment of wild lives and wild places in and around Saskatoon". Sounds pretty cool to me! Interested in doing some exploring on your own? Check out this awesome interactive map that Wild About Saskatoon has put together, showcasing the best spots to experience nature, right in our own backyard. I plan to refer to it anytime I'm presented with a beautiful day and nothing to do this summer! Stay connected and informed on other events for nature lovers, through Facebook and Twitter!

See you out there next week!

Should you buy a newer or older home in Saskatoon?

posted by David    |   May 14, 2014 09:39

It is expected that around 1,200 brand new, non-landscaped homes will be purchased this summer in Saskatoon. In an effort to bring down initial housing costs, home builders have cut some previously expected items and left them for the purchaser to do later. These "cut" items include a garage cement pad, walkways, a deck, fencing, landscaping, top soil, sod, sprinklers, and a completed basement development. 

CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has estimated the cost of a brand new home in Saskatoon is around $430,000. This price, however, does not include the "cut" items listed above. Being forced now to manage these additional home projects, you could be spending something that looks like the breakdown below:

$20,000 for a garage pad and sidewalk

$10,000 for a deck and fence

$6,000 for landscaping (or $8,500 for maintenance free turf that looks and feels like real grass. See my previous post, Are Those Real?)

$50,000 for a completed basement development (good luck finding trades people willing to work on a basement, without pulling favours!)

Adding these post-purchase extras brings our housing price from $430,000 to over $500,000 once everything is completed. 

This bears the question- is it better to buy a new home or an old home? Initial costs are similar between new and old, but what you spend your money on afterwards is much different. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of buying new or old. 



A newly built house needs time to settle. This can cause cracks in the foundation, door frames, and that new cement path you just had built.

You are forced to manage home projects including a garage cement pad, walkways, a deck, fencing, landscaping, and a basement development.


While you have to manage home projects, you can make it the way you like it, instead of living with what someone else has done and is too expensive to change.

New homes are more energy efficient, convenient (built-in dishwasher, central vac, wiring systems are easy and networked), and not in need of maintenance.



With an older home you will have many of these "cut" items, but they may be outdated or ugly. Previous owners may have done the home renovations themselves, which often means it was done poorly. It costs more to rip out old construction and then redoing it, than starting with a clean slate.

The wiring, plumbing, furnace, and water heater are old and possibly in need of maintenance. 


An older home generally is part of a more established neighbourhood with longer term neighbours, mature trees and foliage.

Larger yards are another bonus of buying old, because builders were able to build on larger lot sizes when land prices were cheaper.

The decision between old or new is a difficult one. When my wife and I were going through the pros and cons of each, we decided we wanted to buy new. Our personality types make us a little extra picky and we didn't like how other people had "renovated" their homes before trying to sell them. We figured we would have to rip everything out and start over with these older homes, so for us, buying new made a lot more sense. Each person taking into account their personality and preferences are going to come to different conclusions, but it is important to thoroughly consider what you want before making the decision between new or old. 

Are Those Real?

posted by David    |   May 9, 2014 10:34

The weather is warming up in Saskatoon, and while I can't wait for summer and all of the joys that come along with it, I can't help but think about the additional tasks that this season demands, especially as a home owner. 

“Honey, could you mow the lawn?” isn’t something the average guy is eagerly anticipating every Saturday morning after a hard week at work, but it comes nonetheless. Thankfully, there is an often forgotten solution to this problem. And no, I’m not talking about bribing the neighbour kid to mow it for you. I like getting rid of problems from the root. As the temperatures have begun to rise, the idea that I have been toying with is installing artificial turf instead of grass. This idea became even more enticing when I realized that not only would I not have to mow anymore, but I would also get out of watering, fertilizing, aerating, and weeding.

Artificial Turf is made to look like real grass with thatch fibres to keep all the blades facing up. The grass moves like real grass, looks like real grass, and is soft like real grass. The lawn is strong enough to withstand a dog playing with it and is free of the bugs that are regularly found in real grass. Brown or dead spots are also not a factor as the turf looks great at all times. The only maintenance required is brushing it twice a month and washing it down if anything spills on top.

Photo Credit: SYNLAWN

Although the price of installing turf is a little daunting at first, after factoring in the maintenance costs of real grass incurred every year, it isn’t that bad. It is estimated to cost around $2,000 a year to keep a natural lawn looking pristine. Over a 10 year period, this would add up to $20,000 in costs, not including the price of your time maintaining it. The purchase and installation of 1500 square feet of synthetic grass costs about $11,000 with the option to have some rock and fabric portions to lower the price to about $8,500. Around year 5 would be the break-­even point cost wise, and since artificial turf has a lifespan well over 10 years, the savings could be enjoyed for many years to come.

Photo Credit: SYNLawn

In Saskatoon, there are a number of quality artificial turf installation companies. Featured on Trusted Saskatoon, Perfect Turf is a Canadian company that prides itself on providing the best customer service, and the fact that they are the only company to manufacture all of their own materials for quality control. They even offer a Lifetime Installation Warranty. Comparable businesses include EZ-­Grass which offers an 8 year warranty, and SYNLawn, who offers a 12 year warranty. Each company claims to have the best quality materials, but I feel like I can trust Perfect Turf more because the materials are constructed by the company itself. I’m leaning towards going with them. 

While I still haven’t solved the problem of my wife’s to-­do list and probably never will, this is definitely a step in the right direction. What a great feeling it would be to cross off mowing, watering, fertilizing, aerating, and weeding for the foreseeable future. When people walk past my lawn it’s going to look perfect year round and I will have put very little effort into making it that way. Now if only I could get the dishes to do themselves? I guess that’s what kids are for.  

We Were on Global Saskatoon News

posted by My Saskatoon    |   May 8, 2014 11:31

We officially launched My Saskatoon this week, and had our first TV interview! Our CEO, Allison Thiessen, had a great time on the air this morning discussing who we are and what we are all about. We are so excited about what this website can do for our city, and we can't wait to feature more local businesses! If you know of any great locally owned shops, restaurants, or service providers that should be a part of My Saskatoon, let us know in the comments! 

We look forward to enjoying and sharing all that our city has to offer this spring and summer! 

Tags: , , , ,

Support Local

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! 

Planning to sell your home in Saskatoon?

posted by Trusted    |   March 27, 2014 09:31

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! The founder of Fresh Living, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement, which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door- and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home Redesign Expert!

Here, Chantal answers some FAQs about home staging!

Should every house be staged?

Absolutely! How you decorate your home to live in and how you decorate it to sell are very different. The decorating choices you make for your home may suit your taste and lifestyle, but they may not suit those of potential buyers and may not show off your home’s best attributes. When you make the decision to sell your home, you must begin the process of detaching yourself from it. Even the most beautiful home needs to be de-personalized so potential buyers can imagine themselves living in it. Your home is now a commodity to be sold and it must appeal to a broad audience of potential buyers.

Homebuyers are typically looking for bright, clean, spacious homes with great flow. Many buyers have difficulty picturing themselves and their belongings in a home if it is cluttered and has outdated decor. Fresh Living can make the small changes that will have a huge impact. Cleaning, de–cluttering, de-personalizing, organizing, and some re–positioning of furniture is needed in every home, and these adjustments can have an enormous effect on how the house is viewed. Every home owner considering putting their house on the market should call us. We can help!

How long does it take to stage a home?

That depends on what needs to be done to make the house look its best. Some staging jobs can take one day, to a few days. However, if there are rooms that require painting or repairs and renovations need to be made, then it could take a few weeks, depending on how quickly these upgrades can be completed. The end result will always be a beautiful, inviting home, ready for the competitive real estate market.

What is involved in home staging?

Fresh Living begins the home staging process with a consultation that provides an objective look at your house. We tour the house and make detailed suggestions on what changes or repairs may need to be made. We also discuss a timeline, budget, and priorities with you. Once a strategy is agreed upon, we begin transforming your home. Trades are brought in to quote on work that needs to be done; we assess the furniture, artwork and accessories that are available to us and do the necessary shopping; and in a very short period of time, your house is made ready for the real estate market.

Is staging effective?

Home staging DOES work. It will help you to sell your home faster, and for more money. First impressions mean EVERYTHING when it comes to selling homes.

• Staged homes on average experience a 3% minimum increase in final sales price, versus non-staged homes.

• 98% of the houses staged have sold over the asking price.
Source: HGTV’s ‘Designed to Sell’

• Average number of days on the market for staged homes was 13.9 versus 30.0 for un-staged homes

• Average difference in selling price over list price was 6.3%
Source: 2004 survey by Joy Valentine – Coldwell Banker Broker – based on 2772 homes in 8 cities

• 63% of buyers are willing to pay more money for a house that is move in ready

• Men (41%) are more likely to place a premium on updated décor than women (30%)
Source: 2005 & 2006 Maritz Research Staging Polls

• 77% of people view homes first on the Internet. Be sure that your home shows above the rest, by staging it first!
Source: 2005 National Association of Realtors ® survey

• Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home.

Are people offended when you point out what is wrong with their homes?

Rarely, because people understand that in order to get the job done, we need to be able to discuss the home objectively and work on its problem areas. After all, that is why people hire us. We are not judgemental, but aim to be constructive and positive. Most of our clients, when they see the transformation of their home, see exactly why home staging makes such a profound difference in selling.

How can I find time to carry out your suggestions, or be actively involved? I have a busy life.

Preparing a house for the real estate market is different for everyone. Some people love to be involved in the home staging process while others prefer to go on holiday during the work phase. You can have as little or as much involvement as you like. We understand that when you have a full schedule, the whole process can seem overwhelming. It is our mission to make the transition as seamless as possible for our clients. We take care of it so that you don’t have to!

What return can I expect on my investment in home staging?

Your home is your greatest investment so you want to make sure that it is in the best possible condition before putting it on the market. Our goal is to ensure that your house sells quickly rather than lingering on the market. Homes that sell in the first month get the best offers…so when we get your home sold in less than a week you will get the highest offer(s) possible. The cost of home staging is often less than the first price reduction on an un-staged home. You may also want to consider the emotional toll of a house lingering on the market –the stress of your house not selling at all or eventually selling for less; and the strain of keeping your house in immaculate shape for multiple showings and Open Houses. The stress reduction alone can make Home Staging well worth it.

What if my house is already on the market, but is not selling?

We are familiar with such cases, and it’s not too late to call us for a consultation. Fresh Living will help you organize a strategy to get your house sold quickly!

Should empty houses be staged?

Yes, because it is hard for buyers to get a sense of the space without furniture in it. Without furniture, the focus goes to negative details such as odd-shaped rooms, lack of architectural detail, or inadequate size. Furthermore, empty spaces tend to feel cold and uninviting. With staging, we can create a warm, inviting home that buyers can start to imagine living in.

Does Fresh Living guarantee their work?

We can’t guarantee that your home will sell within a week, but we will advise you on what needs to be done to transform your house into the best possible product for sale.

In many cases, our clients enjoy what we have done to their home so much that they hire us to decorate their new house, or even their office.

To begin your home staging process, find Fresh Living online, or on Trusted Saskatoon!

Quick Links