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My Saskatoon Blog

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!

Pink Cadillacs' Danny Zuko Burger

posted by Noël    |   June 18, 2014 09:04

If you haven't been to the new local diner in Willowgrove, you should get yourself over there, pronto! Nestled in the Willowgrove Community Square you will find Pink Cadillacs, my new favourite place to get a "homemade" burger and an authentic malt.  The atmosphere is truly nostalgic, from the jukebox, the decor and benches, to the outfits the servers wear, this diner made me feel like I was in one of the diner scenes from Grease.   

After perusing the menu I couldn't help myself from ordering the Danny Zuko burger, and I must say it truly was mouth watering. The burger options are endless, and let's not forget about the unique dog options on the menu. 

The menu isn't the only unique feature at Pink Cadillacs.  This diner turns into a lounge on Friday and Saturday nights with 50's and 60's inspired drinks, music, and dance moves! Honestly, for all of us who love the 50's and 60's this place should definitely be on your "must experience" list when deciding to eat local in YXE this summer. 

Now I couldn't just end this post without throwing in the Intro song from Grease! For all of my fellow Grease fans, enjoy!! 

Inspiration for Documenting Baby's First Year

posted by Noël    |   June 16, 2014 13:38

It's hard to believe that in three short weeks I will have completed 9 months of being pregnant! It truly is unbelievable how quickly the time goes by and how much your body can change is such a short period of time. I've been taking selfies every other month, but haven't been as diligent as some ladies I know.  It's too bad really, but the thought of documenting my ever-expanding body wasn't super high on my priority list.  With that being said, I do want to make it a priority to document the first year of my little one's life.  After browsing for hours on Pinterest, here are a few of my favourite "baby's first year" photo collages.  They are in no particular order, but my favourites are the ones with mommy and baby. 

Mommy & Baby  

 

Personal Message & Image

 

For the Artist

 

Favourite Stuffed Animal

 

The Ultimate Combination

I can't wait to get creative with documenting my little one's first year! I think there are endless opportunities to make a project like this personal and unique to you and your baby. If you've seen or done a unique photo collage, share it with me in the comments :)

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Satisfying the Curry Cravings at Meg's Restaurant

posted by Noël    |   June 12, 2014 09:23

Meg's Restaurant, a quaint spot on 3rd Avenue in Saskatoon, was voted Best Late Night Snack Shop in Planet S Best of Food & Drink 2014. I'd like to propose that it is also one of the best authentic East Indian restaurants in Saskatoon.  

About three months ago my brother-in-law boasted wildly about Meg's Restaurant, claiming it was a "must try" restaurant in Saskatoon, especially if I was craving a good dish of butter chicken or dal masala.  I fell in love with Indian food while I was backpacking overseas after finishing university here in Saskatoon. Growing up I was a typical prairie girl, with German heritage, who had her fair share of perogies, farmer's sausage, cabbage rolls, borscht, and of course rullkuchen. It is to no one's surprise that my tastebuds had never truly experienced food with delightfully flavourful colours and spices until I travelled. After returning home, all I craved was a good dish of curry or dal masala, and at the time, Saskatoon didn't have many options for the "food detoxing" backpacker.

It's been seven years since my travels and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago, while taking up my brother-in-law's suggestion, that I found the most authentic dal masala dish in Saskatoon.  From the moment I walked into Meg's Restaurant, to the last spoonful of my meal, I was whisked back to my carefree backpacking days. Savouring every mouthful, I convinced my husband to order a second round of food for us to take home.  It was like another dose of heaven the very next day.

I can't boast enough about this restaurant.  If you've been searching for authentic East Indian food, look no further! Reasonable prices, friendly service, and the most mouth watering curry ever! Not to mention, they are open super late to satisfy those late night cravings! View their menu here.

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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Cute undies can make a world of a difference!

posted by Noël    |   March 26, 2014 10:31
Baby preparation is getting real serious now.  We've moved beyond the big obvious decisions like cribs, etc, and are now discussing the best way for us to manage the poop. That's right, poop. You know you're truly becoming a parent when you start seriously talking about the impending poop situation you will (literally) have on your hands within the next few months!
 
I don't think my husband and I have ever really thought much about the whole diaper situation until we spoke with a few of our friends who are either pro-disposables or pro-cloth.  Personally, I like the idea of cloth, simply because the diapers are so cute and colourful.  Fun undies always make me feel good, so it is completely natural for me to think that cute cloth diapers will have the same affect on my little one... right?!? 
 
 
But in all seriousness, after much fact-finding, I think that we are going to do a mix of both cloth diapers and disposable diapers. Here are few big reasons why we want to try cloth diapers!
 

Cost Savings

 
There are tons of different stats out there, but with everything I've read to date, as well as through visits to local cloth diaper retailers in Saskatoon, it is pretty clear that cloth diapers can definitely save you money.  There are a few factors that determine whether the savings look like 100s or 1000s of dollars, one being whether you are planning to reuse the diapers for future children. 
 

Start Potting Training Sooner

 
I've read that because cloth diapers don't absorb the liquids quite the same as disposables, the little ones will know they are wet sooner and might be more interested in making their way to the household throne.  The sooner the better... in my opinion. 
 

Environmental Impact

I'm pretty big on recycling and decreasing our household waste, so I like the idea that the majority of poop will hit the toilet instead of the local landfill.  Now don't get me wrong, when I am on the go I will be reaching for those disposables, because I'm not too sure if I'm ready to truck around a dirty, smelly cloth diaper while I'm shopping.  

A Happy Bottom

Plastic on my bottom for a long period of time is never a good idea, so I can't imagine it is any different for my little one. Enough said. 

If you'd like more information about cloth diapering, check out the video below. I also found a few interesting articles as I was researching the topic. This isn't an exhaustive list by any means. 
If you are interested in taking a look at some local cloth diaper retailers, check out these two fabulous local maternity/baby stores in Saskatoon; Mother's Melody and Cravings Maternity.  I've had nothing but great experiences at both stores.  The owner of Mother's Melody, Fred, was very informative when it came to cloth diapers, which was a huge help!
 
At the end of the day, the fact still remains, I like the idea of my little one wearing cute undies!

A New Spin on Entertainment at Hunter's Bowling Centres in Saskatoon

posted by Noël    |   March 21, 2014 11:22

Bowling has always been a family favourite for my husband's side of the family.  Nearly every weekend, when my husband and his younger brother were just little kiddos, my mother-in-law would make the trek to the local bowling alley and cheer on the boys during their league matches.  My husband still has some of his awards from back in the day, and I'll be honest - I'm impressed. Some of his scores as an eight year old are higher then what I can normally achieve as an adult! With this kind of love for the game, it was only natural that our family found itself at the Hunter's Bowling Centre in Eastview last weekend, celebrating my husband's 31st birthday.

Given that it was a Sunday I wasn't sure if the place would be packed out or not, but driving up to the bowling alley and seeing all the vehicles, I began to reminisce of the days when my own father would take me to the Eastview bowling alley on the weekends to teach me how to play 10-pin like a pro!  

As we entered the building, the music was playing, the black lights were on, and every lane was humming with the cheers of little kiddos. The bowling alley was hoppin'! 

As I quickly took a look around, it became more and more apparent that this was definitely the place you'd want to take your kids on the weekend to burn off some energy!  

The music was family friendly, and even though everything in there was catered to the kids, wouldn't you know it, the adults looked like they were having a great time! The best part of the experience was seeing the majority of adults making use of the kid-friendly gutter-guards to improve their overall scores! 

All in all, the experience was fantastic! I don't think I stopped laughing or smiling once during the entire two hours we were there. I laughed especially hard when my father-in-law ripped his pants while executing a game-changing strike. Our family is slightly competitive.

If you haven't experienced the Hunter's Bowling alleys in Eastview or in Fairhaven, then you really do need to get down to one of those locations and experience Hunter's Bowling Centres' spin on entertainment, especially if you have children or are planning an event. Check out their website for the different types of events available at the bowling alley.  

If you're thinking, "Well, I'm not the best of bowlers", don't worry, go on the weekend when the gutter-guards are up, or just enjoy the experience by relaxing in their Bar & Grill

5 Tips to help you choose the right Realtor in Saskatoon

posted by Noël    |   March 5, 2014 18:43

According to the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors' website, there are approximately 600 licensed agents and registered salespeople in 46 member offices in the city of Saskatoon.  So, that means that if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Saskatoon and don't yet have a Realtor, don't worry, there are 600 potential candidates ready and eagerly awaiting your call! Overwhelming much?! I think so. 

How do you even begin to narrow down the search for a quality real estate agent? Of course I went to Google to find the answers.  After reading site after site, I narrowed the search criteria to these 5 helpful tips you can use when choosing a Realtor to assist you in buying or selling a home in Saskatoon.

1. Know your needs and wants in a real estate agent.

Put together a list of your needs and wants in a Realtor.  Be as specific as you can and don't forget to identify the kind of personality you'd like them to have!

2. Ask your friends and family. Get some quality referrals! 

Family and friends are a great place to start your search.  They are more likely to share with you their good, bad, and ugly experiences with their real estate agent or agents in the city.  

3. Research the agents before you call. 

Once you have a hearty list of real estate agents, search them on Google and see what comes up! Many times Realtors will have a website, be on social media, and possibly have reviews from past clients online.

4. Review the agent's list of properties for sale. 

A Realtor with a generous list of homes for sale can be an indicator of their industry experience, personal drive, and success rate as a Realtor.  Review the home styles, neighbourhoods, and prices listed to see if the homes currently match what you are looking for or what you are hoping to sell.

5. Set up meet-and-greets with more than one Realtor.

Finding the right fit matters! By far, I think that this is the most important part of the search. There is nothing more exciting than working with a Realtor you actually like! The process of buying or selling a home can be a roller coaster of emotions at times, so working with someone who can keep your spirits lifted and keep you pointed in the right direction is imperative.  When my husband and I were in the market for our home in Saskatoon, we always looked forward to meeting with our Realtor Ellen Nasser.  It never failed, Ellen always had a way of keeping our house hunting momentum rolling, while making sure that our needs and wants were being met from all angles.  Ellen was a great match for us because she not only mirrored our enthusiasm and drive, but she also had the industry experience and market knowledge that we were hoping for in a real estate agent. 

I hope that these 5 easy tips can assist you in finding the right real estate agent in Saskatoon.

Happy Realtor Hunting!

 
If you've had a great experience with a local Realtor, tell us by leaving a comment below or by sharing your story on My Saskatoon's Facebook page.

Enjoy your yard to the fullest this summer!

posted by Noël    |   March 3, 2014 13:13
Although the weather this past weekend didn't give even a hint that spring is around the corner, my husband and I are already trying to determine how we will tackle our landscaping project once the snow melts.  I recently received the latest magazine edition of This Old House and stumbled upon an article titled "How to Pick The Right Mulch".  What I really enjoy about this magazine is that there are tons of practical DIY projects and ideas found from cover to cover.  I love practical.  There is nothing worse then seeing a project you like and then realizing it's far more complicated than you initially thought. And who are you kidding, in the long run it would be so much wiser to either hire a professional or purchase the product off the shelf.  Often I find myself in this situation, so I am always refreshed after reading This Old House because it gives me hope that I can conquer a DIY project with ease. 
 
 Photo Credit : Man Made DIY
 
We've been contemplating putting in grass, turf, or possibly just doing a hardscape for our yard. What is important to us is that whatever we do, it must be low maintenance and easy for us to enjoy. At this point in the game, we are leading towards a hardscape.  My husband and I are by no means landscape artists, so we will definitely be outsourcing this project to the professionals. But this article, which can also be found online, provided me with a bit more knowledge when it comes to the different kinds of mulch options available, based upon our climate, location, and aesthetic desires. 
 
If you are the handy type, and landscaping is totally within your realm of abilities, here are a list of a few local garden centres in Saskatoon where you can find all the landscaping materials you'll need this Spring: 
If you're not the handy type, and want to talk to a professional, here are a few Trusted local businesses to consider when vetting landscaping companies in Saskatoon.
Artificial grass is a big thing this year, and Quick Turf is one local company that is on our radar if its something you're interested in. Local business Floorit.ca also (surprisingly!) carries a great brand of aricifical grass, if you're handy and interested in purchasing some to install yourself. 
 
My husband and I haven't contacted a landscaping company as of yet, so we are definitely open to hearing suggestions from you, especially if you've had a great experience with a local company. 
 
Even though the snow doesn't seem to be disappearing anytime soon, my hopes are high for the landscaping possibilities this coming spring.  I can't wait to add some curb appeal to our home!

6 Adorable DIY Baby Projects

posted by Noël    |   February 28, 2014 12:48

I'm on the hunt for a bassinet, and really everything baby! I'm 21 weeks pregnant and am starting to assess the future living arrangement in our home once baby arrives. 

Like most Mom-To-Be's, I've been following my pregnancy via the What to Expect When You're Expecting app. It's great, because it keeps track of my pregnancy week by week, provides me with baby development updates, and helps me along the way with great pregnancy tips and relevant baby articles.  Some of the most interesting articles that I've been reading, as of late, have to do with keeping the impending baby costs to a minimum.  There is nothing more depressing then realizing that all of this excitement can come with a pretty hefty price tag.  After looking through various online stores, my husband and I soon came to the realization that we were going to need some inspiration if we were going to keep the costs manageable.  So I turned to Pinterest.  Some of these ideas are just too smart not to share. 

 

DIY Bassinet a.k.a. Dressed Up Laundry Basket!

 Tutorial & Photo Credit 

What I love about this idea: it just seems so practical for carting around the house, and it's low-cost.  

 

Basket Changing Table

 Photo Credit: Pinterest - original source unknown 

What I love about this idea: You can cart this around the house easily, and it fits on top of an existing dresser. Plus, it dresses up the changing station.

 

 Baby Changing Station

 Tutorial & Photo Credit

What I love about this idea: I'm a woman on a mission at home, so I like the idea of keeping everything contained in one container that is easy to pick up and move. 

 

Door Jammer

Tutorial & Photo Credit

 What I love about this idea: Honestly, I think I could make use of this right now! My husband has a 'unique' way of opening and closing our master bathroom door early in the morning.  It never fails, I always wake up!

 

Fabric Baby Gate

 Tutorial & Photo Credit

What I love about this idea: We have awkward stairs and railing in our home, and this looks like a great way to add a bit of flair to my living space while keeping the little one from getting caught between the stair rails.

 

Pacifier Clip

 Tutorial & Photo Credit

What I love about this idea: It just seems practical, for so many reasons!

 

I hope you've been inspired to get out the sewing machine, or at least pass on a few of these ideas on to someone who has a sewing machine and would love to make them for you! 

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Noël

Doppelganger - Claire Danes

Claire Danes was pretty much Noël's favourite movie star of the late 90's, thanks to Romeo + Juliet! A sucker for romantic movies, Noël always enjoys a good storyline, and as such, her writing style tends to reflect just that. Documenting the adventures of her day to day life, Noël captures real moments in a working woman's day that many can relate to.


Noel